Saturday saw the much anticipated return of Guti back to Mint Club. It’s already been a busy year so far for the soulful techno maestro, showcasing his live sets across the world. From the BPM Festival in Mexico, to playing in Miami and New York, as well as a string of sets across Europe, there are not many places that haven’t witnessed the young Argentinian's flare. Amongst all of this, Guti has also recently released a new version of his album, Rompecorazones. Remixes from the likes of Carl Craig, Yoruba and Nic Fanciulli, have brought an interesting up-beat take on Guti’s originally down-tempo, Balearic sounding summer release.
As always for System, Annie Errez and Bobby O’Donnell provided the soundtrack for the start of the night. Showcasing a solid range of tech house, they gently upped the tempo whilst delving slightly deeper as more bodies swarmed into the intimate surroundings of Mint Club. The synchronicity between the two System residents is always something to be admired when playing back-to-back. They effortlessly get the crowd going, lifting the rooms’ energy levels to a perfect point before the man of the hour steps on.
Guti keeps momentum going with an intricate mix of latin/balearic sounds carefully placed on top of a deep, rolling bass line. From the offset, his background is just as clear and vibrant in his live sets as it is in his productions. Given that Guti’s a classically trained jazz virtuoso, his ability to twist a snaking groove into something echoingly hypnotic is truly unique. A seamless fluidity of jazz inspired tech paved the way for the next few hours, yet he was never afraid to mix it up as faultless, melodic breakdowns kept an interesting engagement with the crowd. 3 am drew far too quickly and Guti’s entrancing set came to a close, resulting in a flurry of cheers from the crowd.
It was then time for the big bear from Berlin, Nick Hoppner to step on. Nicks developed a great following over the years, not least due to his monthly residencies at the inimitable Berghain/Panorama Bar, but also because of a list of impressive releases from labels such as Kompakt, and more notably Ostgut Ton, where Nicks had an active involvement since its creation in 2005. The proceeding few hours took a slightly darker turn, with track selections similar to Peverelist & Kowton - Raw Code (Surgeon remix). However Nick also opted to mix it up, lifting the room from its deepened hypnotic state, he blended in some funky African drum patterns to his display of minimal techno, with Roman Flugal – Sliced Africa, before captivating the crowd with the eerie synths and hypnotic vocals of Liberty City – If You Really Love Someone. A mix of deep funk then lead the rest of the way with tracks such as Jump – Funkatarium, before coming to a close with Eric Kupper presents K-Scope – Stonk.
Words by Chris Simpson
Images courtesy of Chris Gibbin