Pop: Warp's vision

Sheffield is the home of innovative electronic sounds, courtesy of Warp Records and their latest signing, Plone, who will be making their presence felt in London this week

Though still totally independent, Sheffield's Warp Records is a major success in the world of electronic music. Started eight years ago by Steve Beckett and Rob Mitchell, who ran a specialist dance music shop in the city, the label has released over 50 albums and will put out their hundredth single in March. An increasingly eclectic roster includes Aphex Twin, Autechre, Jimi Tenor, LFO, Nightmares on Wax and Red Snapper. Though all of their business is run from up north, Warp maintain a London presence through their monthly Blech club night.

January's offering promises a particular party spirit as it's also the 23rd birthday of Warp signing, Squarepusher - aka the big-bearded Tom Jenkinson whose fierce and complicated blend of techno, drum 'n' bass and jazz is one of the most talked-about sounds in electronic circles. Squarepusher will be doing a special "decks 'n' DATs" session, but the bill also allows an opportunity to see Plone, signed by the label just before Christmas, play live. This trio of synth players may be virtually unknown at this point but Plone - Mike, Mark and Billy - are already geared up for interviews in the house they share in Birmingham. Each member has his own phone extension, though some of the connections are stronger than others. Consequently there are the sounds of guys running around the Plone household popping up on different phones to have their say. For people who are dab hands at electronic gadgetry this is something that should be sorted out, especially as it looks like the Ploneline will be busy in the coming months.

To date they've released one limited-edition single comprising two gorgeous mid-tempo tracks that not only owe something to Kraftwerk and Can but are lovingly flecked with the warmth of the Beach Boys and Ennio Morricone (minus the spaghetti that's tending to get tagged onto too many breakbeats these days).

"We want to go out and play songs that rely on melodies rather than just dancey beats and to make full use of our keyboards," offers Mark. On stage they've been described as coming on all Kraftwerk. "Well, er," interjects Billy, "we don't dress like them and we would like to get some lights at some stage but, yes, we do line our keyboards up along the front of the stage. Previously we had all the equipment sat around us, but since we started to play keyboards live it made more sense to set up that way."

The project's been going since 1993 under the name of Rehab. "We changed it pretty soon as it sounded relentlessly techno and anyway there was another band called that," explains Mike. "So we thought we'd change it to something no one else could possibly have and just made a word up."And so Plone was born.

Plone, plus Squarepusher (DJ set): Blech at the Powerhaus (0181-963 0940) 30 Jan

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

    £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

    Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

    £23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

    Day In a Page

    Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

    The secret CIA Starbucks

    The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
    Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

    How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

    The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
    One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

    One million Britons using food banks

    Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

    The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
    Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
    Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

    Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

    They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
    Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
    The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

    The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

    Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
    How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

    How to run a restaurant

    As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
    Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

    Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

    For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
    Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

    Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

    The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
    10 best tote bags

    Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

    We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
    Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

    Paul Scholes column

    I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...