Warehouse Project Presents: Sounds of the Near Future; Manchester, 13/12/13

Warehouse Project Presents: Sounds of the Near Future; Manchester, 13/12/13

Now in it’s eighth year, the organisers of Warehouse Project have had a good amount of time to refine the nights, and it’s worth mentioning how well thought-out they are. A one way smoking area to prevent congestion, an efficient entry system, posters and volunteers raising awareness of the potential dangers of drug use, and a quiet seating area for those who overlooked those warnings, all add up to make this as stress-free and as enjoyable a night as possible. On top of that, Victoria Warehouse provided a fantastic venue, and the three rooms were perfect for the acts that performed in them.

Lapalux properly kicked off the night in Room 1, the biggest of the three rooms, with the sound of big floaty string lines that verged on the euphoric. He’s a bit different to other electronic DJ’s out at the moment, but most certainly one to watch. The crowd were swaying, mesmerised, while he played a few of his chilled tunes like ‘Gold’ and ‘Guuurl’ before he dropped a massive remix of Khia’s ‘My Neck, My back’, with a solid jungle-vibe, changing the pace of the whole set. The acceleration from vibey, oozing synths to a bigger bass-heavy sound was a perfect way to warm the crowd up and get them ready for what was to come.

A quick change of scenery followed to see Cashmere Cat in Room 2. Although the room was smaller, the low ceiling and massive sound system blasted enough bass to vibrate your eyeballs. After opening with ‘Aurora’, he chilled the crowd with the piano line from his new song ‘With Me’, which slowly built until the massive bass line in the chorus caused everyone to go mad. Quickly followed by the ever-remixed Jeremih, with Cashmere Cat’s version of ‘773 Love’, and then his 2 Chainz – ‘No Lie’ edit. The melody line from ‘Mirror Maru’ drifted in, until the big percussive chorus dropped and the crowd jumped. There was only one way to end the set, and that was with his remix of Miguel’s ‘Do You…’ which got every single person in the room singing “Do you like drugs?”. So much for the strict drug policy.

Afterwards it was back to Room 1 for Thundercat, the bassist from American thrash band Suicidal Tendencies. He played some mad free-form psychedelic funk with a drummer and synth player, while a back projection of wobbling shapes and weird black and white film cuts, enhanced the oddness of the whole show. It was an incredibly fun set though, and a nice change to see live musicians in a profoundly DJ-orientated environment.

Then for Flying Lotus himself. The massive natural reverb in the room gave the set a full sound, and the projection onto the screen behind him actually overlapped the DJ booth at times, causing Flylo to disappear into psychedelic smoke rings as if being beamed into a space ship. His characteristic new-school hip-hop sound delivered even better than expected, with brilliant songs like ‘Getting There’. During his set he gave a short speech about reaching his potential, with just the right amount of arrogance he exclaimed he could feel the spirit of J Dilla, Freddie Mercury, and other kings of music in the room, before rather fittingly busting into ‘I’m God’ by Clams Casino. Then a massive remix of ‘Hold Me Back’ by Rick Ross, showing FlyLo’s deep roots in hip hop, which continued with Drake’s ‘Started From the Bottom’, even with his introduction of “Normally I wouldn’t play this shit”. Tnght – ‘Higher Ground’ made it impossible not to move, and the audience carried on stomping until FlyLo closed the set with none other than Queen – ‘Another One Bites the Dust’!

Kit Lockey