Mint Warehouse has become somewhat of a second home for me since its recent launch, with the promoters seemingly intent on bringing fresh, spectacular line-ups to the loyal techno following that grace the dance floors of Leeds.
Over the last two and a half years, leading Mint Club night System have brought us big dons Ricardo Villalobos, Loco Dice, Luciano and Sven Vath in rotation, always a treat. But tonight saw the return of a DJ equally as important in the world of techno; Marco Carola.
I personally haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Carola before, and for one was very excited by the prospect. His punchy, minimal productions aren’t always those to be desired but I had heard that he can string a very decent set together. To contribute to proceedings, Dan Andrei from Romanian label a:rpia:r was set to warm up the main room (along with established System residents Bobby O’ Donnell and Annie Errez), while Dexter Kane headed up Leeds night Flux in room two.
We arrived at Mint Club and entered into a main room packed full of excitable ravers already dancing their socks off to Dan Andrei's house infused techno. The style was typical of the label; deep drum beats, latin based piano riffs, and for a while, a great warm-up. After a couple of hours however, the set became tiresome, and the crowd became more worried about when Carola was going to turn up rather than what tune Andrei was to play next... It would have been wise to check out room two at this stage but the anticipation of Carola's arrival kept us rooted to the spot.
To the delight of the masses, Marco Carola appeared before us at around 3am. He coolly began the cross over, and within minutes we were alerted to the start of the main man's set by a sharp increase in volume. The crowd were fully appreciative of the fresh turn in tunes to his unique sound as Carola got down to business. The defined beat punched through the superb stacks of Funktion One on either side of the DJ area and flowed through you to the core, heightening the senses to bring a feeling of euphoria.
There was never a dull moment, and if anything the set got even better with age. I for one was locked in. As an avid smoker, I usually love a good fag break, but Carola kept me indoors for the duration (something that I must say not many DJs are capable of). Amidst wolf-whistles and cheers aplenty, Marco continued to strut his stuff. Just as it couldn't get any better, out of nowhere he threw the sexy vocals of Ol' Dirty Bastard's “Baby I Got Your Money” over a driving bass line that plunged his fans into a frenzy.
The crowd had thinned out drastically as the night approached 6am, which gave us remaining heads plenty of space to throw out shapes and grooves that the tunes instilled. I was on top of the world, and could have danced to Carola all day. But sadly, all good things must come to an end. As his set drew to a close, we were teased as the set appeared to have finished, only to be flung back in, to one of my all time favourites; the Visionquest remix of Kiki's 'Good Voodoo'. A truly delightful ending to one of the best sets I have ever seen.
I had never pinned Marco Carola up there with the big dons I refer to at the start of this review, but after finally witnessing the master at work this evening, it is clear to me that he is one of the best. As a club Mint Warehouse really came into its own this evening, and I have to say I take pride in calling it my second home.
Words: Jack Law
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