In recent years lovers of drum n bass have been itching to see what cast of artists they will be treated to when Manchester’s The Warehouse Project has unveiled its world-renowned calendar of events.
A quick glance through the list will show how the large majority of shows hosted at the Store Street venue are of a house and/or techno persuasion, which is understandable given their greater presence in electronic music. That of course means that for those who like to hear sounds crafted at a more frenetic bpm, there is always the promise of some of the finest DJ/producers taking to the decks.
After attending the Manchester leg of RAM Records’ 25th birthday UK tour, which was the only other dnb-specific show at WHP this year, I was keen to see whether Metropolis would be capable of hosting a similarly spectacular party.
The brand doesn’t focus solely on dnb like RAM but still managed to assemble a monstrously good cast of artists including Chase & Status, Shy FX and Friction amongst others to celebrate a major milestone. Over the past 15 years Metropolis has developed a reputation for curating some of the most diverse lineups across a plethora of genres. Last weekend it felt like that was once again on full view.
At the beginning of the night I made a dart for room two where North Base proceeded to set the tempo with a barrage of earth-shattering numbers. The trio, who are native to the city, closed the minuscule room three last month for the RAM event, and like last time they curated the expert selection of tunes to rile the crowd up.
Although I arrived at WHP salivating at the cast of dnb artists set to perform I was also hugely excited to see the more left-field musicians like DJ Zinc and My Nu Leng.
When a DJ/producer seeks to satisfy their creative appetite in the most fulfilling manner it can often lead to a sumptuous end product. Zinc announced himself to the world by concocting an array of the sharpest dnb tracks but soon wanted to explore other sounds admitting a “disenchantment with the scene”. Recently positioning himself back on the front line after a brief hiatus, the Londoner has shown off his extraordinary versatility as a producer, creating certified hits in the sphere of house. This desire to make music encompassing a plethora of styles made for an unbelievable performance behind the decks.
The room had recently been enjoying one of dnb’s fast-rising stars, 1991, but went absolutely crazy when Zinc proceeded to switch things up completely.
Dnb might’ve been the main focus but that didn’t stop the crowd displaying their appreciation for a rather feisty side-offering of bassline, house and garage.
Zinc wasn’t the only one deviating from the primary agenda. Adopted Bristolians My Nu Leng have also made a name for themselves, consistently crafting a sound which is seldom constrained to one particular genre.
Metropolis has developed a proven formula for hosting the most exhilarating events. Always striving to curate line ups which include a huge amount of diversity has been a cornerstone of their success.
Room two was the area if I wanted a taster of the other exciting territories upon the bass music landscape but in truth it was difficult straying too far from the gargantuan stable of dnb heavyweights in room one.
When times passes you by at an alarming rate it is usually a sound indicator into how enjoyable something was. When Chase & Status, Friction and Dimension had the task of entertaining the crowd for the last three hours it seemed like a matter of minutes before the latter disappeared off stage. If WHP continue to stage a handful of dnb events which are filled with the kind of energy and diversity on offer like at the Metropolis show it is safe to there will always be an extraordinary demand.
Photo courtesy of Louis Brown and Gary Brown
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