Bank Holidays in Leeds have come to mean only one thing for many - System and Set One Twenty’s Mint Warehouse takeovers, terrace and all. Over the years the two brands have joined forces to host a string of daytime parties with high calibre artists and this edition was no different.
The name on most people’s lips was Ricardo Villalobos. Although unfortunately there had been no set times released prior to the event, rumour had it the minimal maestro would be taking over for the closing set of the terrace so many chose to head down in good time. On our arrival, long time System resident Annie Errez was joined outside by Birmingham’s Lewis Oxley, the two mixing up a fine selection of deep, punchy house.
Disappointingly the terrace was mostly covered and hidden from what had turned into a lovely day of sunshine, although by ‘eck it can be grim up North which makes it difficult to plan for the weather.
As far as outside spaces go, this one is a nice transformation from its usual setting as a plain, old smoking area. The DJ booth fits nicely down the side facing the rest of the raised terrace, giving most a good view of the magic happening at the turntables, while Mint’s inherent camo netting laced the cover above for a nice visual creating an almost cosy, closed-in feeling.
Cheers erupted the terrace as Villalobos arrived and he soon took to the stage a little after 8pm, his audience captivated from the off. It was a slow build of deep, minimal techno, littered with smart percussion. As day became night, Ricardo’s adventurous side came with it and we were treat to a medley of pumping house music, big tribal breakdowns and weird and wonderful 80s pop synths.
Of course he played his usual all-time classics, namely Lil Louis ‘I Called U (The Conversation)’ and a blast back to 2014’s Cocoon In The Park with the similar teasing of Adamski’s ‘Killer’. For a man who has had mixed reviews in the past, there would be no complaints today.
Come 11pm, the music outside ceased and the rest of the club came to life. Rhadoo had the main room hooked with his signature, ar:pi:ar techno, typically full of Romanian flavour. Sweeping bass complimented deep, minimal grooves fluttered with hollow synths and plenty of melody. The atmospheric beats reflected the feelings of the crowd who were focused into the music, heads down, throwing shapes.
The Boiler Room was hosted by a fine selection of up and coming Leeds DJs, the likes of Ryan Ingleby, Wheatley and Mint residents Farrow and Luke Finlayson. Although difficult to tear oneself away from the rolling sounds of Rhadoo, the Boiler Room was well worth a look in; essentially a small, busy room ‘avin it large. The lads served up a fine mixture of deep, crowd favourites and groove-laden tech house.
Back in the main room, Nicholas Lutz rounded off a night of top quality tunes with his own style of dark and groovy techno, complimented throughout by a sinister edge balancing expertly between serious and fun. This exciting style was lapped up by the sea of revellers locked in.
Finally, no review of Mint Warehouse would be complete without a compliment to the outstanding Function One stacks that serve the main room so finely - that most fine, crisp sound will never cease to amaze. Eyes and ears now turn attention ahead as we patiently wait to learn who will be playing the final System & Set One Twenty bank holiday terrace party of 2016, later in the year.