Annie Mac Presents – The Warehouse Project, Manchester
With the literal hot-off-the-press release of a compilation pulled together by the infamously crazed and delectable DJ-come-Radio personality, Annie Mac, what better way was there to kick off the Autumn other than by touring the UK. The accustomed presence of the lady herself leading the AMP entourage, brought thousands of revelers to the well established Manchester venue.
Arriving early in order to avoid the queues which have been brought to light in recent media, a crack down on security was noticeable. Implemented searches with sniffer dogs were taking place in order to tackle the wide drugs presence among rave culture.
Despite the obstacles faced we headed into what appeared athe run-of-the-mill warehouse by day, (no pun intended!) and by night transformed into a secretive dingy world. – Inevitably a concept that initially presented the venue with its name; upon entry the visceral surroundings, being basic, immediately set the tone.
In room 1, Will Tramp had successfully established the scene for the early-doors crowd by warming up and passing over to LuLu James who’s defined vocals filled the vast space with a purer, more mellow emphasis.
Room 2, Oli Hackett, who’s role has primarily been involved in establishing the club’s brand and reputation through promoting in the background, this time, took the spotlight by opening this area. Will Tramp returned for round 2 in room 2, where he carefully crafted the night into one beautiful storm.
Will Orchard unlocked Room 3, a takeover by Erol Alkan’s Label Phantasy which by it’s, name suggests the fixed temperament of the lineup. Following him, London’s analogue producer Ghost Culture focused further on the electronic techno vibe.
Back to the main room, 1, much more of a commercial approach had been taken on the music by Duke Dumont. Particularly when Chris Malinchak ‘So Good’ was played. It proved a huge success judging by the way the room collectively packed in and became lost in the romantic trap of the electric blue glaze. A nation of sweaty bodies appeared to be swimming around the fort beneath the Duke’s castle, guarding their territory and on a quest for a clearer view! The less patient, or perhaps more adventurous armies, at this point chose to delve deeper into the Project.
Cashmere Cat had just opened shop in Room 2 with his futuristic hip-hop, R&B and bass contribution. ‘Take You Down’ by Chris Brown, was mixed into what appears to have heavily inspired the Cat’s recent production of ‘Do you Like Drugs?’ This planted the seed by throwing some dirty trap sensations deep into the surrounding ground. He induced the crowd by carefully cultivating it and watching it as the number of heads in the room successfully grew and multiplied.
New Zealand based DJ, Conan Mockasin led forth some trippy disco steps back in room 3 passing over to Daniel Avery, Erol Alkan and concluding with Nadia Ksabia. The beat selection and musicality captured a paranoid illusion of psychedelic swirls and shapes created by these fabricated sounds.
Taking over from the Duke and warming up in preparation for the Duchess of Dance, Annie Mac, Chromeo stepped up to the pace delivering more of a heavier electro-funk vibe in room 1. Handing over the control to Major Lazer, DJ Switch, Jillionaire and Diplo’s dancehall collaboration lifting the crowd in preparation. As the one and only Duchess took to the stage an uproar of excitability took place among the expectant crowd.
Cyril Hahn carefully crafted his congregation with the soft yet captivating delivery of ‘Perfect Form’ back in room 2. Followed by T. WIlliams, Diplo and finally gallic star, French Fries who fed the end of the night with a deep experimental flavour.
Shadowchild successfully championed the closure in the main room which had gradually began emptying as the ‘ravers’ reverted back into ‘behavers’ as they left the venue and hung up their dancing shoes!
Overall, a glow of enthusiasm spread through the waves of emotion this night. There were no clear areas where solitary depths were recognized or any room for improvement needed as a result. The air conditioning seemed optimum level and the bar was briskly operated with an actual release of free tap water offered out towards the end of the night which was evidently appreciated.
Considering the late publications regarding death-related incidents at the venue and also a withdrawal of 2014 line-up as a potential acknowledgement, it is safe to say that it is undoubtedly a popular venue. Providing a distinguished experience, this place should not be overlooked as it’s mere existence among the UK’s rave scene is second to none.