It is easy to see the hugely positive impact an event like the Manchester International Festival has on its local artists and inhabitants. A festival that concentrates on exhibiting original, ground breaking ventures across a spectrum of visual and performance art, it is bound to not only help the local communities but also push the boundaries of both the arts and music. Headlining the musical division of MIF was Lancashire local Mary Anne Hobbs who curated eight shows across seventeen days, known collectively as Dark Matter. The artists, including the likes of Holly Herndon, LEVELZ and SUNN O))), intended to bring an immersive experience, and display both innovative local and global talent. Manchester born Paleman embodies the festival's ethos perfectly. His musical background boasts of attending the largest music specialist school in the country, Chethams, followed by a jazz music degree. With releases on Swamp 81 and monthly Rinse FM shows, Paleman has earned his reputation as a groundbreaking figure within minimal electronic music.
Supporting Paleman at Gorilla was Manchester based DJ and producer Walton. This collaboration with the Hyperdub artist was bound to be reminiscent of the height of dubstep and Walton was sure to bring those memories back. Providing some old favourites, this nostalgic set contrasted with the innovative set that was to follow. A drummer first and DJ second, Paleman took to a table crowded with hardware, launchpads and drum machines to craft a sensational audio art piece over the next hour or so. Throughout the set, his improvising of drum patterns over deeply rhythmic loops gave the night a playful and unpredictable fee. Layering synths and choral vocals over everything from dubstep-laden beats to cowbells to steelier hits, he flaunted drumming at its most multi-textured.
There's something so inherently captivating about such precise and technical electronic music being created live. Totally in command of his own sound, his ability to master the freedom of jazz structures together with his signature heavier club beats demonstrated how Paleman is a true leader in this field.
Words: Kelly Raymond
Photography: Jack Kirwin