Warehouse Project Sounds Of The Near Future Review
Venturing across the Pennines, Exposed checks out Sounds of the Near Future at The Warehouse Project in Manchester, with sets from Bonobo, Jamie XX and George Fitzgerald, among some of the best up and coming DJs on the house and techno scene.
With the Warehouse Project back in its spiritual home tucked away under Piccadilly train station on Store Street, the doors have barely opened yet the atmosphere is electric and it’s not long until the carpark-by-day is packed to the rafters. Having visited the Victoria Warehouse where WHP has resided for the last couple of years, I can safely say that the Store Street venue wins hands down. More intimate without being too cramped, it’s all about the music here as no time is wasted following the lengthy one-way systems that carried punters from the loos to the smoking area and back at Victoria.
The first act we see is Sam Lewis, AKA SG Lewis who makes the bold move of playing live for the very first time in front of an audience. It’s a gamble that pays off for the Liverpudlian as he eases the crowd into the night with a slow, soulful and all-encompassing set. I get the feeling (and hope) this is just the beginning of SG’s live journey. Watch this space.
Next up Maya Jane Coles makes her Warehouse debut with her new Nocturnal Sunshine project, mixing bass and dub to some absolutely stunning visuals drawn up by Maya herself (check out the video below, animated by Lauren Hutchinson and David Altweger).
After this the crowd is well and truly warmed up for Bonobo. Enthusiastic applause welcomes Simon Green to the stage as lights and lasers beam off the sea of arms in the air and eager girls on shoulders show their appreciation for the ever popular ‘Cirrus’ hit that brought album The North Borders into the limelight back in 2013. The set follows on from this twinkly house anthem to encompass a huge range of sounds, from electronica to jazz, dub and funk; Bonobo is truly at the top of his game tonight, as the audience vouches for with their reaction to his 2014 EP ‘Flashlight’.
On the day of his Mercury Music Prize nomination for In Colours, and following a live performance at the Albert Hall, it’s clear main man Jamie XX is out to celebrate tonight. The party vibe permeates the audience throughout his set and there’s no doubt that his recent accolades are more than deserved. Treating the audience to tracks from the aforementioned album, highlights come in the form of song of the summer ‘Loud Places’ and the aptly named dream-like ‘Sleep Sound’. Using the chance to experiment, the set bounces between house, garage and even a splash of disco tinged dub, proving that the Londoner is not one to rest on his laurels when it comes to creating exciting and innovative beats. Certainly there’s no one more befitting to headline a night curated by a promotion company under the name of ‘Sounds of the Near Future’; Jamie XX has his finger well and truly on the pulse when it comes to cutting edge music.
George Fitzgerald follows, sampling tracks from his debut Fading Love, which was released earlier this year and sees the likes of Boxed In and Lawrence Hart provide vocals, and Special Request close what has been an extraordinary night with some classic drum ‘n’ bass, keeping the crowd on their toes until the lights come up what feels like all too prematurely.
For more from The Warehouse Project head to www.thewarehouseproject.com.