Search Results for:

WARRINGTON-RUNCORN NEW TOWN DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan

Districts, Roads, Open Space

    Fresh from a performance at the End Of The Road festival, Gordon Chapman-Fox presents the third album from Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan. A deluxe vinyl pressing presented in two colour variants with a full colour inner sleeve.

    “With my return to Warrington and Runcorn”, says Gordon Chapman-Fox, “The music began to reflect the social isolation of New Towns life. This was mirrored by its creation through two years of pandemic lockdown.

    “The music is perhaps the loneliest and most spacious I have created so far - the Open Spaces in the album title taking on multiple interpretations. The focus and feel of the album is not inspired by the architecture of new towns, but the lives lived in them. I think the precise planning new towns and creating specific zones for different activities - working, shopping and living - created an artificial way of life. One that failed to understand the sheer messiness of human existence.

    “Musically the canvas is more epic before. The first side comprising two epic tracks, and the second side introducing Euclidean sequencing to create disorientating, evolving melodies.”

    Chapman-Fox continues to find the wonder in his exploration of new towns and their impact on the lives and minds who worked and lived there. His Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan output to date has reached far and wide and garnered incredible responses from fans and critics across the world. Resonating with new town locals, architects, designers and anyone who appreciates beautifully constructed, evocative electronic compositions. The sound palette is expanded to wonderful effect on this new release. He continues to work on further Warrington-Runcorn material while touring Districts, Roads, Open Spaces throughout the UK for the rest of 2022. 

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Golden Square
    2. Community Square
    3. Old Hall
    4. Locking Stumps
    5. The Key To A New Home Of Your Own
    6. Buzby's Lullaby

    Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan

    People & Industry - 2022 Repress

      Gordon Chapman-Fox returns to Castles in Space with a second volume of stately electronica from his Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan project.

      How has Chapman-Fox approached the creation of the new album?

      GC-F “The album picks up where the first left off, really. Musically, "People & Industry" was recorded back to back with "Interim Report, March 1979". There is a progression in the sound, but it's definitely cut from the same cloth as the first album. It still very much exists in this euphoric melancholy (or melancholic euphoria) that seems to be my signature. This time however, the theme is very much to celebrate the workers and industry that was absolutely booming around Warrington, Widnes and Runcorn in the late 70s. From coal mining, to chemicals, to cars, the area was an absolute hive of industry. Some of those businesses are still very much in the area, but a lot has changed since then. This album, much like the first, looks back to look forward. It is is nostalgic but with 40 years of hindsight.

      Given the success of the debut LP and the weight of expectation on the new one, has it been difficult to follow up “Interim Report”?

      GC-F: I think I expected so little of the first album, its success has been such a surprise. It's made me go back and re-evaluate this new album. I've gone back to my original recordings and reworked tracks, added new instrumentation, made fresh mixes and so many little tweaks to make it as good as I can. The album has been resequenced, a new track added from my original submission to Castles in Space, and extra bonus tracks created as Bandcamp exclusives. It's had a lot more time and a lot more thought put into the music. I think I also went through about 10 different versions of the artwork. I just couldn't settle on any one design.

      “I was completely bowled over by the success of "Interim Report, March 1979". The whole concept seemed to me to be so niche, I had no idea it would become so popular. It really seems to have struck a chord with so many people who grew up and lived in new towns, I've had people contacting me saying it sounds like the soundtrack to their childhood. People who grew up in Warrington and Runcorn have been in touch, from illustrators to professors, telling me about how this music brought their memories back. That's really touched me, to go from making something all by myself, and sounds quite cold, and to have it resonate with so many people, and with such warmth, has been incredible.”

      Your sound is ultra distinctive. Is there one instrument or piece of equipment that’s crucial to the WRNTDP sound?

      GC-F: “My set up is about a 50/50 mix of hardware and software synthesisers. The Prophet synth (both my hardware and software emulations) is a pretty central instrument to the sound. Beyond that, if there is one thing that defines the sound, it’s gallons of reverb. I mainly use Valhalla VintageVerb, because it can do everything from the subtle to the completely overblown sound that decays into the infinite.”

      “Interim Report, March 1979” mercilessly evokes the golden age of Brutalist town planning, with dystopian analogue synths conjuring images of graffiti-covered subways, desolate multi-storey car parks and crumbling branches of C&A.” Bob Fischer, Fortean Times.

      “People & Industry” is presented as a deluxe vinyl pressing on blue/white vinyl manufactured by Pallas in Diepholz, Germany.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Chapman-Fox returns to the superb Castles In Space for his second outing following the fantastically well-received and beautifully presented 'Interim Report..'. This time sees a similar focus on melody but imbued with a widescreen sensitivity previously unheard on the wonderfully utilitarian electronics of the first release. A perfect follow-up, and a great sign for the future.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Fanfare For The Working Man
      2. Built By Robots
      3. Petrochemical
      4. This Is The Age Of The Train
      5. Man And Manufacturing
      6. Part Of The Union
      7. Polytechnic
      8. Eye See Eye
      9. Managed Decline
      10. Aerospace (bonus)
      11. Industrial Zone (bonus)

      Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan

      Interim Report, March 1979 - 2022 Reissue

        “Interim Report, March 1997” by Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan is Gordon Chapman Fox’s hymn and homage to the brutalist beauty of Cheshire’s designated new towns of Warrington and Runcorn.

        Chapman-Fox grew up in Lancashire, and having been a frequent user of the famous Preston Bus Station in his youth, he was struck by the enormous chasm between the sixties architects utopian vision for what new towns should be and the sticky-floored, piss-streaked reality. He explains: “The more I looked into it, the appeal of these visionary architects grew. It felt like perhaps the most visionary building projects of all post war Britain were some of the estates built in Warrington and Runcorn new towns, these twin towns on either side of the Mersey. The estates of Runcorn were space-age futurist with external plumbing, rounded windows and raised walkways. But as housing, they were a failure. Runcorn was the last great UK modernist, futurist building project built with a community in mind. “Interim Report, March 1979” looks at this interim, this gap between vision and reality.”

        At the time of recording the album, he says, “It seemed like there were a lot of ersatz-soundtracks to lost John Carpenter films, or obscure giallo “classics”. I preferred to find inspiration from the surreality of the mundane, hence the creation of Warrington Runcorn New Town Development Plan. 1979 seemed the perfect point to be located in time, sitting on the razor’s edge between the post-war consensus and the dawn of Thatcherism. As the concept took hold, I tried to format the music according to the capabilities of a small, provincial recording studio in 1979. I limited the number of instruments available, the number of tracks available and so on. This really helped to shape the album and anchor the concept. As a teenager, I was into rock and looking for ever more extreme sounds - AC/DC gave way to Metallica gave way to Carcass. But by the 90s I heard Warp artists and that was me hooked. What they were doing could be far more brutal than anything by four sweaty long-haired guys with guitars. But it could also be funky, beautiful, ethereal, melodic and so much more.” It’s that ethereality and true sense of time and place that Chapman-Fox has captured so well here. “1979 marked a change in the political and wider culture of British society. The Warrington- Runcorn development marks the swan song of post-war urban planning in the UK – soon the ethos of building better communities would be replaced by Thatcherite “no such thing as society” and “Greed is good” mentality. And look where that got us…“

        TRACK LISTING

        A1: Gateway To The North
        A2: Aeriel Views By Helicopter
        A3: Castlefields
        A4: The Town Of Tomorrow
        B1: Intercity
        B2: Shopping City
        B3: Windmill Hill
        B4: Gateway To The Future


        Latest Pre-Sales

        167 NEW ITEMS

        We’re heading to @nightanddaycafe this Friday, Feb 3rd, to host the launch of the new album from @NileMarr ‘Lonely… https://t.co/7VJXcz3fbs
        Mon 30th - 7:49
        🔵 BLUE MONDAY 🔵 Coil - ‘Queens Of The Circulating Library’ reissue out now via @daisrecordshttps://t.co/fnNbhZ23oz
        Mon 30th - 5:48
        Tom Verlaine 1949 - 2023. Thank you for the music. https://t.co/uQb3iWX5C4
        Sat 28th - 10:48
        After doing a shop window take over back in Nov with empty sleeves. The vinyl is finally here 🙌 Léna C - Promenade… https://t.co/nVagAWC9we
        Fri 27th - 4:24
        E-newsletter —
        Sign up
        Back to top