Those of you who’ve kept your ears to the ground over the supposed summer in Sheffield will already have heard a bit about Electronic Supper Club, and by the time this is published a lucky few may have even attended one of their events. The project is an ambitious collaboration between an bunch of Sheffield artists, musicians and geeks headed up by the city’s techno stalwarts The Black Dog and photographer Shaun Bloodworth. Aiming to combine live broadcasts with cutting edge technology to bring a new level of quality to such affairs, the initial round of events will showcase some of the North’s best talent, with a real mixture of names you’ve heard of and some you probably haven’t.
Kicking off from 22nd August, line-ups include Oris Jay, Grievous Angel and Paul Woolford as well as local heroes Squarehead and Box Jams. Going live on Wednesday evenings from the inimitable CADS, entry is by invite which can be applied for on the website below, but whilst capacity will initially be rather limited, you can catch all the action streaming live on the website.
Though the initial focus is on the live shows, the project’s scope extends far beyond being the North’s answer to the Boiler Room. The motivation behind the project is to showcase the often rather insular South Yorkshire art and music scene to a wider public, whilst retaining the DIY ethos that makes it so special. Using the technological set up developed for the live broadcasts, the project hopes to create features on developments in everything from the visual arts to creative technologies, as well as hosting interviews, written content and podcasts. The ball has been set rolling in the right direction on the latter front, with an excellent live set from project founders The Black Dog at Berghain already available on the website for your delectation, and interesting audiovisual experiments from SND member Mark Fell due to be covered this month as part of Festival of the Mind.
The first event was a suitably understated success, with all the artists rising to the challenge of playing sets designed to be carefully listened to, and a refreshingly Sheffield attitude to the crowd, who whilst enjoying themselves kept there distance from the cameras rather than desperately trying to crowd into the shot, as seems usual with this kind of event. The stream looked sharp, with immaculately shot visuals from Bloodworth complementing the action nicely, and the sound was some of the best I’ve heard in Sheffield.
Perhaps the best thing about this event is how it demonstrates that the DIY ethos mentioned earlier can still achieve results that supercede what has been done before in this area. A lot of time and money has been put into this by the founders, and the only return they are currently getting is the product itself, which we can all share in. Let’s make sure we treasure it so it can continue.