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Bill Hamel Balances with TranZfusion

Author: michelle pirovich
Thursday, April 11, 2002
From the ripe old age of 4, Bill Hamel was making his own compilation cassettes. Sitting with a pile of 8 tracks by his side he would hold his tape recorder up to the speakers and record his latest mix. Bill still loves making compilations, only these days he has swapped the tape recorder for the studio, and from this studio in Orlando USA, Bill has successfully managed to have every single one of his remixes appear on compilations by notable artists in the far away UK and most recently with Australian label Stomp EQ. With such a remarkable track record it is difficult to argue that Bill Hamel is one of the most successful producers out there.

It was an inspirational set played by Sascha in 1994-95 that had Bill wanting to be on the other side of the decks. However, unlike many djs turned producers Bill considers himself to be a producer first, and dj second. It was only 18 months after being behind the decks that Bill with a little guidance from Chris Fortier, a crash course in music reading and writing and an "already there" knowledge of computers that Bill took to producing. "Although the two go hand in hand, and you need to do both to succeed certain sacrifices have to be made, and producing is the sure fire way to make sure your music gets out there."

Learning fast, a factor Bill contributes to the number of accomplished artists he has worked alongside of, he started his own label "Sunkissed." Success was immediate with Dave Seaman signing up his records right after the first release and the pattern has continued to be repeated with his remixes landing spots with Nick Warren, John Digweed, Sascha and Paul Oakenfold to name but a few, and Sunkissed has recently gone to the next step by securing the funding and distribution rights to now sign up other artists.

Its not just the djs however that have noticed Bills amazing talent, he was recently named one of the next 100 in URB magazine and in being careful not to jinx Bill, it was a warm welcome to hear that he felt genuinely complimented by this distinction. After all the dance music industry has failed to be recognised for the technical virtue it so richly deserves for far too long. But Bill is patient and positive "10 years ago hip hop was allocated one category at the grammy awards, it now appears in fifteen. People just need to be educated that dance music is as much an art and science as any other genre, last year Deep Dish won an award, so we are on our way."

So how does this positive and determined 28 year old manage to consistently produce such highly sought after tracks- Bills musical influences stem from all over. The Cure were his favourite band growing up as were Depeche Mode and the Cult and being a skater, skater bands and indie music also featured heavily in his life. Being a producer means he is always looking for that stand out something. "Im a huge fan of house music and really love to find those one or two tracks that I can get a real vibe off. Im always wanting to find something thats cutting edge but not so cutting edge that its unapproachable. I then study it for awhile and sometimes I can work out straight away if the end result is going to be a really big track or a real nice groover." But it isnt always easy, "I do get producers block, in fact Im suffering from it at the moment, I have the bare elements here and some synth sounds but I cant take it any further, and there is some pressure on me as it needs to be completed before I come to Australia."

Following on from Sean Quinn and Kasey Taylor, it is the release of the third in Stomp EQs innovative Balance series compiled and mixed by Bill that will have him shortly arriving on our shores. This is his first time to Australia and like many Australian djs Bill does feel that being located in the US is at times of a geographic disadvantage. "There isnt the opportunity to rub shoulders with your peers and if you have a new track that you want Digweed to play a quick train ride to Bedro