Sheffield Doc/Fest Review: A Film About Studio Electrophonique

While there are huge issues with the music industry today, especially around the monetisation of streaming services, there’s no doubting it has never been easier to get your music out there. Whether anyone will listen to it is another question entirely, given the overwhelming amount of choice on offer. It’s even relatively cheap and simple to record your songs in your own bedroom, given what’s now possible with technology.

Back in the 1980s in Northern England, this was all just Tomorrow’s World. In Sheffield, a number of bands used the sound of the steel city to make the future. It cost a lot of money to cut a record back then. Enter Ken Patten and his Studio Electrophonique, located in the downstairs extension of a council house in a working-class suburb. He provided a space for some of the city’s finest to hone their craft, but is virtually unknown is his hometown. A Film About Studio Electrophonique sets out to address this.

A Film About Studio Electrophonique is the story of an unsung hero of the Sheffield music scene. Featuring interviews with several of the city’s most famous sons, James Taylor’s documentary is a warm and charming tribute. One which benefits from feeling so intimate and rough around the edges. Patten was one of a long line of great English hobbyists. A Film About Studio Electrophonique captures the impact his obsession had on others.

A Film About Studio Electrophonique screens at Sheffield Doc/Fest.

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