With over 20 years’ experience throwing some of Manchester’s wildest parties, punters of Homoelectric are as diverse as the music they play: homos, heteros, lesbos and don’t knows all come together for a night of hedonism amongst disco, boogie, techno, afrobeat and garage house. This November, they’re putting on their first ever festival, Homobloc, at Mayfield Depot – a cavernous urban space rich in heritage and industrial character. Spread over four stages, 10,000 misfits will descend upon their paradise with a 50+ strong lineup. Tickets go on sale on Thursday 11 July at 9am, here are our top picks:

Beginning with garage-influenced house productions on the Aus Music label, Midland’s musical evolution saw him lean into techno before launching his own labels Graded, ReGraded and most recently InterGraded; different imprints representing different aesthetics. Often mixing a whole spectrum of genres such as techno, disco, jazz and house, Midland’s craft as a DJ has earned him regular slots at institutions such as Panorama Bar, Dekmantel Festival and Glastonbury’s NYC Downlow, and with his enviable mixes for Resident Advisor, Beats in Space and beyond (inc. 2016’s Essential Mix of the Year), it’s not surprising the accolades given for his multifaceted tastes and mixing technique.

Born twenty years ago out of a resistance to the rigidity of monotonous club nights, DJ duo Twitch and Jonnie Wilkes’s iconic night favours the unpredictable, leftfield and offbeat; experimenting with sounds that include everything from post punk to electro, funk to psych-rock and pop classics to techno. The night made a significant impact on Glasgow’s musical landscape, booking bands such as Franz Ferdinand and LCD Soundsystem, and helped shape electronic music of the city and beyond, inspiring the likes of The Black Madonna and Bicep.  It’s fitting that Optimo are on the bill for Homobloc, because to describe their ethos in two words: anything goes.

Palms Trax
After launching the Lobster Theremin imprint with his Equation EP in 2013 – the success of which helped put the label on the map – Jay Donaldson’s trajectory has only seen a steady incline. The house producer blends together melodic synths, grooves, tight hi-hats and undulating drums to achieve a sound that’s reminiscent of Chicago House. After making an impression at Dekmantel Festival in 2015, he has since released several EPs on the influential label and after performing back to back with respected selectors such as Midland, Young Marco and Hunee, has cemented his reputation as one of the most versatile DJs. An undercurrent of playfulness and improvisation often flows through his live sets, lending an unpredictability which displays his creativity and boldness, and a night to remember for the crowd.

Sat 7 Nov, Mayfield Depot, Fairfield Street, Manchester, M1 2QF, £35-69.50, www.homobloc.co.uk

Sat 9 Nov - Sun 10 Nov
Edwina Chan
Published on:
Thu 11 Jul 2019