Image credit: Elliot Young
Leeds has always been well-known to have a vibrant clubbing scene, characterised by forward thinking club nights showcasing excitable line ups. Combine this with an up for it crowd that love to let loose and chow down on top quality house and techno - and you’ve got some good parties.
On occasion however, the city has struggled to keep those line ups on par with its counterparts elsewhere in the UK. Thankfully though, in the last few months Leeds has well and truly been put back on the map, due in part to new venues and new brands but also from a strong return of mainstay events, most noticeably System.
For almost nine years the team behind System have consistently brought some of the best names in house and techno to Mint Club. They returned from this summer with a bang, inviting two of the biggest in the business to play together in the club for the first time; Ricardo Villalobos and Seth Troxler.
To top it off, Alex & Digby were invited along in support, a pair of artists who have recently been making waves in the underground scene with tracks like their deep bomb ‘Suckerfish’, thus making for a welcome debut. We arrived to a bustling Mint Club to catch the duo having already taken the reigns. Instantly captivating, the flavour was dutty, robotic beats oozing heavy bass, yet holding groove. Technically the tunes were spacious but banging, an infectious sound that had everybody moving, from the dancefloor to the bar.
Whilst there had been concerns Mint Club might oversell, this didn't seem to be the case. As ever with a lineup such as this, the club had sold out. But this was to capacity and quite manageable. For those avoiding the hustle and bustle of the main floor, there was always space near the back and this distribution of people brought the club to life.
Troxler took over mid way through the night with a sublime selection of tribal techno and pumping house music. The pace maintained a rolling texture, allowing for a focus on the musical elements of the tracks whilst keeping up the energy. Fists were pumping toward that tantalising, LED roof we’ve all come to know and worship and the atmosphere was electric.
Troxler continued to work his magic for several hours, getting deeper as the time drew nearer for Villalobos to appear. The music got weirder and the acid got stronger, with a pleasant curveball thrown in for good measure; the LunaSol’s Acid Hacienda remix of Stone Roses 'I Wanna Be Adored'.
The prospect of Villalobos closing Mint Club was a strong one and we began to question when this magical end, would begin. However, by the time we noticed him take over the decks it had been a simple transition and we quickly realised we wouldn't be privy to an epic Ricardo closing, but instead a strong back to back from two legends in the game, an elegant infusion of flavours from a broad spectrum of house and techno.
In no time at all, we had reached the final tune, with the night wrapping up at around 7:30am. We couldn't help leaving wanting to witness more of the maestro Villalobos taking full control of Mint Club like he has done previously, but it had a been a night of high calibre music from start to finish and without doubt, an awesome introduction to System’s winter season.
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