House and Techno are two of the most accessible genres in electronic dance music, subsequently drawing huge crowds in raves all across the globe. Since the late 80s the two genres have, in some shape or form, dominated dance floors across a multitude of settings to such an extent that many see them as the quintessential essence of dance music. In countless circles what it means to rave is inextricably linked to House or Techno, or both. After all, both genres had their birth in tandem with the LGBTQ community as music to lose yourself in. And as escapism is the ultimate goal of clubbing there is no surprise the genres are still commonplace today.
The music truly is a worldwide phenomenon that crosses multiple generations as well as borders. From originators such as Jeff Mills, Frankie Knuckles or Larry Levan, all the way through to the current pantheon of House and Techno producers breaking into the mainstream (ie. Disclosure or Nina Kraviz), it just proves at the inherent timelessness in the genres. Much like Drum & Bass, it seems these key parts of the electronic dance music sphere will be around for quite some time. You would be hard pressed to find anywhere on earth where House and Techno raves aren’t common, with so much on offer the choice can often seem somewhat bewildering. Sounds like a guide to the best July House and Techno events across the UK is in order then doesn’t it? Don’t mind if we do.
Whilst London was still in the iron grip of the rare groove movement, up north Manchester (or Madchester as it came to be known) was fully in the midst of a rave transformation that would send shockwaves up and down the country. Legendary nightclubs such as The Hacienda, owned by members of New Order, paved the way for an infatuation with clubbing and kick-started the rave revolution of “Madchester”. The city had a rich heritage in House music even before this, but it was nights like “Hot” at the club that spawned the birth of Acid House and brought the darker, more frenetic sound of Detroit Techno into the fray. It is no exaggeration to say that the culture of House and Techno across the UK would be nowhere near the same without Manchester’s formative influence. Following this influence the city is still packed to the brim with raves, let’s take a look at some top picks in July.
Left, Right & Centre – DJ Lag + Strange Riddims at Joshua Brooks (13th July)
In one of the most unique bookings Manchester will see all summer, Left, Right & Centre invite the Gqom king DJ Lag to Joshua Brooks for a night of industrial South African underground dance music. The man is somewhat a pioneer of the genre, a sound that can be loosely aligned with broken Techno and more experimental sides of UK Funky. Although he regularly finds himself touring the world, DJ Lag is a rare face on the UK club circuit, and the chance to see him should always be taken with open arms.
It is, quite frankly, very hard to hear anything quite like Gqom in 99.9% of venues around England at the moment, and it’s a shame, because it is a fascinating genre that rarely fails to get people moving. Take a look at DJ Lag’s Boiler Room from 2017 to get an idea of its power. The gig may take place in London, but this genre native to the South African city of Durban easily traverses any geographical boundary in its pursuit of ferverous dancing. This is a wholly unique event in Manchester’s club calendar, and at only £6 is it really something you can afford to miss?
Secret Garden Rave at Gorilla (27th July)
Summer-ized Sessions have ran hugely popular secret garden raves in various locations over the years, and this time it is Manchester’s turn to get the party treatment. In particular the highly well regarded venue Gorilla, a 600-cap space that is quickly becoming one of the city’s premier music and entertainment locations. It is the perfect marriage between critically acclaimed venue, and a promotion company that have serious pedigree, throwing parties in Ibiza to Goa, all the way through to Dubai.
The line-up is still being kept largely under wraps, but there is absolutely no doubt that it will contain the cream of the crop in current and classic House musicians. And anyway, that’s only part of the appeal with the Secret Garden Rave, because the organisers go to massive lengths to make it as unique an experience as possible. In typical fashion, they will transform Gorilla with their trademark décor, as well as bringing a shed-load of glitter and confetti for the ride as well. This is set to be one hell of a fun party, get your £16.75 second release tickets whilst you can!
Utopia Music Presents Floog & Annie Errez at Joshua Brooks (26th July)
Utopia Music return in late July for a typically well curated night that will encompass varying strains of House and Techno on a newly updated Void sound system – as if you thought the Joshua Brooks couldn’t get any better. The burgeoning events brand invite Floog down to headline the soiree, a Romanian musician who has been turning heads for a while now with his spellbinding take on underground House and Techno. For a taste of this check out the track “Suprapus”, a perfect example of his minimal kind of style.
Something we don’t see enough these days is live performances from underground dance producers, and this is also something Floog excels in. He makes full use of various drum controllers, analogue synths and some pretty exciting modular gear to ultimately produce live sets that are remarkably captivating. Hats off to Utopia Music for thinking slightly outside the box here, live performances can be so much more exciting than even the best of DJ sets. At £7 a ticket this night is also an absolute steal! Don’t miss out.
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