Photo by Bridge

Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan is the brainchild of Gordon Chapman-Fox. His propulsive, cinematic electronica has a musical, conceptual and aesthetic setting in the mid-1970s to early 1980s.

Gordon Chapman-Fox was born in the 1970s and spent his childhood re-enacting Star Wars to the sounds of Jean-Michel Jarre against the backdrop of the last gasp of the space race. Gordon has been making electronic music since 2003 under various names and labels. Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan is his latest project.

Gordon has released four albums and an EP on independent label Castles in Space. His latest record, The Nation’s Most Central Location, has proved his most successful, charting at number 6 in the independent album chart and achieving much radio play on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 6, RTE and more.

Following a solid upward trajectory, all four albums have had increasing critical and commercial success. The third record, Districts, Roads, Open Space, charted at #20 in the UK vinyl album charts and #60 in the main album chart. The album made several Albums of the Year lists, including Bleep, Norman Records, Piccadilly Records, and Drift Records. It made #5 in the Electronic Sound magazine 2022 best of list.

The Nation’s Most Central Location was pressed in the largest edition ever issued by Castles in Space and yet still sold out in a matter of days.

Since performing at End Of The Road 2022, Gordon has begun a definite move towards the mainstream consciousness, with his appearance noted in the Financial Times review of the festival. His work is regularly played on the BBC, and he was asked to contribute to Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone special on hauntology last year. He was included in Shindig Magazine’s “ones to watch in 2023” feature, where they said, “The richness of his visionary music is becoming progressively more enticing. A must for 2023”. The campaign for this new album has seen major features in Electronic Sound magazine and The Quietus. The album was also given 8/10 in a review/interview piece in Uncut.

What’s difficult to convey is how much these records have resonated with so many cross-sections of the public. From electronica fans to town planners, architects and academics, current and ex-new town dwellers, futurists and nostalgia freaks, the reach and affection for this music has been quite a revelation.

The work has become more overtly politicised as Gordon reflects on the broken promises made to those in the North of England over generations. It was brought into sharp relief with the latest levelling-up debacle. However much it may be set in the past, the music couldn’t be more current. It’s emotional and moving, and it connects deeply with many people.