Occupying Manchester’s rapiest looking venue tonight is Border Community signee Luke Abbott. After maneuvering through a dirty ginnel and up a set of grimy looking stairs, a battered wooden door opens up to a warm and relatively lush room filled with hulking rhythms pounded out by Manchester locals, Ghosting Season. With plenty of space in front of the stage, the minimal yet commandeering Techno tinged sounds are slow paced enough to allow mild chatter to permeate through the gaps of relative silence. If the duo were headlining tonight, this is the sort of thing that would irk me out, but given the context, Ghosting Season provide the perfect soundtrack for adjusting to the venue and getting those first couple of beers in.

It’s captivating enough to hold the attention of those who want to feel the vibe, yet not too distracting for the sofa dwellers at the back of the room who are just having a quick pre-gig catch up with their mates. Still, the band lose no marks on their enthusiasm, as throughout their performance they physically move in sync with their music and appear to make a genuine connection with their instruments. At one point, the un-mic’d fervent pounding of drumsticks on the rubber pads of a Roland-505 can actually be heard over the pre-programmed sound coming out of the speakers. It all feels way more active and engaging than having a guy just nodding away onstage from behind a laptop screen.

Ambling onstage to stand behind a predictably confusing tangle of wires and boxes, it doesn’t take long for Luke Abbott to delve into his sound bank of notably raw and stripped down synths. There is an obvious element of live manipulation going on here, as motifs are looped and syncopated, Abbott adds a considerably more hypnotic element to his recorded music. But before we have time to zone out completely, he snaps us back into sharp focus by switching up the beats, making them hit harder and with greater ferocity, prompting quickened hearts and shuffling feet. At times, it feels like minimalism reimagined for the chemical generation. Heat your fucking heart out Reich.

Abbott builds his set up as it progresses, adding more layers of excitement and energy into his performance the later into the evening we go. It seems evident that a lot of thought has been put into the order in which Abbott chooses to play his tracks tonight. By the time recent(ish) single, Modern Driveway drops, there is a core of 15 or so groovers dominating the front of the crowd, and after this woozy, eyes-rolled-back rendition of what is one of my personal favourite songs of the year, the dancing spreads feverishly, further and further back into the crowd. Maybe it’s the alcohol, maybe it’s the increasingly skittering rhythms, most probably it’s a combination of both, but by the end of Abbott’s set, the atmosphere inside this room is totally different in terms of electricity to how it was when I first entered.

When it comes to dance music, an artist’s ability to get a crowd moving is paramount to the success of their show. Fortunately, Abbott has proved beyond all doubt that he’s skilled in this field and that he has the intellect to put on a great show like this without having to reach for dance music clichés like snare rolls, white noise wooshes and exaggerated drops. Abbott has got his own sound on-lock and what’s best of all is his talent for translating it into something wholly danceable. Tracks like Brazil and Whitebox shine brighter tonight than any of the tracks I’ve heard his (more famous) label-mates Nathan Fake and James Holden play live. Consider this then, a glorious victory for a criminally underappreciated producer of leftfield dance music.

I'm Allan, I've had obsessive listening disorder since I was about 13 and now I write about music as a way of helping me cope with that.