IT IS finally Warehouse Project season. The series made its long anticipated return to Manchester’s Store Street this weekend, making it 12 years at the top of the clubbing scene. Our journalist Alicia Boukersi went to Friday night’s festivities.
Sticky floors. Grubby toilets. People’s pupils larger than Mars. Warehouse Project is officially back and better than ever.
After going to six of the events last year, I was eager to see if the venue had changed and was thrilled to find out it had not. Its three huge rooms interconnect making it easy to move from one DJ to the other, whilst the basic layout puts all the emphasis on the music and impressive light show.
The venue, a former air-raid shelter hidden under Piccadilly station, is perfect for the thousands of dance music fans who travel across the country for the event.
Although Warehouse Project opened its doors last week for LCD Soundsystem’s iconic comeback gig, it’s now the turn for DJs and producers to take over.
The Martinez Brothers headlined Friday evening with a 2am – 3.30am slot. The American duo, made up of Chris and Steve Jr. Martinez, are leaders in the global house music scene after releasing their first EP My Rendition in 2006. Their Warehouse performance was full of energy with their track ‘Space and Time’ sounding incredible up close.
The siblings are in the middle of their international tour with performances in party-island Ibiza and legendary American festival Coachella. After their recent nomination of Best Tech House at the DJ Awards they really are at the top of their game.
Annoyingly, Solardo’s set clashed with The Martinez Brothers meaning I had to alternate between both rooms to catch the best bits. It was definitely worth seeing Solardo though. Made up of British producers MRK1 and James Elliot, they have been tipped as a “meteorically rising UK techno duo”.
Daniel Pearce, known as Eats Everything, was another Friday night highlight. The DJ was performing for the fourth time at Store Street and proved he was no stranger to the crowd as he played a 2-hour long set that ended the night. Seeing the crowd fist pumping and singing along to the beat of Dancing was a staggering moment you had to see to believe.
The producer and DJ from Bristol came to prominence in 2011 with the release of Entrance Song. His mixes of house music, bass and techno have made him a frequent winner of Best British DJ and Best House DJ.
Drum and bass artist De La Swing was one of the first artists to perform. The Spaniard, real name Domingo Bellot, is one of the pillars of Elrow and is a recognizable name in the field of electronic music. His invigorated dancing behind the decks could be seen from the other side of the main room and his enthusiasm alone set the night’s tone.
Meanwhile, in room 2 Jacky remixed one of the most famous dance tracks – Music Sounds Better With You. The song is performed every year at Warehouse Project and it was well received with the ecstatic audience. I was moved to tears by the room’s atmosphere.
The third, most intimate room was also heaving with talent. Manchester’s own Pirate Copy played a great show, bringing their distinctively raw dance tracks to the techno and bass fans. Their new It’s All About Acid House EP was a massive success live and suggested the duo has the potential to play in the bigger rooms in the coming years.
Warehouse Project’s opening night proved why it is the pinnacle of live dance music. Raw with DJ talent and unreal passion from punters, there really isn’t anything quite like it. Simply put, you can’t be a clubber in Manchester if you don’t visit the infamous venue at least once.
The Warehouse Project is open on selective nights until 1st January 2018. Some tickets still remain. Find more information here.