Leeds has always had a very rich history when it comes to house music and it is no surprise that a wealth of talent has been born and nutured in the city.
With Made In Leeds Festival this weekend, we take a look at 5 DJs on the lineup who truly were Made In Leeds.
Miguel Campbell has been making music in his Leeds studio for years and it was back in 2011 when he got his big break with Hot Creations and Something Special. Since then he has been hugely in demand, all the while releasing more hugely fronted singles and EPs that have made it to radio, club and everywhere in between. As a staple artist on Jamie Jones’ Hot Creations roster, Miguel has been given a world of opportunities that include playing in Miami as well as at DC10 in Ibiza, which, before Jamie’s Paradise night took over Wednesdays, was only playable by the most elite in the dance music underground. Miguel has played all over Leeds in recent years and will be headlining The Warehouse’s arena at Made In Leeds alongside the mighty Steve Lawler.
As the legendary Leeds institution’s newest resident, Denney has played for Back To Basics for the past few years and has been refining his style in the studio throughout his early career. This year Denney wowed the likes of Pete Tong and Jamie Jones with his most recent single Low Frequency, which was picked by Jamie to be released on his label in February. In a feat similar to Miguel, Denney has blown up since the single was released, however it has set even higher standards as it was picked as Pete Tong’s ‘Essential New Tune’ and pipped the top spot on the Radio 1 Dance Chart. With a residency for Steve Lawler’s VIVa Warriors at Sankeys Ibiza and dates at Paradise this summer, the future is bright for Denney. He will kick off the summer playing in the Back To Basics arena at MILF.
Laura is returning for her second Made In Leeds performance after she played for Basics last year at the festival’s debut. Just last week Laura graced Circo Loco at DC10 and is treasured as one of their esteemed residents, not to mention also being a resident for Back To Basics, where she has played on countless occasions, helping to mount the Leeds born club night as one of the best in the world. Laura’s own music has been released on labels such as Visionquest, Leftroom, D-Edge and Glasgow Underground, with few and far between featuring these tracks in their performances. Laura will be setting the stage for wAFF and Claude VonStroke in the Back To Basics arena at Made In Leeds this year.
Gez Varley (LFO Set)
As one half of the legendary dance duo LFO with the late Mark Bell, Gez Varley produced one of the most important tracks in the history of the Leeds dance music scene. LFO (The Leeds Warehouse Mix) was released back in 1991 and today defines the golden age of the UK club scene. 1991 was the same year Back To Basics began in Leeds and the track is named after the hosts of the stage that Gez Varley will be playing in, The Warehouse. Now at 34 years old, The Warehouse was regularly frequented by LFO during Mark and Gez’s collaborative career, during which they had a number of singles released on the Sheffield based Warp Records. After the unfortunate passing of Mark Bell in October last year, Gez has played a very small number of special LFO sets that will showcase the acid house sound that defines an era.
Another important figure in the history of Leeds clubbing is Ralph Lawson, who will be hosting his own arena at Made In Leeds this year. Ralph played the first ever record at Back To Basics and has since started his own label, 2020 Vision, whilst being a resident at the club since that first party. The likes like of Tuccillo, Crazy P, Audiojack, Moodymanc and Debukas have all released music on 2020 Vision, with the label also visiting London recently to host a special day and night party at Studio338. Ralph will be headlining the VIP arena, also bringing local talent with him to lay down the sound 2020 Vision encompasses.
Words by Josh Plews