Chris Duckenfield

Chris along with Lo Shea are our founding residents. When Liam (Lo Shea) first started Hope Works in 2012 he knew there was only one person he wanted to be a resident with him. Someone he’d known and respected for years. From Asterix and Space to RAC to SWAG to Popular peoples Front. One of the best dj’s on the planet and and someone he’d sold gear to ( not that sort of gear ) when he worked as hi tek specialist at the now defunct Sound Control and also someone he’d bought many records from at WARP records ( yes theres always been some form of money/musical exchange going on here ), Chris Duckenfield...

I play and sell other people's records for a living, and make a few of my own. I’ve been incredibly lucky to be able to do this for the last 30 years.

For the purposes of this: All that matters are those fleeting moments of escape, the collective joy of a dance floor and the ever-evolving and exciting world of music.

What, more?

Once upon a time I studied English, with a view to becoming a teacher. I also studied - at great length - LSD, music and the art of the compilation tape (not necessarily at the same time). Eventually, with all the due diligence a young man can muster, I must have decided music might afford me the luxury of avoiding an honest day’s work.

So with a large sense of bewilderment, a medium sized ego & a small record collection (and no small amount of luck), I became a DJ. In 1989 I got my first residency (at Sheffield’s legendary Limit club) alongside my college buddy and sidekick, Richard Benson. We were – due to an unfortunate incident involving military grade pharmaceuticals and a job on pirate radio - known for a brief time as Astrix & Space. ‘Watch your bassbins I’m tellin’ ya’ ? That was me.

Anyway, I learnt the art of making people dance, and putting records together ‘on the job’. Coincidentally the youth of Britain were piling headlong into a cultural explosion called Acid House. This helped me immensely.

I managed to land a job in the WARP record store in the early to mid nineties, and, along with Mr. Benson again, ham-fistedly made a few records for them as RAC, I toured with the label throughout Europe as support DJ and learnt much about club life outside the English experience. I got myself an agent in Europe and didn’t spend a weekend at home for a very long time. Oh, and I briefly leant on my tenuous grasp of the English language to write reviews and such for magazines like Jockey Slut & Keep On, which everyone seemed to like.

It was through WARP that I met sound-engineer extraordinaire Richard Brown. We subsequently made lots of music together, this fruitful exchange of skills led us to start a joint project called SWAG and we made more than a handful of self-released singles and two albums together as well as remixing lots of other artists, big & small along the way. Aside from that I ran a label called Primitive, and just for the hell of it, one called Odori.
As the age of record labels morphed into a huge, pulsating blob of mediocre digital data, my interest in running one evaporated.

I embarked on a more subversive and 'one-off' approach to productions and DJ gigs, figuring that was the best way to maintain a relevant and reactive career.

I’ve based my entire musical life on sampling other people’s wonderful creations and tinkering with them just enough to warrant legitimacy.

In that fine tradition I created an imaginary collective of cut-n-paste sonic collage artists, brazenly borrowing from the last 30 years of club music. I called it THE POPULAR PEOPLE’S FRONT.

About a decade ago, and contrary to all common sense, I set up a Vinyl distribution company called ALL EARS with old friend and record peddler, Alec Greenhough (formerly of TOKO fame). It's a boutique affair, with the emphasis on quality music from passionate labels.

Having been Djing for three decades, I think I've just about got a handle on it. I spend ludicrous amounts of money on music, forsaking many material essentials such as socks, sofas, and food in order to quench my thirst..

Despite actively avoiding PR and any kind of media exposure, I’ve managed to build a reputation that keeps me doing the work I love, in some of the best places on the planet to do it.

Former Guests

An Artspace and Warehouse Venue set up by Mixed in Sheffield and curated by Lo Shea. Its aim is to provide a unique and rich environment for the enjoyment of music and art. More info email info@hope-works.co.uk