Project Thirteen have been making a name for themselves around Manchester, throwing small but lively parties at “Joshua Brooks” since September 2011. Although not exclusively dubstep, their line ups always heavily featured it, often playing host to locals such as Biome and Catacombs. I’ve managed to reach a few nights over their two years of partying and always enjoyed it, so when I saw they were planning a private “bring your own booze” warehouse party I knew it would be a top night.
The night was shrouded with mystery from the start with location and headliners kept completely secret until the night itself, bringing a real ‘free party’ vibe to the night, with texts being sent out later on, and no bar or proper venue, it took me back to the days of ‘GASH collective’, and really made the night feel special. At around 9pm we were texted informing us to make our way to an industrial unit in North Manchester, and to arrive only between 11 and 12pm.
As soon as we entered ‘the venue’, we knew we were in for an interesting night. The minimal artistic lighting dimly illuminated the warehouse, with a rig at one end and sofas scattered throughout, this was the perfect venue to host a really nice party. First up was a collection of the residents, providing an interesting journey through house, grime, and general bass music. Which started up the vibes nicely, and as the warehouse filled, the night really got going.
The first secret headliner was from Hypercolour, continuing with the mystery shrouded around the evening, he/she/they/it have chosen to remain unnamed! They continued the housey vibe, playing a range of techy and more atmospheric pieces. I recognized a few of the more techy pieces, but overall this was a range of 125 I am relatively inexperienced with, and I always really enjoy a set full of music I haven’t heard before, especially in a style I appreciate. They finished their with some funky grime, which really energised the crowd ready for the next headliner.
Next up was Hyperdub’s ‘Walton’, and although mostly unfamiliar with this artist, anyone signed to Kode 9’s label must have something special. His set consisted mainly of energetic grime and more funky pieces, which kept the crowd bouncing off the dodgy floor, and with P13’s mic men ‘Sparx’ and ‘T-man’ keeping the crowd going throughout, was another really enjoyable hour of music.
The final secret of the night was the ‘Deep Medi’ headliner, a label with a seriously impressive back catalogue, this was one of the main reasons I chose to attend, and nearly any artist from the Medi rota would have been decent. From 3-4 we were treated to an hour of ‘Commodo’, someone who has been making huge movements in the dubstep scene recently, and producing some really unique pieces of music. He continued the grime to start with, but quickly moved into his collection of rare and interesting dubplates, including his remix of ‘Miracles’ by Mala, a tune few people could touch and improve, and my personal favourite tune of the moment ‘Hyperreal’. The crowd went mental for Commodo, and the vibe in the warehouse at this point was perfect. Whether it was the right people, or the fact we could bring as much alcohol as we wanted, either way, things were going perfectly, and as the music got darker, everyone seemed to be feeling it still!
From 4 till 5, Stoke local ‘Catacombs’ went B2B with ‘Knowledge’, and with the two of them having a back catalogue of collaborations, their dubplate collection overlaps and this shows in the quality of mixing, and up until 5 we were treated to a collection of new tunes from across the dubstep spectrum, including DCult’s remix of ‘Organism’. From 5 until the end, Catacombs provided us with a mini exploration of dubstep’s past, including some DMZ classics and a tune he showed us earlier in the day, “Trip Down The Nile” by Manchester’s own MRK1, a really unique 2006 classic with some really Egyptian vibes, instant love for this tune.
All in all, the night was an absolute success; it took away from the horrors of normal clubs and put some really good music on in a really unique place. Recently, the overall quality of nights out has been really affected and it isn’t usually the quality of music, but the people and the venues that are putting a downer on things. From over violent or intrusive security, to crowds populated mainly by the cast of Geordie Whore, or whatever those mind numbing programs are called. But this night, with its secret line up, lack of over-promotion and grotty venue, created the free party vibe with a really varied and up to date line up, something I’ve been looking for from a night out for quite a while.
Big up to Jacob and everyone over at Project Thirteen, and we look forward to the announcement of your next line up, and especially part 2 of the Secret Sessions!
Written by Michael Thomas.
Special thanks to Gary Brown Multimedia who providied the photos for us! Check him out here:
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