The Lovers, Kings Have Long Arms, Michael J. Coxx, Darren Chuck, Pony Harvest - Thee Sheffield Radiophonic Workshop

James McDonald 14/08/2006

Rating: 4/5

Recently, the great city of Sheffield has become even trendier than when it was the hive for mass-producing steel. This is largely thanks to bands like t'Monkeys flying the flag high for their fair hometown, but did you know that beneath the indie-pop pavements lay a dark and mysterious creature? An esoteric sound crawling through the shadows and alleys like some hungry, musical beast? Neither did I. But the grandly named Sheffield Phonographic Corporation did, and they have taken it upon themselves to release a compilation of 'wibbly-wobbly' noises celebrating the electronic side of Sheffield's music scene. And by gum are we glad they did!

The CD is a collection of 10 artists who share one common mean, the art of electro. Other than that, this compilation couldn't be more diverse, even if it had spent 5 years studying a degree in diversity at some diverse university (you get the gist.) It's a quirky collection of songs from bands who like making weird sounds with computers and shit, and it's great.

Highlights include The Lovers (French chic blended perfectly with cheesy 70s lounge), The Pony Harvest (space invaders meets Garth Marenghi's Darkplace) and the bizzare Michael J Coxx, with their rendition of 'Stinkfinger' (do the guess work yourselves!). But if I can praise this CD for one thing and one thing only, it would be for introducing me to the genius of Darren Chuck; an artist who makes noise using only a KORG synth and a copy of Cubase.

But that's the thing about 'Thee Sheffield Radiophonic Workshop', it's a welcome breath of fresh air; it offers something completely new, whilst simultaneously catering for every kind of listener. An eye opener to the new electro revolution, take note or be doomed!