system. Halloween with Richie Hawtin and Nicolas Lutz review
Jack Law spent Halloween in the intimate confines of Mint Club with techno titan Richie Hawtin.
Last updated: 6th Nov 2017. Originally published: 1st Nov 2017
Halloween is as much a reason to get dressed up something scary as it is an excuse for club owners and promoters to stick on monstrous line ups in the underground clubbing circuit. This Halloween weekend, you could find events of all shapes and sizes across the country but here in Leeds at one of the UKs more intimate clubs, only three names were required.
At the top of the list was Richie Hawtin, one of the most revered and forward thinking artists in the industry. Whist Mint Club, and in particular in house night system. are known for curating strong line ups over the years, this one was quite an exception.
Support always comes from at least one of the residents - this time Annie Errez was to set the mood. Errez has been playing at system. since the start and although an artist in her own right, she has truly mastered the art of the warm up over her years spent selecting at Mint Club, consistently proving she can adapt to the next name on the bill.
We arrived to an already bustling dance floor, instantly attracted to the front by her deep, chugging techno, our ears pricking up as Subb-An's 'Island Fever' oozed through those ever excellent Funktion Ones.
It wasn’t hard to notice the clubs LED ceiling was firmly switched off and a sense of longing for the eye tantalisation that the lights bring could be felt within the crowd, a feeling that only added to the anticipation of Richie Hawtin’s arrival. It wasn’t long before the wait was over and come 1am, the roof went bright blue and with that the minimal maestro began to push Mint Club to its limits. (Surprisingly, said roof managed to stay attached for the duration.)
No time was wasted as Hawtin went straight for the jugular; no build up, just heavy bass pulsating throughout the room. A sea of fists pumped firmly in the air and the excitement took over as we stomped along to the beat. The next two hours would be relentless. Basslines were briefly removed only for short spells, replaced with high intensity claps and drum rolls that allowed for euphoric build ups.
All the while Hawtin remained concentrated, poised at the helm of his machine. Whilst the intricate, electronic sounds of dark, gritty techno emanated from the front, the roof above us bled deep red.
Hawtin’s set soon came to a close and we were spat out of his mechanical vortex and instantly swept into the deep rolling grooves of Nicolas Lutz. The Berlin based DJ comfortably maintained the pace and his dark, spooky beats kept the zombies among us very much alive for the rest of the night.