The Warehouse Project - Sounds Of The Near Future
Saturday 25th October 2014
Store Street, Manchester
You know what you’re getting with Warehouse Project: Big lineups, big crowds, big sounds. Sounds of the Future was no different, and it’s fair to say that the downsizing to the WHP spiritual home in Piccadily’s Store Street has thus far paid off.
The crowd was already packed as the synth-pipes of Rustie’s ‘Glass Swords’ swept into action, and the eternally youthful Scotsman was not shy in delivering a set packed with the ADHD buzz of his early productions. Though it’s always questionable how much of the proverbial “live set” is really true to name, it would be hard not to argue based on this performance that Rustie reads his audience just as well when playing out his own productions as he does when selecting the works of others, with the crowd responding to each track as if they’d requested it only moments ago. Maybe his Green Language era material doesn’t kick in quite the same way, but when you can draw on the euphoric synths of ‘Slasherr’ or the frenzied stabs of ‘Ultra Thizz’ at any point, well… the job’s already half done.
Suspect timetabling meant that we only caught the last twenty minutes of Lone’s set, but the Nottingham producer had clearly enjoyed the support of an enthusiastic crowd as he played opposite the visual talents of Konx-Om-Pax in room 2. Like Rustie, Lone played out tracks from his own back catalogue, including tracks off of the fantastic 2014 release Reality Testing, and it’s a shame that the size of his audience was reduced by the clash with one of the night’s biggest attractions. That said, the relative freedom of movement afforded in room 2 made it a far preferable location than the full-to-capacity larger space.
The same could certainly be said for Seven Davis Jnr, who struggled to compete with the draw of Can U Dance despite what seemed to be a pretty sterling set. Fans of the soulful American should listen out for his influence on the new Doc Daneeka EP, From Mine to Mistress, on which he features in the first and the final tracks, ‘What’s It Going To be’ and ‘I Promise’. Next time round, it’d be nice to see his position elevated to the main stage, preferably at the expense of the fairly tedious Kaystranada, whose set sadly could not live up to the standard set by first track ‘Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe’.
In fairness, Jackmaster & Oneman’s two-hour Can U Dance set is a force to be reckoned with, with its constant stream of party anthems proving to be one of the summer’s most popular slots at a wide variety of events. Though the pair’s best DJ EZ impression is undeniably fun, given that between them they play every banger ever to grace Ibiza, you could be forgiven for feeling the collaboration is a bit of a waste, especially after the fantastic solo mix Jackmaster recently put out for XLR8R. Ok, so you might be able to ID every track in the set, which is nice, but don’t you want to hear something new? It’s been great guys, but let’s go back to solo sets now.
Doubtless star of the night though was the ever-brilliant Hudson Mohawke, who delivered an absolutely flawless mix of his huge trap & electro-noise productions and an array of hip-hop favourites. It’s amazing just how huge Hudmo has become over the last few years, aided in no small-part by his dealings with Kanye and co., but even West’s tracks don’t go off as hard as ‘Thunder Bay’, a monster possessing the magical ability to both rile-up and slightly intimidate any crowd as the opening fuzz loop hits; it even managed to go off twice on the same night, with Can U Dance deciding to get in on the action again in the closing set. ‘CBAT’ has a similar effect, and was possibly the highlight of the show as it dropped to roars from the crowd.
Actually, anything Hudmo touches tends to become incomprehensively enormous, as the growl-accentuated ‘Chimes’ shows, and shouts must be given to the vast Warehouse Project sound system for managing to cope with such an onslaught.
Words by Andrew Kemp
Images courtesy of Gary Brown