Wednesday, 27 June 2012


New project alert. The SPD is back. And more hi-fidelity than ever.

Introducing Sheffield Music City.

Sheffield Music City is a beginners guide to the beautiful, futuristic and strange music that our city has produced. It's not your usual guide: there aren't any pictures of Phil Oakey's hair, and it doesn't list record sales. Instead, it takes you, the reader, to the places where Sheffield music was made and inspired.

We've found the terraced house where ABC first shimmied; the front room where Warp first bleeped; the nightclub where the city found its rhythm. Some of them are still there. Some of them are long gone. But all played a role in making this small, unimportant, shabby city, at the far south of the North, into one of the most important musical cities in the world.

The guide was produced for Sensoria festival, and supported by the University of Sheffield's English Department. Mega thanks to them both. You can find an essay by Matt Cheeseman, our theorist in residence, by going here, and clicking on the 'Sheffield Music City' tab.

The beautiful, bleak, clinical photos are taken by the uber-talented Theo Simpson. The publication is printed in glorious two-colour litho, by Unicorn Press, the hidden jewel in Sheffield's lofi printing crown. Warm red pantone, in case you were wondering. Cyclus offset, natch.

All in all, we're pleased as punch. This is exactly the sort of publication that a dream tourist board for Sheffield should be creating. We hope you like it.

Note: it's currently available in the Site Gallery and at Rare and Racy. We're working on getting it online, but don't hold your breath. In the mean-time, email us if you'd like a copy.


It's worth using the power of the internet to point you in the direction of a few of the things we reference in the guide.

Noise, Heat, Power is home to some of the finest writing about Sheffield you'll ever read. This mix is bloody brill. Check out the liner notes for an introduction to the 'long lost Sheffield of the soul'.

Warp Records: Labels Unlimited is equally mint. It tells the story of Warp Records with amazing writing, and incredible archive pictures. The sort of book that you read under the covers as a kid, and dream of Doing Something Worthwhile.

Beats Working for a Living is also indispensable for anyone interested in Sheffield music.
And finally, Eve Wood's Made in Sheffield is incredible. The bit where Chris Watson, formally of Cabaret Voltaire, describes his reaction to a crap gig in Sheffield City Hall ("I could do better than that! We could all do better than that!") sums up everything that makes this city punk as fuck.


Kid Acne's two mixes of music made, remixed or inspired in South Yorkshire are full of total bangers. One. Two. Keep your peepers out for number three soon. Hype.

Toddla and Pipes' mix from Kabal in 2008 reminds us of standing at the bus stop in Heeley and just hearing bassline from every single passing car. Including the police cars. Difficult to find now, but worth tracking down.

And it's wrong to have a favourite. We have to be objective. But you have to listen to this. And then this. And then this.

Easily the second greatest musical city on Earth.


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