Aphex Twin - Warehouse Project
Live Review

Aphex Twin – Warehouse Project, Manchester

This was the first Warehouse Project to sell out so tickets are flying outside. It doesn’t happen all that often but tonight Aphex Twin is in town. The man with more monikers and pseudonyms than Jason Bourne. Rolling in on a 300 wheeler white stretch limousine with a couple of chavs spread over the bonnet for effect, picked up on the outer ring road. A couple of fans skulk around in masks; creepy Richard D. James album cover cardboard faces masks.

What we don’t realise is as Aphex Twin opens with some gentle vaginal exercises for the ladies, we are minutes away from an onslaught of the most extreme break beats. A pure Drukqs style set of stinging beats. Rising, escalating thumping electronica that will defy belief. We will be thrown into a terrifying slugfest of a moshpit, jostling for air and space to dance. James has a reputation to uphold for being a twisted gargoyle, sick in the head. The entourage consisting of three professional gurning bodybuilders ticks that check box. Dressed in white Aphex Twin logo shirts they strut, shake their booties, gurn for England and generally milk the crowd. It’s wrong, just wrong but we expect nothing less and are actually surprised to see they don’t have Aphex Twin faces latexed on or some shit. Get on it Cunningham.

The only recognisable beat in Luke Vibert’s set is Radio Ga Ga, though someone is certain SOADs Toxicity was in the mix. The electro master carefully builds the set to a crescendo but it lacks impetus with the understanding that most people have some to see the Cornish Tuss. Thus it detracts from Vibert’s set, which although restrained and crafted rather than lethargic or detached is to some a disappointment but at times sensational and includes some beats to be savoured. With Vibert you can see him, if you watch close, changing the track, flicking switches, dropping the beats. Aphex Twin on the other hand provides a complete mystery. Too fast, too severe, too much for the naked eye.

All the bedroom DJs, dreadlocked freaks, geeks and nerds are clued up and plugged in to this. The legacy of AFX and the hordes of fantastic Wagonchrist and Vibert albums in existence are stacked up for one great night of partying. This explains the entirely different crowd in tonight than we saw for Soulwax or Pendulum previously. The line up is the most subversive and eccentric, yet the first to sell out. This was a show not to be missed, the biggest gig not just in Manchester but the country on this night.

Now time for the usual WHP rant and rave and a word form our sponsor. Why is the Bud so damned expensive and why can’t I get a Stella? (Thanks for the guestlist!) If they continue to putting on nights like this no one is going to petition for change, oh contraire. We’ll sup the Yankee lager until we piss stars and stripes, then grin and bear the pain. Cheers!

In the surging throng of the Piccadilly caverns the screaming crowd, moshed, danced and writhed in the most expressive way to the most advanced music on the planet. Those who stayed for Otto Von Schirach need their heads checking. The crowd just bays for techno but these are the musical samurai, ninjas of the nu-classic, the makers of dreams, subtle masterful artists. Is there anybody still there?

We rose to full throttle, we overshot in a climactic sensory overload and in the sick and twisted mayhemic aftermath we knew we were there to bring this report to you.

picture: Johann Crufts

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