When we announced the 2014 Warehouse Project line-up back in the summer, we said that we thought it could be the best one ever. Nearly two months into the season and it has not disappointed, with every event Young Academic has attended so far being an absolute winner; from Caribou and Moodymann to A$AP Mob and Joy Orbison it has been everything a Warehouse season at Store Street promised to be and more.
The latest nights we have been lucky enough to attend have been the ever impressive James Blake and his 1-800 Dinosaur project and WHP classic Bugged Out. Both were epic as ever for very different reasons and you can find out just why below.
1-800-Dinosaur | James Blake
James Blake really is an artist with the world at his feet. Young, adored by male and female fans across the world, two incredibly well received albums and now, it seems, he has proven himself to be a more than competent DJ as well. At the age of 26, James Blake seems to have it all boxed off. Having worked with the likes of Mount Kimbie, RZA, Bon Iver, Kanye West and even Brian Eno, the aforementioned albums and dating the incredible Warpaint’s Theresa Wayman; I’m struggling to think of a musician young, aspiring artists should be looking up to more. Then last Saturday happened and Blake seemed to take it up yet another level.
An intellectual and fully qualified musician with soul and jazz in his heart, but with an undoubted swaying toward dubstep, this was always going to be a gig not be missed.
Having seen James Blake perform at a wide range of venues before, from Gorilla’s intimate setting to Glastonbury’s John Peel, I was pretty excited to see how his versatile style would lend itself to Store Street. There with his 1-800 comrades, it really was one of my Warehouse Project highlights and thankfully it was every bit as sweet as I knew it would be. The addition of dubstep innovator Mala and Bake also turned out to be an inspired move and one the crowd clearly appreciated.
Overgrown was the best album of 2013 and one befitting of a Mercury Prize winner and as such, it was rarely off my iPod or Spotify until recently. However, it was given a whole new dimension at Warehouse Project when James Blake playing its highlights live from one of Manchester’s most iconic stages blew the crowd away. Of course, Limit to Your Love from Blake’s first studio album was a joy to behold as were other classics from his eponymous first offering.
Of course, the 1-800 Dinosaur outfit is about more than James Blake with such names as Mala, Bake, Airhead and Klaus all contributing to an incredible Saturday at Warehouse Project, but it certainly felt like one of the all-time WHP humdingers spearheaded by the best young musician the UK has to offer and I felt proud to stand there and be a part of it. The scary thing about Blake is that this just feels like the beginning for a musician, song-writer and DJ starting a tumultuous ascent into the annals of music history. He even finished off the night by returning to the decks in the small hours and banging out a hip hop set to get even the most jaded of ravers back in the groove.
We keep saying that Warehouse Project events are the best yet, testament to the line-up so far but this really was a remarkable set of performances from an intriguing collective of DJ’s. Thankfully and yet again, the crowd provided the perfect vibe which just made the whole affair all the sweeter. CW
Bugged Out! 20 Years
With over 20 years under its belt, Bugged Out always promises to bring in the crowds. It practically has Manchester imprinted in its veins which is why we weren’t surprised when we saw the hoards eagerly waiting to go in on Saturday night.
Bugged Out has been a staple at Warehouse Project over the years and the line-up this weekend did not disappoint. The heavyweight line up took WHP back to its roots with Green Velvet and Erol Aklan being two that we did not want to miss and electronic producer Skream sure to pull in the crowds.
There was a healthy turn out for the start of the show. Erol Alkan kicked things off and the early birds swayed as his electro beats filled the room. Soon the room packed out as George Fitzgerald and Andrew Weatherall followed.
As time ticked on, we moved to room 2 where Skream was getting ready to spin some tunes. Vibes were guaranteed for the rest of the night and the crowds didn’t let the DJs down as they partied on into the night.
For those that reserved stamina for the end of the night, Green Velvet closed the show. With a career of over 20 years, he’s produced some of the most iconic tracks that house music has seen and those left standing sure did prove why as they danced into the early hours. RD