The slogan goes “For 12 weeks the city is ours” but in reality The Warehouse Project has been Manchester’s for over a decade now.
Inspired by the acid house explosion at the Hacienda in the late 80s, The Warehouse Project has become one of the world’s most respected clubbing brands, and it did it on its own terms; it isn’t a huge multi-million pound club, it only exists for 12 weeks a year, give or take, and they’ve never decided to chase fame and fortune away from the city in which it was founded.
Starting out at the iconic Boddingtons brewery, The Warehouse Project has called a lot of places home; after the brewery they moved to a car park and former air raid shelter beneath Piccadilly station, after that it was Victoria Warehouse, a stones throw from Manchester United’s ground, and now it’s back at its spiritual home, Store Street.
The Warehouse Project is the epitome of a gorilla club; over the last 10 years the only real constant has been the organisers, DJs and the punters.
For over a decade, every year the team behind the The Warehouse Project slaves for months to put on around 25 shows in 12 weeks, each an individual expression of a particular sound, scene or artist’s vision. One of the founders, Sam Kandel, explains the original concept perfectly, “The idea was to find an usual space, do like some really interesting shows, and then disappear.” And while they haven’t disappeared yet, 2015 looks like it’s going to be another bumper year at the iconic Store Street car park.
We take a look back at 10 artists who over the last decade have defined The Warehouse Project.
If there’s one artist who has evolved at the same rate at The Warehouse Project it would be former dubstep pioneer Skream. The Warehouse Project has been instrumental in shaping Oli Jones’ move away from dubstep, and into house and techno. In fact, it was a show in 2011 that opened Jones’ eyes to a world of possibilities away from his first love of dubstep. During a special house and techno set Skream dropped cuts from Mr Oizo, Boddicka and Drums of Death. “I don’t know what it is but there’s something different when you stand on the stage of the Warehouse Project – it’s electric,” explains the producer who will be back for Bugged Out’s stacked show in November.
Annie Mac has been a permanent fixture on The Warehouse Project line-ups since she created her Annie Mac Presents club night, and again this year she’s back and bringing along the likes of Julio Bashmore, DJ EZ and Harvard Bass for a proper knees up for two back-to-back shows in November. Not only has Annie hosted her nights several times – we’ve tried to count how many, and lost count at 15 – starting way back in 2008, the Irish DJ has welcomed in several New Year’s including 2012 and 2013. In fact, it wouldn’t be a proper Warehouse Project without Annie appearing at least once during the 12 week run.
Seth Troxler is a permanent fixture at the WHP, so much so he’s opened the event several times over the years, and again he opened this year’s run alongside the Martinez Brothers. The always out-spoken producer and DJ has been a divisive figure in recent years, but it’s his BBQ events in London and feeding homeless people at this week’s ADE that makes Troxler such an interesting proposition, clearly then – you can never have enough Seth Troxler, and he will be playing again in December alongside Jamie Jones all-night long.
Hawtin is well into double figures when it comes to WHP appearances, and while he might not be playing this year, he’s consistently wowed crowds with his bleeding-edge mixing and Minus showcase events over the years. Always one of the first events to sellout, Hawtin has brought along the like of Magda and Gaiser for countless memorable nights at both Victoria Warehouse and Store Street.
2 Many DJs
Belgium electro pioneers 2 Many DJs have played The Warehouse Project since the Boddington days, where they rocked up alongside Boys Noize and Belgian rockers Goose for a electro tour de force that’s still singed in our mind 10 years later. Sadly, they’re not playing this season but with a new label in the offing, DEEWEE, a new Die Verboten album about to drop, and rumours of a forthcoming Soulwax album ready to be rolled out, we wouldn’t bet against them being back in Manchester very soon.
German electro don Boys Noize has played The Warehouse Project so many times, it hard to keep count, he was there at the beginning in 2006, and unveiled his live show in the UK for the first time at Victoria Warehouse in 2012, where he stood atop of a Siriusmo-designed skull. That performance will always go down a high water mark for the German who is widely regarded as one of the hardest working DJs in the business, and who knows maybe he’ll be persuaded to bring his new Octave Minds live show to the Manchester soon alongside the imitable Chilly Gonzales.
Brought up on a steady diet of the Hacienda, Sasha is a Manchester legend, having DJ’d in the city for decades, previously at Sankeys and now more regurarly at The Warehouse Project, he too is another DJ who is well into double figures for Warehouse Project appearances. And, while he might not be there this year, he’s almost a shoe-in to return in the near future, especially given he’s taking some time off and reportedly working on the follow-up to his legendary ‘Airdrawndagger’ album.
German oddballs Modeselektor have been a staple at WHP since 2006, and have played all three venues during their career. This year, the duo will be bring Siriusmo with them for a special Siriusmodeselektor show, which got its Manchester debut this summer at Parklife. Expect to hear a load of classic cuts from the notoriously shy Siriusmo as Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary don the boiler suits once again and get down and dirty on November 13 to celebrate the end of their 50 Weapons imprint.
The evolution of D&B demigod Andy C has been incredible to witness over the years at WHP, in the early years Andy C headlined countless D&B shows for Metropolis and APE at all three venues. But more recently he’s been afforded the special honour of playing all night, just him and the crowd. Widely regarded as one of the best technical mixers around – who still uses vinyl, three turntables in fact – Andy C, it’s said, can beatmatch any D&B track in under 45 seconds without fail. He’ll be playing a special Thursday show on his own on December 10.
Whilst he’s not a household name like Troxler or Hawtin, that doesn’t mean Krysko’s contribution to The Warehouse Project hasn’t been any less important. He’s held three of the country’s most respected and revered residencies within the UK; The Redlight and Tribal Sessions at Sankeys Soap, Tribal Gathering and now the musical juggernaut that is The Warehouse Project, where he is the original and longest standing resident. If there’s one person who seen all the guises of The Warehouse Project it’s Krysko, “I have been trying to summarise the last 10 years of my life, and apart from having a child, I think the WHP has been the most consistently enjoyable event through the years, and definitely something I am most proud of. I would say ‘from its humble beginnings’; but Boddington’s was everything but humble, it was a statement of intent, and has continued at pace and vigour since. My continued role as a resident (nearly 14 years and counting, and the last decade here) has given me the chance to play alongside ALL of my heroes, and also see so much new talent come through and become regulars at our home, Store Street.”