As we step ever closer to bidding a fond, final farewell to Store Street, The Warehouse Project are putting on some incredible shows. Friday night marked the return of Glaswegian house hero, Denis Sulta, the outlandish alter ego of Hector Barbour, to the infamous bunker.
After popping up lower down the line-ups at previous WHP events as recently as last December; Sulta’s meteoric rise to recognition as headline material, was marked in the form of a night curated by and named after his own label, Sulta Selects. The event, unsurprisingly, brought together some of the finest house, techno, and disco DJs the world has to offer.
Talent was spread equally between the three rooms, and over the course of the night, crowds witnessed some astonishingly well-constructed sets. Room 2 saw the return of both Shanti Celeste and Midland to the hallowed (under)ground. The former, a Chilean born Bristol resident, is another DJ whose rapid rise hasn’t gone unnoticed. Starting her set with some driving techno cuts, it was easy to think that the vibe for the night was already being laid out.
Soon, however, the euphoric 80s disco mixes which have become a trademark of Celeste’s sets soon began to surface. Mixing old school disco and soul melodies and vocal samples over intense house and techno drum patterns has become something of a Shanti Celeste specialty, and those who had seen her before knew that the remainder of her set would live up to all expectation.
As Celeste’s set drew to a close, Leeds techno mainstay, Midland, appeared behind the decks. Keen to continue in the tone that already had Room 2 shaking, he began with sounds similar to those his predecessor had finished with; soulful Detroit house taking precedent for the early parts of his hour and a half set.
The sheer quantity of people packed into Room 2 as Midland commenced his set made clear his impact upon dance culture in recent years, and as such he quickly transformed his set into something more typical of a man quickly becoming a legend of the scene. Gradually the easy-going house sounds dissipated and were replaced by pounding, high tempo, techno beats. The evening was brought to a feverish climax towards to the end of Midland’s set when the pulsing intensity dissolved into an extended mix of his ever-popular Final Credits.
As impressive as the line up was, with the likes of Modeselektor and Peach both making appearances, the event was quite obviously all about one man, Denis Sulta. Packing out a sweaty Room 1 for two hours to close out the evening, Sulta didn’t take any time in announcing his arrival. As his name shone above him in pink neon, he launched into a raucous set that set classic throbbing techno rhythms against subtle synth melodies.
Following the two sublime sets witnessed in Room 2 prior to Sulta’s arrival, it felt as though, at times, he may have been trying too hard – at times hammering the crowd with an intensity not yet reached by any other DJ, but also an intensity which didn’t necessarily fit the general vibe of the night he himself had curated. Admittedly, however, Sulta knows how to put on a show, and it must be said that he closed out the evening in impressive style.