Sheffield’s claim to UK club culture fame is the creation of bassline at Niche, the infamous establishment that gave its name to the ‘Niche sound’ that drew in ravers from across the country. Sheffield is still home to a huge community of producers, MCs and DJs that grew up on bassline and 4×4, ready to catapult the city back into the limelight.
DJ Q , albeit from Huddesfield, has influenced the Sheffield’s music scene immensely, having ridden the initial bassline wave into the charts with bangers like ‘You Wot!’ with MC Bonez, while consistently releasing a huge variety of club tracks and remixes. He’s still firmly at the forefront of the genre today, having released his debut album on Local Action Records and forming t q d with Royal T and Flava D.
The closure of Niche and the the city’s restrictive regulation of similar clubs threatened to kill off bassline forever. Nonetheless, producers in Sheffield kept pushing on and a new generation of labels sprung up to accommodate the filthiest of bass lines and industrial synths – think the likes of Off Me Nut Records and Chip Butty Records.
It’s not just about bassline, though, as demonstrated by Project Allout, the grime & bass label currently collecting some of the best new talent, often gifting us with huge free download compilations.
This mash up of genres is perfectly represented by another of the city’s famous DJs and producers, Toddla T, who specialises in roots and dancehall influenced sounds, with plenty of grime and heavy bass, too. His Girls Music label consistently pushes some of the best in new music, including new names like MC Coco.
Bassline floor fillers put Sheffield on the UK club culture map and today the city’s sound is still built for massive speaker stacks and packed nights. If you’re looking to experience the bassiest of bass check out Sheffworld and Sinai Sound System, or head to city-wide music events like Tramlines, which plays host to local and national acts.
Written by Simona Morar