A vital link in the chain that is Sheffield’s House and Techno community: Liam O’Shea, Hope Works curator, promoter, and resident DJ has made an impressive contribution to the Steel City’s music scene. At Hope Works, one of the best places to dance in the North East, he holds a residency and has shared at stage with everyone from Motor City Drum Ensemble and Theo Parrish to Ben Klock and Kyle Hall, providing the faultless foundations to each night as every good resident should.
Despite having been involved in music as a DJ, producer, promoter or otherwise since the early 90s, his profile has elevated over the past 18-months, mainly down to the quality of his vinyl-only imprint Seaghdha, set up in 2013. An imprint supported by the likes of Christopher Rau, Kowton, Mosca and Darko Esser, to name a few. Following on from records for Secretsundaze offshoot label SZE and Never Learnt in 2015, his next 12″ – ‘Oxygen Lance’ EP – lands on Transit on October 5th and sees him experimenting with a more dark and opiatic brand of Techno. It comes backed with Kowton remix, a stunning reinterpretation that further showcases his ability to make heavily effective music with a handful of elements.
In the run up to the release of his new record we thought it’d only be right for Lo Shea to shine a light on his beloved Sheffield, he’s turned a selection of tracks that contain “the essence of Sheffield” and some brilliantly nostalgic commentary to boot.
1. Autechre – ‘Silverside’
The album ‘Amber’ was hugely inspirational for me.I used to play this track at my first DJ residency at “No Logic” at the Arches in Sheffield. Sean from Autechre lived in Sheffield for a while, and I remember sending him my first ever tracks on a c90 cassette for consideration for Skam Records after one of his friends said he might like my stuff. He did, but it never got released unfortunately!
2. Forgemasters – ‘Track With No Name’
Classic/seminal Sheffield Warehouse bleepy Techno.The first first release on WARP Records and a track that still sounds fresh today. Made a big impact on me when I first heard this to say the least.
3. DJ Mink Ft Twice The Trouble – ‘Hey Hey Can You Relate’
A production that’s half Sheffield half Nottingham (like me!). UK Breakbeat/Hip Hop, from Mink with Nottingham’s Twice The Trouble. Really reminds me of the early days of par- tying. It’s such a fierce tune, it’s got such energy to it.
4. Human League – ‘Path Of Least Resistance’
Still feels relevant today this…off their first 1978 album. Great song and lyrics and the synth lines just do the business for me. Phil Oakey’s vocals are so Sheffield and I love his dryness.I Know Phil, lovely guy. I met him when I was working in a music shop next to the League’s studio. He would come in looking for new bits of gear to add to his already incredible studio. This man was rocking a vast modular system from the 80s. Still see him around Sheffield to this day…true Sheffield hero.
5. Cabaret Voltaire – ‘Sex, Money, Freaks’
This is like the original blueprint for Nine Inch Nails‚ but with that Sheffield clunky Funk going on. Classic Industrial Dance from the steel city.
6. Aphex Twin – ‘Heliosphan’
Utter classic to this day. From the unbelievable ‘Selected Ambient Works 85-92’. I never ever get bored of it. It’s a set finisher this. I’ve done it many times over the years. Wonderful record and reminds me of my time in early 90s Sheffield. Another tape I constantly had in my stereo. Blew my mind when I first listened to this album on acid. Don’t think I’ve actually ever recovered!
7. The Black Dog – ‘Virtual’ (BD001)
Talk about ahead of its time. Came out in 1989. It’s subtle, crisp and sharp production can be heard clearly even now. Compared to other things at the time‚ this was a real piece of work – A real taste of the greatness to come from The Black Dog.
8. Swag – ‘Felony Funk’
My fellow resident Chris Duckenfield was one half of the outfit SWAG. Their first album was amazing, and I still play this track to this day. This record sums up my memories of hearing Chris playing out in the late 90s where I’d go and watch him play at the weekly night my best mate ran called “Scuba”. This track doesn’t date.
9. Ruth Joy – ‘Don’t Push It (Club)’
I spent a lot of time with Ruth over the early 00s. We did various musical projects together and she was also my MC when I was doing Drum & Bass at Ny Sushi. I learned the MPC from Ruth. She’s such a talent as a vocalist and as a producer – one of Sheffield’s gems. This Mantronix produced track sums her up for me…Hip Hop meets Soul with a tinge of Reggae to the vocals.
10. God Three Limited – ‘What You Want (What You Need)’
1997 Speed Garage banger. A massive Nice tune. I spent time in Nice in the early days as I worked for the owner. I saw the whole Speed Garage thing develop. This tune was and is still an utter banger. I still play it to this day. HUGE tune! It always goes off in a big way…
‘Oxygen Lance’ is out October 5 on Transit, pre-order here.