The turn into the New Year marked the final event of WHP14, the doors of Store Street open one last time to mark the finality to what was the most phenomenal Warehouse Project seasons to date. Yet whilst from September to December it played host to some of the richest, most commanding lineups that Manchester had to offer, the Spring season has us placed firmly in the ‘safe curatorial hands’ of Transmission – the collective brains of the likes of Drop the Mustard, Metropolis, Now Wave and The Warehouse Project themselves.
From the murkiness of the warehouse into the magnificence of the chapel, The Albert Hall is the centrepiece around which these upcoming events are drawn together, and it’s in this exceptional Grade II listed building that David Rodigan’s Ram Jam kick-started the series.
The majesty of the venue itself is enough to heighten the sense of excitement when first walking into the room one. Under the sonic control of Shy Fx, the grand and gothic space – sporadically lit up brick by brick by strobes, lights and lasers – pulsated with anticipation as drum&bass cuts quickly whipped up the crowd into a boisterous and animated collective. It was an energy that clung to the architecture the entire night, and whilst the downstairs room two showcased one of Hoya:Hoya’s finest – Jonny Dub – it was the main hall where Shuf were gripped. After Toddla T upped the ante even further with a vibrant selection of barefaced floor-rattlers, the main man himself – David ‘Ram Jam’ Rodigan – finally took to the stage to unleash an arsenal of electrifying cuts onto an already electrified crowd. Not afraid to capture the room, Rodigan blended the tracks of his past with the sounds of the present, one after the other receiving howls and cheers from a well-satisfied audience. In a night that showcased the brilliance of dub, bass, dancehall and reggae, it seemed the perfect start to a series that is set to prove itself as part of the very core of the North West.
Looking forward into the next few months, Transmission has it covered; featuring Adam Beyer, Amine Edge, Carl Cox and Dusky, and nights curated by Kaluki and Heidi, each weekend flaunts a collection of acts that promise a boundless atmosphere and curatorial brilliance, all under the roof of one of the city’s most spectacular and unique landmarks. For a change of scene, Hessle Audio takeover Sankeys presenting sets alongside Joy Orbison and Karenn, and the closing act Flying Lotus brings ‘You’re Dead!’ to Manchester Academy mid-April. Doubtlessly, the Transmission months are set to thrive in the same creative finesse of the warehouse nights that preceded it.
For more information on the series, and to see the lineup, click here.
Words: Josie Roberts