These days music producers have access to a world of sounds from the comfort of their laptops. The digital age offers endless samples, plugins and tools to utilise—meaning music producers are able to create virtuosic and boundary-pushing compositions without ever touching a traditional instrument.
Despite their physical appeal and that special something you get from analogue synthesisers and drum machines, many young producers are opting for simpler studio set-ups as analogue equipment can often be expensive, harder to access, as well as take up valuable space in the studio (or bedroom studio).
Although it’s becoming rarer for upcoming producers to have access to analogue gear, there are organisations like MESS (Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio) — a unique not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the creation of electronic sound— who are helping to provide artists and producers with access to analog instruments.
The heart of MESS is the MESS Studio, a fully functioning sound production workshop representing one of the most unique, eclectic and historically significant collections of electronic instruments in the world. Working from within the studio is the MESS School, a place for people to engage with the history, technique and artistry of electronic sound and music creation presented in a format that is flexible, affordable and artist-driven.
For the first part of our collaboration with MESS, we linked up with HAMLEY, a music producer and engineer based in Naarm/Melbourne who is on his way to cementing his place as a top producer in the rapidly growing R&B and Hip Hop scenes across the country.
From his production credits alongside Australian rappers ranging from Hancoq and 3K to Drapht and Swish Music—HAMLEY also has for pop and R&B, working with Ms Thadni, Maya Hirasedo and BOY SODA—as well as production credits on Stan Walker’s ‘Bigger’ which earned HAMLEY his first Platinum certification. Some of his recent work includes the club-tinged R&B sonics behind Pania’s ‘TIKI’ and the alt-rock/trap-infused belter ‘Self Sabotage’ from Kwasi and Congrats.
When we brought HAMLEY down to MESS, he was introduced to the Deckard’s Dream — a modern replica of the legendary Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer, best known for its orchestral sound that composer Vangelis used to score the broody neon skylines in Blade Runner. Drawing inspiration from pioneering hip-hop producers from the analogue era like Dr. Dre, J Dilla and Pete Rock—HAMLEY was excited to explore the Deckard’s Dream, sampling its sweeping synth sounds to create a dream-like beat with his signature kicks.
In addition to the final track which you can stream below, MESS and HAMLEY also created this Deckard’s Dream sample pack for Ableton Live, which you can download for free here to use with your own creations.
Check out the full video above and follow HAMLEY here for more.