Celebrating birthdays has become a staple of many Manchester based nights; yet few can boast four years of prominence like Selective Hearing. Having hosted nights in most of the major cities in England and having featured previous guests such as: Marcel Dettmann, Blawan and Disclosure (before house music even charted), any Selective Hearing night is always greatly anticipated – let alone a birthday party. Described on their own Facebook as the “finest purveyors in all things house, techno and bass”, the Manchester night remain as on point as ever with the excessively weighty lineups which make up their four part celebration. Featuring the likes of Ron Morelli, Vakula, Kowton and Clark – to name but a few – the birthday festivities got underway in Manchester’s Gorilla club with house-techno mainstays Mano Le Tough and Prosumer stepping up to selection duties.
After Selective Hearing residents ensured the arriving crowd had been suitably warmed up, Mano Le Tough took to his headline set. The Irish-born-Berlin-resident was responsible for the original of one of last year’s most played tracks in the Tale of Us remix of ‘Primitive People’, yet this is far from the only reason Mano Le Tough, or Nail Mannion, earned plaudits over the past few years. None other than Kristian Beyer from Âme recently stated in an interview that: “Thanks to Mano Le Tough, I have no fears for the future of House”. Praise indeed, yet on the night Mannion showed there was substance to this claim with an all round fusion of vibe and precision that rewarded the promoters with a filled dance floor of grooving auditors. Frequent dives into ambient-techno was met regularly by stomping drops that always got a collective cheer from a crowd that was all but blown away when Daniel Avery’s remix of Audion’s ‘Sky’ was masterfully laid. As much as Mano Le Tough captivated his audience with bassline, he ensured a rounded set with Marcel Dettmann’s remix of ‘Bad Kingdom’ by Moderat lowering the mood with powerfully euphoric vocals. A set of this quality is rare and must be admired, especially when the majority of mixes came from vinyl. The only downside was the sound, or rather the lack of it, but still this falls on no ones shoulders other than Gorilla’s and was an unfortunate theme that also marginally marred the next DJ, Prosumer.
As a former Panorama Bar resident and certified Berliner it is no surprise to see Prosumer lay the motif of his set before it had even begun – by lugging three huge bags of vinyl onto the stage, the result of years of shopping at places such as Hard Wax, no doubt. Donning shorts with boots and sporting a large beard, the quirky Prosumer seemed destined to take the music in another direction after Mano Le Tough’s triumph. Working in tracks such as his own remix of Murat Tepeli’s ‘Forever’, Prosumer ensured a disco-synth-house vibe which kept the birthday atmosphere firmly in place until the end of the night. Again the slight lack of volume was the only negative to take from a well run event which ultimately cements Selective Hearing’s next three birthday nights as being essential trips out.