mono_cult have been running annual NYD parties in Leeds since 2008. While the night itself is famed for using a variety of different nightlife spots around the city, each previous NYD party had been at The Faversham. This year they chose to use Canal Mills, which has built a strong reputation for some excellent programming throughout its short lifetime. However, despite a never seen before Room 3 being announced, most people I spoke to were unsure if Canal Mills, with its cavernous main room, would be as special as the intimate Faversham parties.
Nevertheless, the bigger space did have its plus points, namely the lineup. Over 12 hours, this boasted Levon Vincent, Pearson Sound, Anthony Naples, Midland, Optimo, Jackmaster, Breach, Mano Le Tough, their own flawless residents, and some of the best local talent Leeds has to offer.
I arrived to the venue around 6.30, and witnessed one of the disadvantages of New Years programming. As Mano Le Tough was booked in London later that evening he had been given the 6-8 slot. While I’m a big fan of Mano, his deep sound is not exactly warm up material. He didn’t seem to alter his style whatsoever and while it was impressive, minute-long beatless breakdowns didn’t exactly allow the arriving crowd to ease into a rhythm.
Anthony Naples was up next and instantly went for some warmer and more accessible sounds. His selection was on point throughout as he rifled through two hours of melodic disco, house and garage; a personal highlight had to be Soundstream’s ‘All Night’. He was followed by the excellent Pearson Sound, who took things a lot heavier, but at a time when the crowd were happier to go there. His set was exactly what you’d have come to expect from the Hessle man, and his last 30 was particularly strong, dipping into funky and garage, including one Roska tune I am still trying to ID now.
As it turned 12, a clash inevitably happened and attendees were faced with Jackmaster or Levon. For me, it had to be Levon, and he didn’t disappoint. Not only was his mixing and selection fantastic (this one tore the roof off), but as Jackmaster inevitably pulled most people into Room 1, everybody still in Room 2 was there for the sole reason of watching the New York-via-Berlin man do his thing. In my opinion, it was by far the set of the night.
After this I decided to check Room 3, which was great: DJs playing whatever they wanted, a huge disco ball hanging down and both sides of the room populated by beds, which people were naturally dancing upon.
The final hour meant everyone still standing piling into the main room for Midland. The highlight of his set had to be mixing the Grain remix of his anthem Trace into the original. As I left at 4 I had to reflect, despite initial doubts and the unfortunate programming of Mano’s set, the night and venue choice were a huge success.
– John Hardy