Factory records and the situationist influence on urban space

Ingham, James orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8477-3147 (2016) Factory records and the situationist influence on urban space. Punk & Post Punk, 5 (2). pp. 163-179. ISSN 2044-1983

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1386/punk.5.2.163_1


There has been a substantial amount of literature on Factory Records and Manchester, with some exploring the urban influence on music and its associated local identities. Writing on post-punk has also considered regional and local influences. This article proposes a new approach with a detailed consideration of the Situationist influence and wider European radical theory on Factory Records. In particular it shows that this influence enabled Factory to create new ways of shaping and interacting with urban space. The investigation incorporates a historical discourse of Factory and the role Situationist theory played in the music, design, artwork and creation of spaces. The investigation is supported by the integration of urban theory and geographical theory. Like other punk and post-punk independent labels, Factory had European connections. For Factory though, the article explains, it is the combination of these links with the incorporation of a European radical tradition, in particular the use of the Situationist approach to the urban environment, that makes it distinctive. By incorporating this wider European influence on the development of punk and post-punk it is possible to highlight previously unacknowledged aspects of post-punk’s regional voice and connections to a wider sense of European identity.

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