Friday saw the return of Leeds based Butter Side Up who made the familair decent into Wire, Leeds, to mark their 5th birthday celebrations. Over the course of the last 5 years, the night has come on leaps and bounds since its inaugural party, welcoming the likes of Floating points, Theo Parish and Motor City Drum Ensemble before their cow pattern infused DJ booth.
Presiding over the birthday celebrations was Rush Hour Records’ Hunee, a firm favourite of BSU crew, returning for his fourth taste of the Leeds party. In a night that featured cow print balloons and erupting party poppers as a consistent feature of peripherals, straight from the first rotation it was clear why the energetic Amsterdam native had been chosen to spearhead the party with a 7 hour record collection exploration.
Spacey and tranquil sounds calmed the early attendees upon arrival, relieving the anxiety and expectation which had overcome the sizable queue outside prior to the doors opening. As is the case with some all night long sets, the first hour or so can create an awkward vibe as the DJ make his way through some more unorthodox selections. This was most certainly not the case for Hunee. Straight from the off he established his presence, encapsulating the party vibe with a stint of grooving disco which healthily limbered up the dance floor as it edged closer and closer to its maximum capacity. Weaving his way through the first hour or so, songs were gently transitioned into one another, leaving the more technical edge of his DJ’ing skills to be showcased further into the night.
As more house seeped its way into the set, the harmonious vocals that were so evident in his earlier disco tracks remained, and continued to raise the arms of the delighted revellers filling the dance floor. The BPM gently began to increase, followed by the intensity of the precision picked sounds as murky and moody electro crept its way in, reverberating around the crevices of Wire’s structure. The journey through Hunee's music continued to serve up delightful obscure tracks mixed in with better known dance floor fillers, with Liem’s 'If Only' providing a personal peak in euphoria, fully encapsulating the birthday party vibe.
Not once over the course of the night was the crowd subjected to an out of place track or untimely mix as every transition was met adulation and recognition of Hunee’s sublime choices. With a range of Disco, Funk, Electro, House and Techno on display, the event was as much a demonstration in how to keep an audience transfixed by turntable mastery as it was an occasion to mark Butter Side Up’s achievements over the course of the last 5 years.
Words by Elliot Ryder
Photos courtesy of Justin Gardner