Last month marked the re-opening of one of the UK’s, if not the world’s most exciting and unique venues. The disused railway depot has become home to The Warehouse Project’s annual autumn/winter rave season after their move from the iconic Store Street in 2019. Initially used by the Manchester promoters in 2018 for a series of one off shows, the cavernous Depot Mayfield now holds 10,000 ravers across three individually striking rooms – Depot, Concourse and Archive.
Friday 1st October saw two rooms in action for the progressive king’s return to WHP. Making his debut in the new venue, Eric Prydz curated a show-stopping lineup for the venue’s main room; Depot, whilst the live acid techno sensation Reinier Zonneveld set up shop in the Concourse for a night of non-stop bangers.
For more info on the venue itself, production & sound check out our previous review of BICEP here. The only changes since this, is that mixers are now £6.50, or £10 for a double and lockers are available on site. £5 will get you a small and £10 for a large unit, with the key to open being a refundable £10 deposit.
Cristoph b2b Franky Wah
Two titans of the progressive and melodic house genres, who’ve slingshotted into the limelight in recent years. Following similar paths, both artists first made a name for themselves producing tech house, before honing their sound to international success. Their performance together at The Warehouse Project was a world first b2b, and what better show to choose for it.
The two hour set took us on a journey across various corners of electronic music. Touching on hair-raising melodies from the likes of Massano – “The Feeling”, to the iconic beat of Lil Louis’ 1989 classic “French Kiss”, and all the way up to the heavy-hitting sounds of Cyclo by Traumer. Alongside some of their go-to selections from other artists, saw the pair’s own production also getting a spin. The spine-tingling collab “The World You See” released on Pryda Presents back in February being a stand-out moment from the set.
Sharing the stage with Eric Prydz in the UK once more following their performance at Printworks in 2020, was the melodic powerhouse duo ARTBAT. Continuing their upward trajectory, the two experienced artists Artur & Batish have seen their hectic touring schedule back in full swing since the world re-opened. Armed with a flurry of new production and previous favourites, they stepped up to the Depot for a memorable 90 minutes.
Drawing on our heart strings throughout the set, tracks filled with emotion and euphoria and became a theme throughout. The likes of “For A Feeling” being a prime example. The collab with Camelphat released in 2020 was met with a huge reception from the thousands watching in awe. Another highlight from the set included their remix of “Hypercolour” featuring distinct the vocals from Foals which rang around the room with the crowd singing along.
Another debut set for the night came from Filth On Acid head honcho Reinier Zonneveld. The 30 year old Dutch artist has taken the techno world by storm thanks to his high octane performances laced with acid frenzies. His first performance in the Concourse made no exception.
Kicking things off with an extended intro edit of “CSE” had the tension in the room at an all time high. Looping vocals, invigorating snare rolls and an unhinged acid line slowly built anticipation before the sudden introduction of a whopping kick drum sent the crowd crazy. Relentless high-paced beats continued throughout his performance, with notable moments coming from ID remixes of Felix Da Housecat’s “Silver Screen Shower Scene” and “Born Slippy” by Underworld.
Known around the world as the quintessential progressive house DJ, Eric Prydz has been circling the globe showcasing his unique and innovative music since his debut release almost 20 years ago. Not one to settle for just an audio performance, Eric attracts crowds globally for his use of holograms, lasers, and eye-opening visuals which are infamous across social media. This was Eric’s debut performance at the depot, with his last Warehouse Project show back in 2008, and off the back of a mini tour of the UK (with shows in Cardiff and Liverpool) we had high hopes for what was to come.
Eric’s performance was an eclectic array of records across his three aliases – Prydz, Pryda, and Cirez D – each with a slightly alternative take on prog. The crowd erupted with cheers and hands in the air as the chords from “Layers” creeped in, before the bass line sent the crowd into overdrive. “Rotonda”, a firm fan favourite was felt throughout the room as the warning siren brought the track to its crescendo.
A standout moment from the set had to be Cirez D – “Gobber”, not heard in an Eric performance since EPIC 3.0. Combined with a flurry of green lasers, the crowd roared as the mind-melting synth burst through the speakers – truly special. Closing on “Opus” was predictable but met with a huge crowd reaction, we can see why Eric regularly features this record in his sets.
Overall, a well-run event with an excellent lineup across the two rooms. Eric’s performance was the highlight of the night, though every DJ brought their A game. We look forward to our next visit to the hallowed Depot! While the music was on point all night, it’s fair to say that the speakers were not performing at full capacity. At times during Artbat it was hard to even tell what was playing, and some of Eric’s performance lacked the oomph leaving one to desire more. We hope that this isn’t a regular feature throughout the series – what were your thoughts on the sound system?