Although loud music is often more immediately appealing, what Brian Eno called ‘discrete music’ can paradoxically leave a greater impression. Eno discovered this while lying in a hospital bed, unable to turn up a harp record that had been accidentally left hovering on the threshold of audibility.

I thought of this story while listening to local percussionist Charlie Collins and Korean komungo player Eun-Jung Kim perform an intimate, improvised set at the Access Space. I had arrived slightly late to a near-silent opener, having cut it too fine at The Rutland. After my clattering and the subsequent tutting from others had subsided, I felt myself absorbed into one of the quietest performances I’ve ever attended.

Each click, scrape, tap and whirl of Collins’s array of percussive tools sounded especially sharp, and my ears strained to pick up the soft hum of Ryoko Akama’s electronic drone. As with John Cage’s ‘4′33″’, the coughs, gulps and movements of the audience inevitably became part of the improvised pieces being performed.

Force Majeure
Fri 8 Sep | Audacious Art Experiment | £7
Eclectic with the genres but consistent with the vibe, Majeure return with LURU from grime and bass label New Horizons and TACAT, resident DJ at leftfield Leeds collective Slut Drop. Repping Sheff are Yak from Pretty Pretty Good and the perennially zesty Fruit Boy of the Blood Sports.

Lowtide
Mon 11 Sep | Greystones | £8.80
Darlings of 6 Music, Melbourne musicians Lowtide take the chiming guitars of The Cure and smother them in sepia stained reverb, topping it off with ghostly vocals that recall the Cocteau Twins. As with grime, the shoegaze revival is evidently here to stay.

The Crüxshadows
Fri 15 Sep | Corporation | £20.50
Darkwave surely ranks as one of the oddest strands of twentieth-century music. It doesn’t quite fit with anything else. Since 1992 America’s Crüxshadows have done more to plough this particular furrow than anyone else, pitting banging dance beats and electro synths against Mary Shelley violins and arch Gothic lyricism from frontman Rogue.

KING CAPISCE: ALBUM LAUNCH & ROLLER TRIO
Fri 15 Sep | Abbeydale Picture House | £7
King Capisce return with their much-anticipated third album, Memento Mori. To celebrate the new album, Now Then and King Capisce are hosting a launch party in the beautiful surroundings of the Abbeydale Picture House, and naturally, you’re all invited.

This Is The Kit
Sat 16 Sep | Hallam Union | £13.20
Led by musical magpie Kate Stables, This Is The Kit deploy an ensemble cast of flautists, saxophonists and interweaving vocalists to create a loose, jazzy take on alt-folk. 2015’s facetiously named Bashed Out was actually a carefully-crafted masterpiece and was followed by July’s Moonshine Freeze, with its seductive title track.

Agnieszka Chylińska
Sun 17 Sep | Plug | £32.45
The initials O.N.A. may mean little to most Britons, but the heavy metal group were one of Poland’s most successful musical exports for a decade. Now three albums into a solo career, singer Chylińska combines the guitar crunch of her former band with anthemic lighters-in-the-air choruses, such as on 2016’s stadium-sized ‘Królowa Łez’.

Erja Lyytinen
Wed 20 Sep | Greystones | £14.30
Combining her own songs with standards by Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, Finland’s Lyytinen is recognised as a master of the slide guitar both at home and in the blues heartlands of the States.  She’s bringing her group back to The Greystones after a stellar performance in October last year.

Cavalier Song / Mysteron / Isis Moray / Sleep Terminal / Yo-Dynamo
Fri 22 Sep | Audacious Art Experiment | £5
A night of ritual and magic led by Cavalier Song, who conjure primordial drones and churning bass loops to call to higher powers. Local cults Yo Dynamo and Sleep Terminal bring a bit of muscle, before a final set from Isis Moray which promises to ‘take us into the dark hours’. You’ve been warned.

Space Dimension Controller
Fri 22 Sep | Southbank Warehouse | £13.50
Inaugurating Sheff’s newest temple of rave in style, the PPG crew have invited Belfast oddball Space Dimension Controller to kick off festivities with his live show. There’s also disco doyen Dan Shake, NTS host Anu and support from Leroy, Dan J and a Saul’s Sessions takeover in Room 2.

Entropi
Wed 27 Sep | Lescar | £7
The OED defines entropy as a ‘lack of order or predictability’, thus perfectly fitting alto player Dee Byrne’s outfit, who combine angular but groovy jazz with improvised explorations. Joining Byrne is bassist Olie Brice, Matt Fisher on drums, Rebecca Nash on keys and trumpeter Andre Canniere.

The Hallé
Fri 29 Sep| City Hall | From £17.92 (£5.60 for students and under 18s)
The North’s best orchestra return to their second city with two classics of Russian music: Tchaikovsky’s spectacular ‘Piano Concerto No.1’ and a full performance of Stravinsky’s score for ‘The Firebird’. Rounding out the romanticism is Debussy’s ‘Marche écossaise sur un thème populaire’. As ever, Mark Elder conducts and is joined this time by Australian pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk. 

The Night Kitchen Rebirth
29-30 Sep | Venue TBA | £16.65 (each night)
TNK was a club too good to go. Rising from its Shalesmoor ashes, it will be reborn in a new city centre venue whose location is a closely guarded secret. It’s bass music with Dr Cryptic, K-orse and Thorpey on the Friday, while Saturday’s house and techno party is set to see familiar faces such as Ste Roberts, ES.Q and Emily May return, with special guests yet to be announced.  

Krapwerk
Sat 30 Sep | Shakespeares | Free
Kraftwerk covers and other synth pop classics from a husband and wife duo whose annual ‘exKrapaganza’ has become a Shakespeares fixture. This time around they’ve brought along Meat Comes From The North, the ‘premier meat-based electro-pop band in Walkley’, with songs including ‘Le Chambre Open Day’.