September is our birthday. Our first birthday. We tried to get Brewerâ€™s Fun Factory, but it was booked solid all month. We failed to get a clown, a magician or even a bouncy castle. We will have no balloon animals.
Instead, we have Park Hill. In the fifty years since it was built it has attracted acclaim and distain in equal measure. Park Hill looms over Sheffield, an inescapable reminder of this cityâ€™s not so distant past, and is as identifiably a part of this city as steel, hills and genre-dissolving electronic music.
So, two birthdays then, and a party is in order. Weâ€™ve teamed up with two other Sheffield institutions, The Black Dog and Article Magazine, to put together a line-up of forward-thinking techno that will do justice to the brooding, industrial might of Park Hill.
There will be no cake. There will be no face-painting. There will be no pass the parcel.
Still, should be fun, eh?
THE BLACK DOG (Soma / Dust Science)
The Black Dog is, quite simply, one of the most influential electronic acts of the last twenty years. From their base in Sheffieldâ€™s industrial heart theyâ€™ve put out two decades of seminal techno on Warp, Soma and Dust Science, and in so doing forged a distinctively forward-thinking sound that channels Detroitâ€™s First Wave through the crucibles of South Yorkshire.
Never ones to look back, their latest LP Liber Dogma comes out this October on Soma, and continues the thread of pounding, boundary pushing techno theyâ€™ve made their own.
As 2009â€™s We Are Sheffield attests, The Black Dog has steel flowing through its veins. To have them playing in Park Hill brings together two defining aspects of this city, and theyâ€™ve curated a line-up of exciting, evolutionary music that will bring the best out of this very special venue.
SANDWELL DISTRICT (Sandwell District)
Sitting somewhere between a label and a semi-anonymous production collective, Sandwell Districtâ€™s importance in the world of modern techno is undisputed. From their roots in the seminal Downwards label, over the last ten years Function, Regis, Female and Silent Servant have played a vital role in defining modern techno, an influence on artists from Marcel Dettmann to Luke Slater via Peter Van Hoesen and a world more besides.
Their shows straddle the boundaries between DJ set and live performance, blending computers, records and live 909 into a bowel-rumbling fog. They come to us from a run of dates that has seen them lay waste to Fabric, Lowlands Festival and their own curated Klubnacht at Berghain and the prospect of an unbridled techno assault in Park Hill has excited us beyond belief.
GEORGE FITZGERALD (Hotflush / ManMakeMusic)
George FitzGerald is a shining example of a scene thatâ€™s in flux. The prevalence of ridiculous genre tags (post-dubstep, bass music and neo-garage for starters) speaks of a constantly evolving musical landscape, one that pulls together influences from Detroit, Berlin and Bristol to create an instantly recognisable, impossible to define soup in which chunks of deep house, moody techno and 4x4 float in liquid bass. With dubstep croutonsâ€¦?
As metaphors collapse around me, itâ€™s perhaps easier to focus on facts. George FitzGerald is one of the most innovative people making music today and through his work with Hotflush, and his recently launched label ManMakeMusic, has crafted a distinctively dubby blend of house and garage. As a DJ he moves seamlessly between turn of the century 2-step and modern deep house, by way of bounding techno, and weâ€™re very excited to be bringing his Sheffield debut.
RICHARD H KIRK (Cabaret Voltaire)
Richard H Kirk is one of the most important figures in electronic music. As a member of Cabaret Voltaire he is responsible for some of the most experimental music ever put to tape. Alongside Throbbing Gristle, perhaps no other act in the history of recorded music have done so much to alter the understanding of what music is, how it can be made and what it means.
As a solo artist his work for Warp in the â€˜90s filtered Cabaret Voltaireâ€™s experimental bent through the lens of modern electronica, and heâ€™s still crafting his own uniquely indefinable sounds. Over the last couple of years the Cabaret Voltaire name has been resurrected for a series of remixes and special releases, but with eyes firmly forward. We are honoured to have Richard opening up our birthday, a true giant of electronic music playing an industrial-influenced selection of the records that define what techno means to him.
Tickets are now available on Resident Advisor and Skiddle for Â£12, with a very limited run at Â£10 for those earlybirds (earlybirds now sold out). If you donâ€™t like booking fees (and who does?) then you can get a paper ticket from Bungalows & Bears, Cow and Golden Harvest. Tickets will be slightly more on the door, and weâ€™re only going to be holding a very small amount back so buy early to make sure you get in.
Weâ€™ll also have 20 super-early-best-friends tickets, available for Â£8 exclusively at our season launch party at The Harley on Friday 2nd September. Youâ€™ll also get into that night free, and be able to dance until the early hours in the company of the drumro[ll] residents. Big fun. (Sold Out)
This is a one-off event in a one-off space. Get down early, soak up the Park Hill atmosphere, and enjoy a unique opening set by a true electronic innovator. For you all-night-disco-dancers weâ€™re sorting an after-party as we speak, and details will be up soon, so keep those peepers peeled. Thatâ€™ll be free in for all ticket holders and go on until nonsense oâ€™clock.