Slowly exhale, the Warehouse Project is about to return. Manchester’s annual opportunity to flex your music taste across various social media has, as expected, delivered another solid lineup.
The season gets off to a strong start on the 20th September with Aphex Twin’s headlining night; which, if his 2017 Field Day set is anything to go by, will be an absolute spectacle. In support is Nina Kraviz, who, with just about any other name on the set, would be guaranteed centre-stage. For these two acts alone, this will be a worthwhile night.
The following night is ‘Welcome to the Depot’, arguably the most star-studded of this season’s offerings. Although Disclosure, Annie Mac, and Denis Sulta are likely to draw the biggest crowds, do not pass up the opportunity to see Maribou State, Mall Grab, and Jayda G; the latter of which is a name to watch in this industry.
Fast-forwarding to the 12th October is my next pick for ‘go-to’ lineups. Hacienda Classical is an orchestra paying homage to Manchester’s legendary dance scene, the flag-bearer of which was Factory Record’s superclub, The Hacienda. Expect ‘anthemic’ dance classics from the era, perhaps most famously A Guy Called Gerald’s ‘Voodoo Ray’, with legendary names such as Soul II Soul, Mike Pickering, and Graeme Park in tow.
Turn your attention to the 18th October which sees Mura Masa lead a lineup including Black Midi, Joy Orbison, Vegyn and Space Afrika. Black Midi are of particular note from this lineup as their current trajectory would suggest they truly are on the cusp of greatness at the minute. Adding to that, it would be very interesting to see how their high tempo jazz/rock style melds with a dance crowd. Vegyn is also very much worth checking out, most notable for their production on JPEGMAFIA’s Veteran album.
For the ‘west-heads’ amongst you is ‘Adam Beyer Presents Drumcode’, bringing the heaviest of European techno to the shores of Manchester. This is the stuff that you measure in the rattling of your fillings, and is the natural heartland of the techno puritans. Drumcode delivers year-on-year, so is set to be another stonker of a night.
One of the most buzzed nights comes on the 26th October with Four Tet’s expected re-appearance at the Depot; in tow is Skrillex, Peggy Gou, Jon Hopkins, Mall Grab, Daphnee etc. The list is long and the list is good. It’ll be interesting to see how Skrillex and Four Tet mould their, at best disparate, styles in their b2b set and, of particular focus will be Peggy Gou. Having, I think it is fair to say, just broken through, the crowd for this performance will be large and big things will be expected.
Annie Mac presents on the 2nd November and its following night, Patrick Topping on the 8th, will be big tech-house affairs. Of these two nights, my personal standouts would be Nightmares on Wax on the 2nd, and FJAAK on the 8th; the latter of which I would argue is a bit of a mistep by the curators of said lineup, given the musical style of the other performers on the night.
Immediately after this comes one of the season’s most dense nights, with The Black Madonna (she had to perform at least once), Honey Dijon, Seth Troxler, Hunee, Mr Fingers, Robyn, Palms Trax and Horse Meat Disco all on stage. Given the sheer number of acts on this lineup, 50% of them could turn out to be dreadful and it’d still be a good night.
The latter part of November and start of December appear to be geared towards a throwback theme with Bicep (90s romanticists if ever there were ones), Jeff Mills, and 808 State all performing on the 30th November. Following this is Underworld’s night, on the 5th December and anybody familiar with the little known, Trainspotting, will almost certainly be a fan of their track ‘Born Slippy’. Much like Hacienda Classical’s night, these two nights should serve as a love-letter to a bygone era of dance music.
The last night worth your consideration would be Fatboy Slim on the 21st December. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Eats Everything but I may well be in attendance, just to see Mr Slim. He’s a big name in the British dance scene and one that is almost certainly worth ticking off your list.