system. presents Apollonia
Saturday 6th December 2014
The Mint Club, Leeds
It’s been a busy past 12 months for the Parisian trio. From The BPM Festival in Mexico, to a 6-week tour of the US following the release of their much anticipated debut album, Tour Á Tour, there’s not many credible venues the group haven’t showcased their stunningly hypnotic sound.
Consisting of the undisputed king of French underground house Dan Ghenacia and fellow countrymen Dyed Soundorom and Shonky, their mesmerizing rhythm and unparalleled chemistry has lead to them creating a unique, high-energy style of playing together. When they play B2B2B, Ghenacia has stated that the three ‘think as one’ and that “Apollonia is one artist”. If you’ve ever seen the three share a DJ booth, you’ll agree this isn’t a romanticised self observation, but the obvious truth.
This synchronicity is just as clear and present in their debut album as it is in their high octane sets. Although admittedly, I was at first slightly let down on first listen of Tour Á Tour. Considering their respective productions, I expected more dominant dance floor fillers. However, this was a naive approach, as Tour Á Tour is much more than that. It accomplishes a full-bodied sound that can be listened to during daylight hours and beyond. It goes further than simply being handy DJ selections; it’s an organic 13 track journey.
Starting off the night are System residents, Annie Errez and Bobby O’Donnell putting in a solid performance on warm up duties. They were recently featured in a ‘Top 100 Underrated DJs’ poll and its no surprise the pair are starting to achieve more recognition. They effortlessly build the crowds momentum, getting the room in peak shape before the French invasion starts. As the Apollonia boys grace the decks, they begin where Annie and Bobby left off, jumping straight into some bouncy, bass laden sounds. The next hour or two is a mix of funky club house and deeper, techier grooves, with tracks such as Apollonia – Un Vrai Portuguese. A personal highlight came when Leon Vynehall - It's Just (House Of Dupree) was dropped, accompanied by a burst of fluorescent lights from the infamous disco panel roof, an instant cheer was bellowed upon recognition.
Seamless transitions saw a fluidity of groove pave the way for the rest of the night. The sounds of Dan Ghenacia – Ometeo and Kings Of Tomorrow – I Want You (For Myself) kept the atmosphere ecstatic all night long.
In the late, sweaty hours of Sunday morning, Shonky and Dyed are rewarding those still standing, dropping bomb after bomb, as they roll into an extended hour of playing in Mint Club. Around me, others are simply unable to leave, compelled to the dance floor by French groove. It reaches 7am and Shonky brings a close with Bassmental – Here & Now.
Famed for their high energy sets, they did not disappoint. Another memorable set from the Apollonia boys.
Words by Chris Simpson
Images courtesy of Christopher Gribbin