The Warehouse Project returns in just one month's time, kicking off with an opening sequence of four special shows including an exclusive live double-header. Take a look at how the first two weeks are shaping up...
Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September – LCD Soundsystem
Back in 2002, James Murphy inaugurated LCD Soundsystem’s musical career with the sardonic lament that he was losing his edge. Fifteen years on, with the freshly reformed LCD Soundsystem kicking the Warehouse Project 2017 season by selling out both opening shows, it’s fair to say that he may have been speaking a touch prematurely.
LCD are one of the rare band’s whose influence was as apparent during the opening stages of their career as it was after. James Murphy’s obsessions; leftfield disco, post punk, Chicago house and Detroit techno were worn proudly on his sleeve- and they turned out to offer a road map for the subsequent resurgence of dance music that followed. When LCD burst on the scene as part of New York’s DFA label (run by Murphy, along with his production partner Tim Goldsworthy and the manager Jonathan Galkin), common consensus had it that dance music was dead. Indie bands and RnB dominated worldwide. Bands like The Strokes dominated America whilst The Libertines and Muse commanding all the column inches and radio play in the UK.
Nightclubbing, which had spent the 90s in inexorable rise, had finally hit a downward spiral, with venues closing, attendance dropping and countless articles appearing in the press asking if dance music had finally run out of steam. Most tellingly, Ibiza saw the start of the Ibiza Rocks event, its line ups packed with indie bands in an attempt to continue to entice punters to flock to the White Isle in desperate battle to halt the dwindling interest in house music.
LCD went against all of this, defiantly proclaiming themselves in love with dance culture – and not the dance culture that had ballooned into a bloated affair of cynical Radio 1 DJs banging out endless compilations of empty trance-by-numbers. The dance culture that LCD championed was steeped in underground history. It celebrated the black, queer roots of house music, along with the outsider status of artists such as Talking Heads, and the emotional potential of Detroit techno. James Murphy’s collective understood the power that drum machine rhythms had to convey messages to the body and soul as the bands’ intricate lyrics delivered messages to the heart and mind.
This reclaiming of dance culture that LCD enacted led to a snowballing effect, with disco, house and techno rising up once more. The difference is, this time the much maligned, legislated against genres were recognised – perhaps for the first time – as music on a par with any of the supposedly ‘classic’ genres of rock or jazz that had come before. Not least of the effects of the rise of LCD was the fact that something like Warehouse Project is even possible; before Murphy reminded the world of the potency of excellent dance music, it’s not a given that a season devoted to dance music with heart and soul over stack ‘em high sell ‘em cheap clones could even operate. So as Murphy and co revisit the music the ever-thrilling, game changing music that made them household names, we’ll raise a glass; we can’t think of a more fitting way to start this year’s season.
Friday 22nd September – Welcome To The Warehouse Pt.1
Naturally, the lessons learnt from LCD were as much about dance music being a living, forward looking entity as it is something steeped in incredible history. So it only makes sense that our second opening weekend celebrates the finest DJs in the world right now. Headliners The Martinez Brothers and Ricardo Villalobos play very different styles, but are unified in one point; being the acknowledged best at what they do. The Bros headline a bill that pushes out into the myriad ways house can exist in 2017 – from the dark, techy bass of Eats Everything to the Hot Creations powered percussive explosions a set from Patrick Topping back to back with Richy Ahmed can be expected to provide.
Saturday 23rd September – Welcome To The Warehouse Pt.2
Saturday 23rd sees the Store Street venue embracing the world of techno alongside house – the previously mentioned Villalobos, a DJ with almost no peer, headlines a line-up that can leap from the metallic looping frenzy of Ben Klock’s take-no-prisoners techno to the sonic explorations of DJs DJ Ben UFO, to the impeccable, unique house and disco re-edits that Bicep come armed with. This, hopefully, sets the tone for the rest of this season’s WHP; a series of carefully curated events that pay homage to the titans of the past, whilst firmly believing that dance music is in a state of constant, joyous evolution. With bills that see first time WHP guests alongside much loved veterans of our eleven years of running events, we can join the dots between past, present and future – as ever, it’s as much about where we’re going as it is about where we’re from.
WHP17 Opening Sequence is now sold out. To view the full WHP17 calendar, click here