Manchester has always had an underground club scene to be proud of, and for the past 10 years The Warehouse Project has been right at the heart of it, turning heads toward the city from all of the country thanks to it’s discerning lineups and uncompromising production values. This autumn and winter The Warehouse Project will be returning for its 11th year, but this time round it will no longer stay put in it’s current home of Store street. Instead, the brand will be spreading it’s influence further across the city taking up residence at a number of different venues throughout the 11-week season. With shows set to be staged at Old Granada Studios, The Albert Hall and Manchester Academy, along with the underground caven of Store street, the latest season is shaping up to be one of the biggest to date.
Following last week’s lineup announcements, we caught up with WHP mainstays Greg Lord and Krysko to quiz them on the new venue developments for the 2016 season .
Hi guys, you have not long been back from Sonar Festival in Barcelona. How did you find flying the flag for The Warehouse Project at one of the world’s leading electronic music festivals?
GL: Truly honoured, we have been going to Sonar since early 2000s and it still sets the bench-mark for bringing together the finest contemporary electronic music artists in one city each year, we are absolutely chancing it to pretend we were playing alongside our peers but we nailed our peak time slot and the whole collaboration was really well received. I won’t forget that weekend any time soon.
As you are aware, The Warehouse Project will return to Manchester this Autumn for its 11th season. How are you feeling about getting back into the swing of things over the 12-weeks?
GL: More keen than ever, it’s true to say there is more quality inspiring music available than ever before and the everlasting quest for that perfect magic dance-floor moment goes on and on.
This time round, WHP will be putting to use a number of other venues in Manchester alongside its home at Store Street. Could you give us a little bit of insight into some of the venues you will be appearing at throughout the season?
GL: Yeah there’s a really big one with massive sound systems in, that one is amazing. The other one with a massive sound system and laser lights in is something else. In all seriousness though, Store Street lends itself to so many different shows, but to have other options gives the season a bit more variety, like the Autechre show in the Old Granada Studios.
(Autechre play Old Granada Studios (pictured) Sat 26th Nov - Photo: Old Granada Studios)
From your experience at Sonar, how easy was it to recreate the essence and vibe of The Warehouse Project at a new venue?
GL: More so than we imagined, we were billed after Stormzy who is one of the biggest Grime artists in the world and not our usual gig. WHP has always had a diverse programme over the course of a year with acts that have ranged from Aphex Twin to Hot Creations. The SonarLab stage we were hosting had a programme cutting across electronica, grime, house and techno, the energy levels and vibe felt intense and full on which WHP is famous for
Store Street has come to be an iconic symbol of Warehouse Project in recent years. To what extent do you think The Warehouse Project has the ability to become as equally synonymous with the other venues being used over the course of the upcoming season?
Krysko:I don't think the aim of hosting WHP shows in different venues is to become synonymous with the venues as such, our home is store street but having the option to feed into other venues during the store street season creates more of a buzz across the city as it gives people a different experience.
Out of all of the venues WHP has taken over, which is the one that stands out for you?
Krysko: Obviously Sonar is up there with one of the best. I'd say as 'one-off's' go in Manchester, the WHP curated event at Mayfield Depot for MIF was incredible, and on an ongoing basis it'd have to be the Albert Hall - it's almost like the polar opposite of Store Street, a cavernous underground carpark, and the Albert Hall with all its grandeur, it's a really good yin yang of rave.
(Carl Craig and Mike Banks at WHP 10x10 Day & Night at Mayfield Depo - Photo: Gary Brown)
With The Warehouse Project set to be spread across Manchester this season, on the whole, what effect do you think the brand has had on the city’s club and electronic music scene since its inception 11 years ago? Have you noticed any specific development?
GL: Our personal view is there is now such a strong sub culture of parties/events/venues which truly reflect what Manchester has always been about, a melting pot of creativity and magnet for party people who are driving electronic forward music in the UK and this is recognised the world over. When you bring 10s of 1000s of people to the city over this relatively short period of time every season, and many come to more than one show, if they are from outside Manchester, naturally they are going to start seeking out other nights and venues... which can only be a positive for Manchester's music scene. I think what the WHP does well, it shines a spotlight on the city and brings it to the attention of a lot of people. The same way when we started going to Berghain/Panorama Bar in Berlin in 2008, we made regular trips back but then we wanted to search out other nights as well, like Homopatik, Renate and loads more. It's a very positive effect on the city.
As with every season, you will have featured on a wide range of diverse lineups. If you could curate your own perfect lineup based on artists and DJs you have previously appeared alongside, who would you pick?
GL: Underground Resistance pres. Galaxy to Galaxy live, Theo Parrish, Andrew Weatherall, Jeff Mills, DJ Harvey, The Black Madonna, Mr Ties... (far too many to list fully!)
Finally, for someone who has never experienced The Warehouse Project, could you give an idea of what to expect over the 12 weeks?
GL: Really jaded Sundays then many Monday's from hell.
(Store Street, The Warehouse Project's underground lair - Photo: Gemma Parker)
Interview by Elliot Ryder
Main photo courtesy of Here & Now