What is it about former industrial cities and their love of machine funk?
There are obvious parallels between Detroit and Sheffield but the latter city finds itself in a better situation at present, not least because of a newly re-invigorated clubbing culture. At the centre of this is the aptly named Hope Works, a former gun barrel factory in the heart of Attercliffe. Under the stewardship of Liam O’Shea they have booked some big names, none more so than Jeff Mills, a man for whom the soubriquet “techno legend” perhaps undersells his influence.
The Axis records boss dropped in for the Hope Work’s second birthday, playing an exceptionally taut set which managed the neat trick of being both nails hard and swivel-hipped. The sound system was beautifully tweaked, pretty much everyone I knew from “back in the day” was out and Mills seemed to have an entirely new bag of tricks from the last time I saw him.
He was rocking an eerily strange brand of techno which sounded like it was beamed backwards in time by our future robot overlords. With other clubs attempting to geg in on the warehouse vibe of yesteryear but without a shred of authenticity, it was refreshing to attend the real deal, with a fantastic atmosphere to boot. Top marks Sheffield!
Review by John Muir
Pic by Liam Taylor