It felt pretty fitting for Shuf to incorporate a night on Store Street into our New Year’s celebrations. Over the past few months we have sent our writers to a fantastic collection of nights that have proven and exceeded the Warehouse Project’s reputation. The New Year’s Day celebration doubled up as a closing party for a season that has seen the events grow in popularity but maintain it’s close curatorial focus.
The increasing popularity of the night was an initial concern on our arrival. Nursing our still present New Year’s Eve hangovers, the crowd that greeted us for the earlier start time, seemed comprised of tight hawaiian-print vests, house shuffles, and the glare of snapchat video with ‘flash on’. It’s pretty unseemly to devolve down the rabbit-hole of judging demographics and declaring ‘what’ belongs to ‘who’; yet with its exponential popularity, there is a huge proportion of audience increasingly viewing Warehouse Project solely as a ‘night out’ rather than investing interest in the lineup. Realistically this doesn’t really represent a problem though, as the body of people engaged with the artists will win out. As Daphni and Four Tet’s B2B set proved, there is no ignoring the selectors. Quickly the mood in room one shifted as Dan Snaith and Keiran Hebden reeled off a genre shifting selection of cuts. It has in many ways been Snaith’s year, and this was reflected by the wealth of reception his choices received, dropping a handful of tracks from 2014’s Our Love, along with Carl Craig’s recent remix of Your Love Will Set You Free. Hebden weighed in with some slightly deeper and darker selections to compliment Snaith’s largely optimistic tone, before the pair closed with (what else?) Can’t Do Without.
Given the palpable glow this early B2B set filled the room with, we were essentially putty in the hands of Julio Bashmore who more than rose to the occasion. With his first and only Store Street appearance of the season, Bashmore confidently carried the room from warm up to full swing. Melding his trademark house informed stylings, the set also rose to lighter disco-infused heights as suggested by more recent drops, such as Rhythm of the Auld. Following Bashmore we decided it was only fair to give room 2 a share of the limelight, so headed through to see DJ Tennis make his Warehouse Project debut. Proving that you should never assume to know where the successes of a lineup will lie, DJ Tennis proved to be one of the most concrete highlights of our entire evening. Based largely in Miami and Berlin, Tennis doesn’t have the scale of reputation his set on the 1st indicated he deserves. His set was subtle yet buoyant, playing darker shades off against drops that were as blissful as they were dramatic. The strength of his set is hugely reflective of the power of Warehouse Project, as the hours go on and the crowd loses track, it is possible to stumble across completely unpredicted brilliance.
Following this the extensive 11 hour night reached it’s closers. Maceo Plex provided a full scale assault. His set brought blinding and brash tech-house to a baying throng awaiting his headline set. Combining high octane, screaming rises with brilliant white strobes, it was clear that Maceo Plex was bringing in 2015 at an alarming pace. Yet Shuf are sensitive souls, so in search of a more low key graveyard slot we headed to Joy Orbison who provided the perfect alternative. Enjoying his selections for the second time this season, after his offerings under Dusky, we ended the night and the season in his capable and eclectic hands. Room two rumbled to a close and for the final time of this season we enjoyed the smattering of applause and bright yellow lights of 5am.
It is hugely appropriate that Warehouse Project closes with a New Years Day set, rather than New Years Eve. The night has consistently looked forward and 2015 looks set to be no different. Not only have WHP trailed that this year’s season is “under construction” but with the introduction of the transmission series, the spring months are also catered for. Huge credit is due to the entire team behind WHP. Our highlights have come in all shapes and sizes. Naturally the safe curatorial hands of Resident Advisor and the Bugged Out! provided solid evenings of consolidated legacies. In addition to this we have also experienced some of the most exciting individual sets of the year under the brickwork. Carl Craig for Caribou, Ben UFO and Joy Orbison’s B2B set for Dusky, Dense and Pika for Maya Jane Coles, or Eliphino for the North Borders Tour. All of these sets have proved the breathtaking dynamism of the Warehouse Project; a night that uses the draw of undisputed reputation to unearth moments of brilliance.
Words : Angus Harrison