25 years ago, a musical revolution was beginning to sweep British clubs. Powered by cavernous sub-bass, shuffling TR-909 beats and sparse electronic melodies, the records sounded like nothing that had come before. Just like Detroit techno and electro before it, this new sound was concerned with the future. This, though, was an uncertain future—not the unbridled prosperity promised by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government, but a bleak, post-industrial scene glimpsed by the sound's creators, teenagers and 20-somethings from the former industrial heartlands of Yorkshire.
By the autumn of 1989, when Forgemasters' "Track With No Name," Unique 3's "The Theme" and Nightmares On Wax's "Dextrous" were dominating clubs, illegal raves and pirate radio stations, the sound already had many names: "Yorkshire bleep and bass," "Yorkshire bass" and, simply, "bleep."