Never a city to be left behind when it comes to its music scene (if we can excuse the occasional bunch of Oasis-alikes or Madchester revivalists), and its bass music representatives are currently pulling their growing weight in maintaining this reputation. Local DJ/producers Rich Reason and Al Sonar continue to bring in the heavyweight DJs and producers from the often intertwined spheres of Drum & Bass and Dubstep with their weekly clubnight Hit&Run at Area 51; the base that this provides for other, smaller clubnights is an essential ingredient for the development and progression currently evident in the city's music culture. Whilst The Guardian runs features on the latest crop of forward-thinking Manchester bands (Delphic, Egyptian Hip Hop...), a select few individuals are continuing to push boundaries with music for the dance, in all its various forms.
Local boy and co-promoter (alongside Jonny Dub) of the Saturday night Roadhouse clubnight Hoya:Hoya, Illum Sphere, is currently residing among some of the most tipped artists for 2010 after not only being included in FACT's annual predictions, being selected for the Red Bull Music Academy and having his 'Long Live The Plan' EP as a featured release on Boomkat in January. His 'next-level' beats (unfortunately, for the purpose of these words) genuinely defy genre through their innate experimentalism. This was particularly noticeable on his remix of Martyn's 'Brilliant Orange', which transformed three minutes of little more than stringed chord progressions into a fully fledged tune. With the digital release of 'Long Live The Plan' forthcoming, and an album in the pipeline, Illum Sphere could well be one to watch.