Review: Adam Beyer brings his Drumcode brand to the Transmission series in Manchester.

Photo: Jack Kirwin
Like Juan Atkins answered our prayers, Adam Beyer brought Drumcode to Manchester with a line-up that got us a little too excited. And despite waking up with the mother of all colds I was determined to not miss out on one of my personal favourites from the Transmission series, so we headed on down to The Albert Hall with a shit load of tissues. 
I could write sonnets on why I love, and why Manchester needs the Albert Hall, but I’ll refrain. But to summarise, it’s a beautiful old grade II converted church with a quality sound system, what more do you need?

Arriving we entered to Warehouse’s own golden-boy Greg Lord who was warming the crowd up with some tech-house tunes, playing tunes like Particle Shower (The Martian, Red Planet) that built as the crowd did. He perfectly succeeded in getting the crowd warmed up and moving, with his tech-funk tunes reverberating around the grand old architecture of the venue.  

Hotflush’s Dense & Pika were after. One of my favourite duos to receive their due appreciation in 2014 stepped up to the decks to a revved up crowd. Separately (and collectively to be fair) the duo have achieved great success as Glimpse (Chris Spero) and Hypercolour co-founder Alex Jones.

Photo: Jack Kirwin

Bringing both personas, their set featured a load of their fellow Hotflush comrades and endless variations of percussion and speeds. Their own tracks repeatedly made appearances with ‘Move Your Body Back’ going down a treat with the crowd, however none did more so then the beast; ‘Colt’. Bumping into Alex in the smoking area, he seemed lovely and modest about the set they’d just played and he even managed to handle my over-eager fangirl talk.

Photo: Jack Kirwin
Scuba entered the stage to a series of weird techy sounds, which dramatically erupted into a song with his name lit in lights. Combining genres with an obvious bass heavy theme underneath, and delivering his signature take on techno with chunky house chords and trance-like melodies warped in. Again, staying true to his roots his set was also very Hotflush heavy, with Elysium (Looked Groove & Mind Against) being one of my slightly biased picks. Joined on stage by some Burial type graphics his set was everything you’d want from him, uncompromising to trends while simultaneously ticking every box. 
Yes, and yes.

Photo: Jack Kirwin

Stepping on stage to Scuba’s ‘Plateau’ with a seamless transition was the main man himself, Adam Beyer. Delivering a set packed with his signature heavy percussion and loop-orientated style, he kept the crowd dancing in a techno-trance. Having longer sets (Adams’ was almost 2 hours) meant the DJs could play around a bit, with Adam doing this playing dark beats that rise up pumping energy through the crowd. Despite a reasonably long hiatus since I last saw him, it didn’t feel like it, he played a very Beyer-ish set, without playing the same recycled tunes.

After firmly restoring our love-affair with the Drumcode master, his prodigy Alan Fitzpatrick took over. Distributing beats like they’re going out of fashion, his set was fast paced with heavy bass and the occasional corrupted vocal chucked in. The final set of the night, the crowd felt some kind of togetherness as he left us with beautifully echoey tunes.

Fitzpatrick’s set seemed to fly by and as the night drew to a close and the crowd began to thin out I did begin to acknowledge that for such a strong line-up it didn’t feel as rammed as the venue should have been. Manchester waits months for a strong techno line-up and half of me wondered whether if a year ago this would have been busier…
Despite this, Transmission managed to deliver again, a beautifully constructed line-up in one of the UK’s best venues. And, I will definitely return, waving my arms and money about.

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