Project 13 w/ DJ Stingray, Helena Hauff, Pangaea & Peverlist

Manchester-based music movement and label, Project 13, exhibited another mind-bending line-up at Hidden, with Stingray 313, Helena Hauff, Pangaea, and Peverlist giving the soundsystem a well-deserved battering.

Project 13 have showcased a broad roster since their initiation, with the likes of Addison Groove, DJ Spinn, and Tessela regularly tearing up seedy, basement-esque venues across Manchester with a horizon of underground sounds.

The aptly named Hidden, which is located just off Cheetham Hill Road, is one of these purposely derelict-looking locations; upon eventually managing to find it down the back streets of Salford, two-steppers and gun-fingerers from across the country unite.

Amidst complaining about paying four quid for a can of red stripe and queuing for fifteen minutes at a time for a piss, Hess and Acre began warming the decks.

Hess, a Detroit techno extraordinaire, occupied room one, with Project 13 resident, Acre, given skanking duties downstairs in the Basement.

Easing in with some unruffled, minimal techno, Hess, who has celebrated EPs on Omar S’ FXHE, and Carl Craig’s Planet-e, created a warm, collected atmosphere on the dancefloor. The likes of ‘Transform’, from 2009 LP ‘Light In The Dark’, being one of several to induce light head-bobbing around the room.

Downstairs in the Basement, Acre obtained a different approach, getting straight to the point with a bold selection of wonky UK Techno, Bass, and other 140bpm bliss. The eerie, melancholic sounds of ‘Spiral’, and ‘Always Crashing’ from debut Tectonic LP ‘Better Strangers’, contrasting with hard-hitting, percussion-laden grime/techno hybrids such as 2014 Project 13 release ‘Symbols’.

As Hess’ set came to a close upstairs, a now animated crowd bounced vigorously to his 2015 Adventures in Deep Space A-side, ‘Pillars of Creation’, while Helena Hauff began delving into her record bag.

Likewise, in the basement, Hessle Audio and Hadal founder, Pangaea, had taken the stage. Immediately diving onto the turntables with some classic jungle, followed by stints of reggae, the versatile as ever underground pioneer switched up the vibes with ease.

As the set progressed into a more techno-orientated affair, it certainly did not stagnate; from 4×4 cuts such as KiNK’s remix of DJ Dozia’s ‘Pop Culture’, to breaky lo-fi numbers; the likes of Joy Orbison & Herron’s uplifting ‘Bells Walking’, under their CO/R moniker, and some sheer absurdity in the form of Bleaching Agent’s ‘37ml’.

2013 Hadal release ‘Viaduct’ was among the original Pangaea material that graced the basement dancefloor, with ‘More Is More To Burn’ and ‘Skips Desk’ from debut LP ‘In Drum Play’ further complementing a set brimming with diversity.

Upstairs, Ninja Tune and Werkdiscs regular Helena Hauff had descended the Blue room into bedlam, with an extensive mixture of dub, acid, and breakbeat techno prompting quaking from both the crowd and the not-so robust Hidden walls. A Made Up Sound’s ‘Syrinx’, Bass Junkie’s ‘Robot Movement’ and Umwelt’s ‘Delinkant’ being the pick of a fierce, sinister selection.

Following on from where Pangaea had left off, Punch Drunk boss Peverlist showed why he is not only one of the best producers in UK underground, but also one of the best selectors. Incorporating a mixture of renowned Livity Sound material, including ’21 Versions’ by himself and Hodge, Bruce’s ‘Tilikum’, and Kowton’s ‘Holding Patterns’, with cuts from UK techno/bass up-and-comers Kouslin and Hypho, displayed his devotion to promoting new artists with the genre. Hodge & Randomer’s new techno roller ‘Simple As’ further assisted in well and truly blowing the roof off.

Rounding off the night was Detroit techno and footwork connoisseur DJ Stingray 313, who, Balaclava-faced as always, instigated immense levels of confusion amongst 4×4 revellers. Witnessing people attempt to dance to Boddika’s ‘Electron’ pitched up to 150bpm was a thing of hilarity and beauty entwined into one.

It was no-holds-barred as Stingray went in for the kill with the final set of the night, record after record of complete mayhem. Paul Blackford’s ‘Get Down’ was a personal highlight, before Stingray’s own ‘Binarycoven’ shut Hidden down in style, closing a spectacle which left everyone feeling just a little less compos mentis than when they’d first arrived. It was techno pandemonium from start to finish, with Berlin, Detroit, and UK elements formulating a blend of head-melting wonder.