Clkwork // York’s Underground Music Community

Clkwork // York’s Underground Music Community

Oh, you haven’t heard of Clkwork? That’s because you’re spending too much time on nights out that end with cheesy chips all over your shirt. I spoke with one of its founding members, to find out what York’s nightlife has been missing out on.

“We’re first and foremost York’s underground music community.” It’s a message that’s loud and clear from Clkwork’s co-creator Joe Williams. The community he’s built is multi-faceted, acting as a Facebook group where the city’s electronic music enthusiasts mingle, share music, and spread ideas. But this community, built upon a genre that provides purpose to party, also hold some of the most well-respected events the city’s laid witness to, booking DJ’s such as Happa, Laksa and Radioactive man. All of this came from a pair of 3rd year students, so sick of travelling to Leeds for well curated club nights, that they juggled their dissertation while breeding an electronic music scene in York. Though when I expressed my admiration for their commitment, Williams shrugged it off. Its as if he’s just doing his duty as a music lover, to provide for other people of the same ilk.


I needed an education in electronic music, and Williams gave me a start. If you, like I, frame the genre as EDM DJ’s with energy drink sponsorships, then you have a lot to learn. Williams stated, “It’s music made to be listened to at a party,” and in our world of personalised playlists we’re ignorant to the social nature of music. Dance music might require you to step out of your ear buds and hear some intricately mastered sonics, from a decent sound system; I promise you won’t regret it once the sub-bass hits you. Apparently, it’s also not a requirement to drop synthetics to appreciate a rave, at least not if the promoters have done their job. You can be assured that if you’re at a Clkwork event you’re in the safest of hands. Williams tells me that there’s a lot more to a party than just the music being played, that’s the reason why Clkwork have visual artists and designers working on every show, even down to the flyers and posters. Its clear that in their preparation there’s no stone left unturned in creating an immersive evening, where you can truly let loose.


Joe Williams is an unapologetically nerdy guy, the only trope he’s missing is tape bridging his flimsy wire glasses. Yet, the electronics postgrad handles decks all over York, under the alias Joe Rhys. “There’s going to be musical integrity to everything” that Clkwork do, likely because it’s run by DJ’s and producers of the community, not promoters looking to make a quick profit. Williams expressed the difficulty of promoting the group to students, who seem to be perpetually stuck on campus or at student events. Maybe its because he doesn’t get much support from the university; “90% of the posters I put up get taken down within 2 days.” Or perhaps, it’s because punters don’t care enough for a night that’s not about waking up without any recollection of the previous evening. Williams is insistent; “Clkwork’s not about escapism,” its about loving the moment that you’re in.

Clkwork is one of the most exciting developments in York’s music scene, and its all supported by a few students who want a unique night out. Lord knows they must have despised Wednesday Salvo’s to go to all that effort.

Join the Clkwork facebook group 

Clkwork presents Radioactive man: 1st December @ Mansion Underground

Grab tickets here! Use the code ‘circulation’ for a discounted price of £8.

Resident Advisor have selected Clkwork presents Radioactive Man as one of only 2 ‘RA picks’ for the North of England on the 1st of December.

Listen to Radioactive Man and similar sounds

Joel Landschaft-Singe