Young Academic attended its first Warehouse Project of the season on Saturday and we have to say, it really was a joy to behold. Charles Whitworth and Scott Beaman review a phenomenal start to the next chapter of WHP…
Many of us here at the national student news website were somewhat concerned for the future of what had been the best dance event in the country for some time. A larger venue in a new, untested part of the city coupled with rumours of some unsavoury crowds and overzealous security had us apprehensive to say the least. Imagine our joy when it transpired that these were just rumours and Warehouse Project has in fact evolved into a truly great dance event.
The infrastructure is now perfectly befitting that of a rave that attracts the world’s best DJ’s and revellers from across the country. Queues were minimal both getting into the venue and when waiting for drinks and a taxi from even the furthest parts of Manchester will cost you little over a tenner. The taxis are everywhere as well leaving the chances of an icy wait in the cold after seven hours of bouncing around very minimal. If ‘Welcome to the Warehouse’ is representative of what is to come all WHP season then it really is a job well done and we can’t wait for the next one!
So, more importantly, what about the music? Young Academic music editor Scott Beaman profiles his highlights…
Its 7.30pm on Saturday at the new Warehouse Project Venue in Trafford. Joy Orbison is about to embark on a much anticipated Back 2 Back set with Jackmaster and for the 20 or so people in attendance at the start of the set only one thing is apparent – just how large this new venue is.
Now boasting a capacity of 7000+ people and a main room to rival some of Manchester’s most renowned gig spaces The Warehouse Project’s coming season is set to host many of the most exciting artists in electronic music today but at this point all of the preluding conversations about ‘corporate mega rave’s’ and ‘soulless cattle markets’ cannot be drowned out despite the hypnotic grooves echoing through the cavernous space.
Fast forward one hour and EVERYTHING has changed. Manchester has arrived in force and Room 2 is very rapidly coming to life to the glorious sound of house music. Bearing in mind that it’s only 8.30pm this is a party with some serious vitality and the low ceilings, mesmerizing lights, and powerful sound system all contribute to a club atmosphere to rival the early morning hours at the old Store Street venue.
Over in The Main Room the atmosphere is one of excitement and anticipation as the crowd awaits the arrival of down-tempo prodigy Nicolas Jaar. Pre-gig discussions take place regarding whether his ambient sound is really suited to such a large stage, and whether he may have to lay sacrifice to some of the more sophisticated elements of his music to please such a large and excitable crowd. Within moments of his arrival the doubters are silenced and accompanied by his three-piece band Jaar begins blending delayed guitars and reverb-laden saxophones with his trademark sub-bass grooves to a level of intensity many of his fans we’re unaware he was capable of. Set to the backdrop of the in-house LED display this is an unforgettable show that see’s the room swelling just in time for the arrival of one of a man quickly establishing himself as one of electronic music’s most trusted ambassadors – Four Tet.
Tonight Four Tet displays exactly why he is becoming one of the UK’s finest jockeys exhibiting his eclectic taste to phenomenal effect. 4000 people are locked in – samba, african and japanese rhythms are blended effortlessly with the latest in cutting edge dance music and by the time the swirling synths of Daphni’s ‘Ye Ye’ begin to trickle through the mix the room has reached fever point – its smiles and high five’s all around not to mention some very enthusiastic head-bobbing.