The Jackmaster & Numbers Warehouse Project was always going to be a big one. With last entry at an unsettlingly early 9pm, and a dauntingly weighty lineup stretching across the equivalent of a working day, we knew we had our work cut out for us. But with heavyweights like Seth Troxler, Ricardo Villalobos, Marcel Dettmann, Bicep, and Jackmaster in control of this particularly special Mastermix edition, what we bore witness to was a night that only an institution like Warehouse Project could pull off on a cold, wintry Manchester bonfire night.
It was the b2b of Seth Troxler and Ricardo Villalobos who first warmed us up from the outside chill. Under spotlights peculiarly evocative of Kanye West at Glastonbury, the dynamic duo spent three hours carving across and around the stage, flicking through the boxes of vinyl whilst simultaneously dancing, chatting and DJing. Troxler’s selections were more muscular, opting for tracks like the DJ Silver remix of Porn King’s Up To No Good, whilst Villalobos kept things smoother with Alan Braxe and Fref Falke’s Intro and an edit of Prince’s When Doves Cry. Although playing it safe at points, this masterful pairing of two commanding artists was still an experience to behold when the night was still so young.
The rest of the evening was spent bouncing all around Store Street in an attempt to catch as much of as many artists as possible. Room Two’s hosts were by no means secondary; after catching the last few tracks of one of 2016’s most talked about acts - Denis Sulta - we found ourself at Numbers co-founder Spencer, spinning personal favourite Emmanuel Jal’s Kuar (Olof Dreijer Remix) to energising effect. This was followed by another bold and exciting b2b from Ryan Elliot and Leon Vynehall, whose heavy-hitting and raucous selections like Double 99’s Ripgroove and Fango’s Rectum proved to be the stand out set of the night.
Over at Room One was the man himself; Jackmaster was as enjoyable as ever and, whilst he didn’t opt for anything too thrillingly ‘out there’, still flaunted a typical variety of propulsive, thumping, hands-in-the-air selections, including a disco-twinged mid-section through the likes of Sylvester’s Do Ya Wanna Funk. Marcel Dettmann, loaded with atmospheric and ambient selections, provided a fitting closing performance.
The early start meant that by the time 5am was within touching distance we were more than ready to leave. Not unsatisfied, of course, as amongst some of the more average sets were many moments of pure gratification. Though the format of Warehouse Project remains the same, when names like this are on the bill it makes for an irresistible (and exhausting) experience.
Words: Kelly Raymond and Josie Roberts
Photography: Sebastian Manox