Thursday, 24 March 2011

Continue launch night @ Sankeys, Friday 11th March 2011

My fears are confirmed before I arrive; Sankeys’ days are surely numbered. It’s been a while since I last ventured here (except for one forgettable night hosted by a brand of cigarette paper) and Ancoats, as one of the last untapped areas of Industrial Manchester, is swiftly evolving from the dilapidated inter-warehouse alleyways so serenely welcoming of an award-winning dance club. The renovation of former factories - although pleasant and a good use of space - will inevitably lead to a yuppie invasion and a battle for Sankeys to retain its licence.

Despite these fears, new night Continue holds an interesting line-up with a description that befits a club claiming to be a trailblazer in forward-looking music. The answer to ‘intelligent dubstep’ and ‘future garage’ awaits.

When the main room doors open, there to greet the slowly swelling audience is local DJ XXXY's uptempo pulses and melodic shuffles in the future garage imprint. Pangaea keeps the steadily growing volume of punters moving; his lively beats taking inspiration from dubstep, garage and elements of tech and house. It could seem as if he’s trying to please too many genre diversifications, but the blend works by not overdoing each ingredient; digressing from one to the other seamlessly.

With the strobe-soaked dancefloor healthily, but not entirely, filled and by now unable to resist the rhythms, Instra:mental has a standard to maintain in taking over the world-famous decks. The response is to raise the tempo a few notches, but retain enough of the renowned dubstep minimalism to ease in smooth mixes between phases.

An early call away means only catching the first half of Dark Sky and sadly missing Scuba’s tech-friendly SCB project. However, it is clear that the guys behind Continue are planning for a musical future, regardless of the ever looming Ancoats invasion by studio apartments and Ikea flat-packs.

Words: Danny Doyle
Images: Ian Pennington

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