The Warehouse Project has seen an astronomical rise from its humble roots in the Boddingtons Brewery. This rise has seen various location changes, although for many Store Street has been its spiritual home. So as the 2014 calendar came to a close, Shuf took the opportunity to attend one of the most anticipated nights on the calendar, a night curated by Jamie xx and John Hopkins.
Both hold enough influence and draw to fill the brick arches of Store Street on their own. When they've roped in support slots from John Talabot, Modeselektor and other heavyweights of the left field dance world, the bill had even more reason to be an instant sellout.
John Talabot kicked off proceedings in room one. Talabot delivered a masterful set of techno builds, delicately layered, with nothing more than a red light illuminating him. The set prepared the crowd for the night ahead, setting a platform for acts to follow.
As John Hopkins made his way on to stage the already captivated crowd announced their support with rapturous cheers. For Hopkins, an artist who has recently received a mercury nomination for his album ‘Immunity’, a live show enabled him to cement his status as a modern pioneer of guttering techno. It was this time last year that one of our team made the case for 'Immunity' being the best record of 2013. From the beginning of the set he had the crowd in the palm of his hands and as he took them on a journey through his analogue techno catalogue he built and broke down the crowd as he wished. The set was coupled with an impressive visual show which was both complementing to the flickering sounds of 'Immunity' and captivating in it's own right.
Jamie xx then stepped up. Most recently he has released ‘All Under One Roof Raving’ a track with odes to the early UK garage scene which influenced him so much. His set included unheard xx tracks which supports reports of a new xx album next year. Ironically, it was not an xx track or even Jamie xx track which stole the night, although 'Sleep Sound' did provoke an incredible reaction. Instead, it was one of the tracks of the year, by Caribou, ‘Can’t Do Without You’ which transported the crowds away from the car park in December in Manchester, to a beautifully euphoric land. Dan Snaith's gift keeps on giving.
As the night drew to a conclusion, we headed to room 2 to see the Hessle Audio's Pangea close. Based on the set and released materials Pangaea and the rest of Hessle Audio have a big 2015 ahead of them. As the crowds departed onto the frozen Manchester streets, they were left feeling they had just experienced the most forward thinking, cutting edge electronic music that the UK and Europe has to offer, all in a humble car park.
Words: Adam Gardiner
Photo: Gary Brown