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Project 13 Secret Sessions Part 2 – Islington Mill, Manchester



If innovative, functional bass music is your thing, then in Manchester there are few who do it better than Project 13 and none who do it with such consistency. About to encounter their third birthday, the artists and parties they have pulled together over that time, makes up a weighty list with more variety than you may initially expect.

Though for their last party, billed as ‘Secret Sessions’ in an undisclosed location, the focus was very much on the one style and sound. That of Pinch’s new label outlet, Cold Recordings. With resident selector Acre recently signed, it seemed only fitting that the Manchester leg of the label launch tour be hosted by P13. And so Pinch and his disciples of the new sound, Batu, Ipman, Beneath and Acre came together in what turned out to be Islington Mill, a space on the edge of the city centre renowned for churning out forward thinking projects of varying disciplines.

The 130bpm region is murky if anything. Producers delving into the territory are coming out with surprising and often unexpected results, though really, that’s one of the most exciting things about it. As well as that its also spawned a new scene, which is almost a uniting of a few. People into house and techno, or those in dubstep or garage, can all relate to the music, without it really owing too much in terms of inspiration to said genres.

Ipman was the first of the label associates to lay down a groove. Sharp, sinister and pulsing in style, the crowd were quick to step in time to what seemed to be mainly unreleased tracks. Pinch followed from there, and with the arrival of local mic checker Chunky to the party, he warmly introduced his pal as he’s done countless times before. Pinch, or Rob Ellis, really utilised his experience here. Keeping the atmosphere rocking, without really tiring the crowd out, leaving it to the young guns set to follow him.

Probably the most notable of this ‘new breed’ is Beneath. His tracks have been picked up by some of the most established club and radio selectors and having released an RA podcast in the week leading upto the event, it’s fair to say he’s cutting his cloth the right way. Again one for playing the unreleased gems and testing the waters with new material, all of which functions perfectly on a dancefloor. It was a hype from start to finish during his set and nothing less. 

By the time Acre manned the ones and twos, the entire room was intoxicated, not least because of the girls in the corner dishing out laughing gas quicker than a cockney geezer with knock off electrical goods. He knows the crowd as well as anyone at P13, though he knows his music even better. His leanings towards techno took it on a progressive path, one which allowed people to keep on raving with out tiring too much. And when ‘Retrograde Loops’ came through the speaker, there was a glint in the eyes off all who knew and excitement in the minds of all who were listening.

Secret warehouse parties are no new concept to the city, but still, each and every time the hype that surrounds them never ceases to amaze both the promoters of the parties and those enjoying the merry revelry. Selling out in advance, the P13 crew could sit comfortably in the knowledge that everyone was gonna turn up. Resident selectors Luke Leadbelly and then M1921 eased in the keen beans arriving on the dot. Their heady selections of grime, house, techno all encumber under the bass music umbrella, though it is nice not to simply be met with nonchalant selections, played simply out of necessary anticipation of the headline act.

What made this truly different from any other night at the Mill was the ‘Bring Your Own Booze’ deal. What student or burgeoning creative or indeed anyone that sees money as any sort of issue isn’t going to be excited by such a prospect? With the free flow of liquor comes an encapsulating, free spirit, that unites one and all and Project 13 are the masters of the free spirit.

True to form, Project 13 welcome down one of the best in the game to help celebrate their 3rd birthday in the form of Livity Sound boss, Peverilist. Everything kicks off at 11 at Manchester’s Soup Kitchen. Expect cake, balloons, good spirits and the most forward thinking music you’ll find tonight inside the Mancunian way.

Grahame Farmer

Grahame Farmer’s love affair with electronic music goes back to the mid-90s when he first began to venture into the UK’s beloved rave culture, finding himself interlaced with some of the country’s most seminal club spaces. A trip to dance music’s anointed holy ground of Ibiza in 1997 then cemented his sense of purpose and laid the foundations for what was to come over the next few decades of his marriage to the music industry.

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