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Drumcode at The Warehouse Project review

Jack Law headed to one of the final Store Street shows to catch sets from Adam Beyer, Maceo Plex and more.

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 15th Nov 2018

Image Credit: Gemma Parker Photography

The end of Store Street is nigh (again). It was 7 years ago that the team behind The Warehouse Project first announced its much loved home would be no more. Thus began a relatively short stint at Victoria Warehouse, a much larger venue that delivered on space but at times lacked the intimacy and character of the previous.

As WHP regulars pined for a return to the spiritual home, Store Street, it seemed the promoters did too and it wasn’t long before the move back took shape. Another four years on however, the end of Store Street has been announced once more and this time, it might just be for good. 

Drumcode has become a firm fixture in the WHP party calendar, which typically runs for 12 weeks. Adam Beyer’s imprint has become one of the biggest in the underground techno circuit, a label pioneering in the darker side of techno. Tonight, Beyer remained at the helm as per, inviting along with him some Drumcode family favourites. 

On entry we made for the cloakroom and the effects of a sold out Store Street became apparent, more so than in previous years. Queuing would become a regular theme of the night. Once our coats were in, we made round the already bustling main room crowd who were lapping up Rudosa’s no nonsense techno, including Joyhauser's 'c116w'.

Rudosa is one of Manchester’s own rising stars, thanks to an ever growing DJ presence alongside a string of high power productions, which regularly feature in the sets of Richie Hawtin, Amelie Lens and the Drumcode boss himself. An aptly placed main room debut. 

By the time we managed to worm our way through to a spot on the dancefloor, Maetrik was taking over. The deeper, more sinister alias of Maceo Plex took time out of touring for the last couple of years but thankfully Drumcode kick started his return earlier this year. Of course Maceo Plex is himself a leading figure in the techno scene, but Maetrik live brings a much grittier sound.

Thudding bass kept a solid tempo constant throughout the one hour artist performance. A medley of his own productions pulsated a cool energy from the high powered soundsystem, exquisitely dark minimal undertones that made the battle for dance space well worth it.

Not before long it was time for the mask of Maetrik to come off, as live set turned to DJ set with a one off back to back performance from Maceo Plex and Adam Beyer. Plex kept it stripped back whilst Beyer injected that typical Drumcode sound, progressive synth laden techno grounded by thumping basslines and fist pumping buildups. Beyer continued with this flavour into his own solo set until the early hours. 

Toilet stops and cigarette breaks were for the most part difficult - it seemed hoards of people were trying to get to the same place at the same time, for most of the night. Maybe rising popularity has meant Store Street has bit off more than it can chew. But the production and the setting cannot be overshadowed and those iconic, rough bricked arches continue to provide a fitting backdrop. 

Amelie Lens rounded up proceedings with her fast paced and downright dirty techno beats, a fitting ending to a night showcasing the heavier side of the genre. As always, Drumcode delivered and the lineup selection had been as on point. The countdown to the closure of Store Street continues, one which we will follow closely in anticipation of what will come next from The Warehouse Project. 

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