Below The Surface have been responsible for bringing some of the most on-point line ups to Manchester’s finest clubbing spaces since 2014, more recently taking up residence at Hidden (which has just been named the 99th best club in the world by DJ Mag, not bad considering the venue's doors have only been open 18 months eh?)
With one of the UK's most lauded spaces ready and waiting, Below The Surface toasted to its third birthday in style recently, welcoming some of the finest selectors to the city to mark the milestone occasion for an event which was harmonious in regards to music and location.
It had been a gloriously sunny day in Manchester, a particularly rare experience, but we still couldn’t wait for the sun to go down and the real enjoyment to begin. We got to the club early, and were welcomed into the intimate space with warm rhythms as Jack M set the tone for the evening.
A disco ball reflected little white lights that danced over the ever-increasing crowd, as the speakers blessed us with soothing tunes like the wonderfully soulful 'Gangsterboy' by The Reality Band and Show. It eased us into what was going to be a long night of dancing. Hidden isn’t a particularly flashy venue but its appeal lies in its stripped back and honest appearance, with shabby sofas strewn around and jagged graffiti on the walls. It feels like a secret house party where someone with exceptionally good music taste has taken control of the aux.
The staff are equally as laid-back and accommodating, with one bouncer even dancing to the music, unable to resist the addictive beats. Next up were Dekmantel Soundsystem, the collective minds behind the much-loved Amsterdam label and frankly genius selectors who expertly worked the crowd. They played uplifting, funky rhythms which felt perfect after experiencing Manchester’s first few days of spring, filling the sweaty room with summer festival vibes.
Downstairs Gerd Janson’s thumping house set made way for Jeremy Underground, whose love for the underground music scene is made blatant in his name. It would be unusual to recognise a tune in one of his sets as he prides himself on finding rare specimens of music that have been overlooked by the main stream. He radiated enthusiasm behind the decks as he bobbed up and down in time to the blissful beats.
Despite his enticing set, we soon headed upstairs to witness the highlight of the evening - Hunee. He’d already began building up an energetic crescendo of infectious rhythm in the upstairs room, which now resembled a sauna; sweaty fog hanging in the air as the euphoric crowd continued to groove into the early hours.
His set was incredibly varied, really demonstrating just how versatile he can be. Playing upbeat disco, with jazzy rhythms and sultry lyrics that begged your limbs to dance, like the brilliant 'Get My Luvin’ by Fingerman that pulled even the most weary dancers up from the sofas, to more weird and wonderful tracks with surreal spaced out noises, like 'General System' (Main Dub) by Trikk, which was full of trippy, mechanical sounds.
We arrived early and we left in the very early hours. It’s always a sign of an incredibly enjoyable evening when day light greets you as you exit the club. Hidden and Hunee made a delicious combination.