For a while now, Selective Hearing has been at the forefront of Manchester and Leeds underground clubbing scene. Their line-ups never disappoint and with the likes of Tom Demac, Basic Soul Unit, and the rising American talent Anthony Naples stepping up this time around, last Saturday was no exception.
Selective Hearing presented Manchester a refreshing change of clubbing, going back to the roots of underground dance music, offering some of the most exciting acts in techno & house; but this time in the confines of an old, disused warehouse – good ol’ 90s style. As many of us will be aware and slightly depressed that we missed the ‘golden era’ of dance music, it was great to see Selective Hearing try to commit as much as possible to recreating a similar vibe. The revealing of the venue on the day of the event and the bring-your-own-booze policy were all great details that helped contribute towards that feel.
The venue did not disappoint either; lurking hidden on the outskirts of Manchester city centre (where all good rave locations should be) the warehouse was a simple setup of a top for dance area and a middle floor chill-out/ smoking section. The balance worked brilliantly throughout the night: though there are no complaints about the top floor becoming a gritty sweatbox early on, the significantly cooler lower floor was perfect to regroup and recharge ready for another assault of the dance floor.
With a perfect setting for some pure industrial techno, the acts obliged beautifully showcasing some of the best that is out there at moment. Basic Soul Unit offered some of the rawest cuts, pummelling us with his high energy, high octane bangers. Anthony Naples brought great range and a very accomplished set, as well as bringing me a personal highlight when he switched from Paranoid London’s ‘Paris Dub 1’ to Levon Vincent’s of Mike Dehnerts ‘Umlaut2’. Jozef K was arguably the standout however, dropping some of the most appropriate acidy, booming techno that really kicked the night off well, and made you feel closest to being part of those classic old skool raves the night was so well committed to recreating. The irony here was Jozef K being on so early, knowing in hindsight that he would produce a set like that he should have definitely been primetime material!
My only gripe with the night would be, quite surprisingly, the crowd. Though Selective Hearing is usually so well renowned for its crowds there seemed to be a lack of energy coming from it at some points in the night; Tom Demac even at one point screamed ‘COME ON!’ as the crowd barely reacted to one of his many (perhaps overused) build ups. Whether it was due to the sweaty draining conditions, or most people enjoying themselves a bit too much on those ridiculously comfy sofas downstairs, the crowd definitely could have been better at points.
Either way, overall Saturday was a spectacular success. Here’s to hoping that this kind of ‘warehouse project’ continues and becomes a permanent fixture and part of Manchester’s underground clubbing scene.