EPs from Opgang 2 and Secret Werewolf precede a retrospective compilation for the Hamilton label due out later this year.
Steel City was a mid-'90s record label based in Hamilton, Ontario—a post-industrial Canadian city located about an hour from Toronto, and three hours from Detroit. (Hamilton is also the hometown of Greenspan and his group Junior Boys.) Founded by Oliver Barkovic, Steel City put out records from a handful of relatively obscure Hamilton producers who recorded under a network of different pseudonyms.
"The artists and parties were of course informed by what was happening in nearby Detroit and in the UK," says Smith, "but very much reflected the idiosyncratic personalities that inhabited the empty and rundown ex-industrial steel town that was—and in many ways still is—Hamilton. The music from the label did make into the sets of Detroit and European techno DJs at the time and has developed a bit of a cult status over time, but was made in sufficient isolation from those scenes, so it remained totally distinctive."
Geej will release a 13-track retrospective compilation called Northern Ncounters later this year, and in the meantime, they've reissued two full EPs from the Steel City catalogue. The first is Yage from Secret Werewolf, AKA label founder Oliver Barkovic, which the label compares to mid-'90s Robert Hood productions. The other comes from Opgang 2, an alias of Dave Foster from foundational industrial group Teste.
Listen to Secret Werewolf's "Yage."
Secret Werewolf - Yage
Opgang 2 - De Chirico
A1 De Chirico
A2 Prone Decubitus
B2 Neomatic Correlate
Yage and De Chirico are out now through Geej, with Northern Ncounters to follow later on in 2018.