This weekend sees two big launches in Manchester, when Sankeys returns with perhaps its strongest series of line ups in several years, as well as Transmission, a new venture between Warehouse Project, Trof and some of the biggest clubbing brands in the UK at the Albert Hall. Not to mention, the usual spread of smaller dancing opportunities scattered across the city.
Sankeys Opening Part 1 - Sankeys, Radium Street, Friday, £15
Over in Ancoats, Sankeys spends Friday in the company of Irish techno favourite Matador, an artist sharing a space on Minus recordings, signed by his hero, Richie Hawtin. His live set is a whirlwind of spiralling, abstract techno, and has been previously awarded with ‘Best Live Performer, Ibiza 2014’ at the most recent DJ Awards. Legowelt meanwhile, provides DJ support, digging through his own vast back catalogue of aliases and productions, and the current crop of some of the most out there, psychedelic techno available. Meanwhile, house with real feeling comes courtesy of Jovonn and Chappell, and upstairs at Spektrum is occupied by Freeman and Farrely, Jimmy Switch and Pedro.
Sankeys Opening Part 2 - Sankeys, Radium Street, Saturday, £15
Part 2 of the club’s 2015 opening offers a more distinctly house flavour, headlined by none other than Lil Louis, who since DJing from the age of 13 in Chicago, has enjoyed massive success with crossover hits such as Club Lonely and of course, French Kiss, infamous for it’s extended, orgasmic breakdown. Louis has recently completed The House That Chicago Built, a collection of 180 interviews with some of the true founding fathers and contemporary torch bearers of house, proving that he’s still one of the best connected guys in the business, not to mention, inimitable behind the decks. He’s joined by raw and ready deep house specialist Brawther, plus Music is Love regulars Oli Furness and Angus Jefford, plus Piccadilly Records’ deep digger, Matt Ward.
Transmission: Opening Weekend - Ram Jam & Viva Warriors, Peter Street, Friday/Saturday, Various Prices
Meanwhile, over at the newer (yet older) Albert Hall, the aforementioned Transmission series opens in the grandiose space with a Ram Jam special, headlined by David Rodigan, reigning king of UK dancehall, dub and reggae and generally one of the most enduring figures in UK dance music. He’s joined by an exhaustive and all-star line up of talent, including DJ Hype, Shy FX, Toddla T, The Streets’ own Mike Skinner and UK funky hero, Wookie. The following evening sees Steve Lawler and his ever popular ‘Viva Warriors’ brand fill out the venue with heady, pounding techno and house from Lawler himself, Innervisions’ selector Ame and Manchester favourite, Derrick Carter, who’ll also be playing a solo set at Gorilla, courtesy of local promoters, Ouse.
Transmission Funk - Joshua Brooks, Princess Street, Friday, £10
Joshua Brooks offers a typically more intimate but no less pounding evening on their Void sound system from heavyweight underground techno stars Randomer, and Happa, a prodigy barely out of his teens and keenly melding everything heavy and experimental into a sound favoured by a vast range of DJs from Annie Mac to Ben UFO, and Four Tet, who commissioned him to remix his own ‘Jupiters’.
Banana Hill - Soup Kitchen, Stevenson Square, Friday, £5
The ambitious but down to earth Sheffield promoters continue to impress in Manchester with another forward thinking and quite simply, incredibly good fun lineup, with Giles Peterson favourite Al Dobson Jr behind the decks, cosmically fusing jazz, hip hop and house and a range of stunning samples, while cult favourites Sumochief bring a live flavour to proceedings, performing a rambunctious set inspired by pioneers such as The Roots and J Dilla. Eclectic, unique and not to be missed.
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