We're only a third of the way through this year's Warehouse Project season, but already we've seen Seth Troxler, The Martinez Brothers, Jackmaster – on numerous occasions, Four Tet, Daphni, Dixon, Ben UFO, Joy Orbison and Nina Kraviz all obliterate the Manchester venue's incomparable sound system, leaving the towering brick walls drenched with the sweat of thousands of house and techno enthusiasts – and Saturday's event proved to be no exception.
The night was a Paradise takeover with the whole crew landing at Store Street for over eight hours of heads down, arms up house and techno – and a smidgen of trance when Eats Everything dropped BBE's 1996 hit "Seven Days and One Week" completely out of the blue, Richy Ahmed's prediction that "Saturday night [was] going to be pretty epic" was unquestionably on-point.
So with the time just coming up to 11pm, and lengthy queues of people waiting outside in the cold are growing impatient as Denney's underground smash 'Low Frequency' booms from inside, we made our way inside. The place was already popping off, as we were greeted by a marathon three-and-a-half-hour set, making light work of the 'warm up' slot in the main room, from Apollonia aka Parisian trio Dyed Soundorom, Shonky and Dan Ghenacia. The night started as it meant to go on.
THE SECRET WEAPON: PATRICK TOPPING
Despite a set time clash with his boss Jamie Jones, Patrick Topping, who has risen to stratospheric heights since releasing on Hot Creations, packed the second room with ease. His set, which came littered with tech-house smashes including his new track, "Rights", which received the reception of a track that had been out a year rather than just a few weeks.
HERO OF THE NIGHT: RICHY AHMED
Bopping away behind the decks with a flat peak cap on, the stage was chock-a-block with friends and Paradise affiliates – so much so that the struggling security guard was forced to say "no more", for a little while, come 4am. And then there was Skream, who taking on a sort of mascot role, regularly reared his head – throwing some impressive shapes – behind the decks, much to everyone's enjoyment. But it's Richy Ahmed who delivered the stand out set. With banger following banger, at least half of the Geordie's selections held track-of-the-night quality. From the driving techno of Traumer's "Hoodlum" to a ridiculously feel-good edit of Celeda and Danny Tenaglia's "Music Is The Answer" — which led to a lot of a track ID'ing and one guy up front playing some imaginary piano keys (managed fairly well considering he could barely stand up properly) — Richy kept the energy high until the 5am close.
TRACK OF THE NIGHT: DAVINA MOSS FT DANAKILL - LE CHAMP DES ROSES
There's something about hearing this track that, especially when dropped by Richy Ahmed at nearly 5am, stood right by the colossal speaker system, that makes it completely unforgettable. Transporting everyone to a carnival in their minds, the steel pan beat, the bells and that incredible vocal all make for the perfect set closer with the early morning survivors completely losing themselves for one last time.
The woman behind it? Ibiza underground favourite Davina Moss. The 36-year-old has joined Paradise at DC10 and, according to an interview with DCM World, has 27 tracks set for release in the next three months alone. And then there's the small matter of the 11 albums she's already put out under different names in the last 16 years! Undoubtedly one to watch, Mrs Moss' reworking of Danakil's original chilled out reggae creation transforms it into a memorable late night stomper as the crowds file out, covering the street, all in search of the after-party.
One of the seasons most sought after nights, Paradise sold-out not long after the line-up had been released, but those who were unlucky in securing a spot had no intention of giving up. In the week leading up to the main event people were tweeting each other, offering way over face value, some nearing £100, to get in. And that's indicative of the power of Paradise. Known for putting on unbelievably great nights across the globe – DJ wise and audience wise, everyone's there to have a great time. Jamie Jones's hottest creation is on fire right now.