Taking place in the cavernous Mayfield Depot over four nights this November, ‘Special Edition’ is a series of music events presented by Manchester International Festival and The Warehouse Project. Featuring performances by musicians at the top of their game, the series has the stamp of approval of BBC 6 Music DJ Mary Anne Hobbs, who previously collaborated with MIF on the ‘Dark Matter’ concerts at The Ritz and Gorilla during its 2017 festival.
This time, MIF welcomes Bonobo (3 Nov, 4pm-1am), who opens the series with his ‘Outlier’ show, which will feature him DJing alongside the likes of Gilles Peterson and Shanti Celeste, while George Fitzgerald performs live. Now one of the biggest electronic artists of all time, Bonobo’s most recent album Migration is the most sophisticated of his career. Widening the scope of his ambitions, it’s an album which aims to take the listener on a journey – one that calls on many new reference points. It recalls artists as wide-ranging as Burial, Rival Consoles and Ólafur Arnalds, instilling Bonobo’s characteristic downtempo style with new life. We look forward to seeing how this comes across in a live setting.
MIF also welcomes grime artist Bugzy Malone, who will play what looks set to be two triumphant homecoming dates (8 & 9 Nov, 7pm-11pm). The Manchester artist exploded onto the scene back in 2015, and since that time has gone from strength to strength. Having recently released his first full-length record B. Inspired, it’s an exciting time to catch him play live.
And finally, Northern Irish producer-DJ duo Bicep (10 Nov, 4.30pm-1am) will bring ‘Special Edition’ to a close with a one-off live set. The brainchild of Andy Ferguson and Matt McBriar, Bicep make propulsive and complex dance music which resides in an arena of drama. Back in 2017, their first full-length release was a huge success, garnering a wealth of popular and critical acclaim. It will be a thrill to hear these joyous tracks played live.
All three events will benefit from lighting design by Stuart Bailes, who previously worked with Hobbs and MIF on ‘Dark Matter’.
The shows are bill as part of a series of pre-Factory events (Manchester International Festival presented Everything that happened and would happen in October) – in anticipation of the city’s forthcoming, large-scale arts venue The Factory, which is set to open in 2020.