WHP & Now Wave Present: Sounds Of The Near Future – The Warehouse Project, Manchester
For all the hordes of people milling around the entrance, joining queues and laying bare the contents of their pockets, inside Victoria Warehouse it was less like personifying a tinned sardine and more like being a part of a loosely packed salad drawer. The full and thorough drug searches enforced however, meant few vegetables made it in.
Lapalux was playing early on in room one. Expecting to be treated by technical, ambient sounding melodies, instead getting some sharp electro, that felt drenched in waves of EDM and really lacked in class. It might have been a main room set, but it was still early and with hip hop acts to follow, simply didn’t add up.
From there I left to check out the Glaswegian temptress and all round bad gal, Eclair Fifi in the ravier inclines of room two. Her quick mixing style keeps so much hyped energy flowing, and is done with an exceptionally seamless vigour that is quite unrivalled. Hollas of, “boy don’t waste your time, just put your head between my thighs!”, lyrics from Lil lucky – and a staple tune in Fi Fi’s sets and recent FactMag mix – flared out the girl power, as many a lady strutted through confidently.
Back in the main room and things had gone decidedly hip hop. J-Rocc was concocting some heavy head nodding beats, as the crowd gathered round the front. Taking to the mic to raise it up. Rocc is an accomplished jock, who has a keen intelligence of what works. Ice cool bass strummer, Thundercat then took the stage, his presence two parts rock star to a free poured lashing of hip hop, and the rhythms he plucked out so sugar cool, were a real testament to his talents.
Following that the man of the night made his entrance. The crowd evidently in awe of Flying Lotus’ boisterously bouncing in to view.
A fair bit of anonymity has surrounded the whole Captain Murphy band project, but live on stage there’s nowhere to hide and FlyLo’s capacity as a rapper really shone through, adding yet another branch to his tree of talents. The band played a number of their own tracks, as well as a some BadBadNotGood material that, collectively went down well.
The sheer size of the room, and the stage from which acts perform, make it ideal for band performances and specifically the bravado of hip hop and all their jumping around, helps fill the huge void and brings a more engaging experience for the fans – something which is often lost via the DJ sets in there.
FlyLo’s live performance was again something to behold. Although not veering too far from his show here the previous year, his music is still ingenious, filled with sparks of emotion and rippling bass weight. The visual show is just as involving as the music and together made for quite the experience.
Since his DJ Kicks mix, calls for John Talabots DJ sets have increased three fold, something he wouldn’t of expected a couple years back when he professed he really knew nothing about DJing and would stick to his revered live show instead. Talabot’s selections oozed in underground cool, but in places he lacked that tougher punch, that really knocks a room into a rave.
Taking a little respite into the easy breezy sphere of room three, Illumsphere was nonchalantly crossing tempos and genres with a delectable spice, that people could really spread out and groove to. In there it felt like all inhibitions were dropped at the plastic sheet doors and everyone just freaked out as they pleased, though maybe it was just the incredible disco cuts Illumsphere was playing that led to such revelry.
Moseying over to room three for the final time – by now drenched in sweat and indulgently immersed in the party – the beginnings of Jamie XX caused such confusion and mysticism, that some were spreading whispers the actual band were performing. In summary the music went silent, strips of flame lights dully glowed, before whizzing in procession back through the room and little spots of yellow popped up on the back wall. The whole commotion led one friend to say, “he’s taking the piss out of us here”, though in hindsight I feel it was simply the mind of a genius at work once again.