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Various Artists 23 for PB

Releases like 23 for PB are the greatest testament of kinship to anyone who shares a love for music.

23 for PB

It’s not an easy release to review. Not that it’s not good – it’s perfect – but the nature of why it was created means it already has a deep emotional thread to it. 23 for PB is a wonderful, but ultimately sad memorial in honour of well-known local artist Paul Bower.

The number 23 is not only significant for the number of contributions on the compilation or the modern cultural connotations, but also because one of Bower’s many bands was called Stars on 23. There’s no filler here as we’re treated to a variety of sounds you’d associate with the Steel City. New wave, industrial, techno and synth-pop all nestle comfortably together on a release made up of prime cuts rather than off-cuts. It’s a very special tribute and a heartfelt guard of honour by Bower’s peers and friends.

Bower was a stalwart and champion of the Sheffield music scene. He was involved in the seminal Mr Modo records and helped launch The Orb. He’s remembered for establishing Artists Without a Label (AWAL) from scratch and helping musicians get their music online. Each of the 23 tracks lasts 2 minutes and 30 seconds and the highlights are too many to cover here, with the notable mentions of Dean Honer, Åyusp, The Black Dog, Sieben and Bower’s own Psychoacoustic Soundclash. Proceeds from the release and subsequent albums will go to local charities.