Deep Fever - The Final Party
Move D, Hessletime, Will Eastlake, Gessture_
Friday 29th Jan
Mint Club, Leeds
Last Friday marked the final dance for one of Leeds’ finest party institutions, as Deep Fever bowed out with Move D at the helm. With Mint packed out for a final time in front of the distinctive DF logo, the evening proved to be one befitting of the end to such a cherished legacy.
Combining astute bookings and a passion for the promotion of local artists, founders Adam Lind and Ryan Kaye have struck a fine balance between supporting Leeds artists and bringing over upcoming DJs yet to be ingratiated with the West Yorkshire Scene. Since its evolution from music blog to a regular party in 2012, the night has proven to be one of Leeds’ most consistently popular destinations for techno, house and disco, with residents Will Eastlake, Gessture_, and TMS being joined by big names from the local area and further afield, including Medlar, DJ October and most recently, Henry Wu.
Charged with opening up the celebratory proceedings, Will Eastlake and Gessture_ found themselves blessed with an eager crowd, setting the night up perfectly for returning guest Hesseltime to lay down his first record at 1:30. Armed with an impressive selection of afro-house, the Rinse FM and Tief Music man shone with stompers from the likes of Fela Kuti and K-Hand, working up a perfect storm of hard hitting percussion and rolling basslines. Demonstrating his global sensibilities, Sarabi’s Koko’s Vibration, taken from the Highlife Kenya Series, was a particularly welcome foray into the melodic depths of a wide-ranging record bag.
For such a well-respected and carefully designed club, questions might be asked of the Mint sound system, which at times lacked clarity, particularly when dealing with the full-on party flow that the Hesseltime delivered, but it certainly stood up a lot better when tasked with a more reserved and controlled performance between 3 and 6, as Move D crafted a comfortable path through to the party’s final curtain. Decades of experience have culminated in the ability to perform admirably at any point on the bill, and you would be hard pressed to find a DJ more suited to the tricky mid-morning shift than David Moufang proved himself to be, keeping up a mid-tempo groove to fend off tiredness and keep spirits high at a point in the night when fatigue would often start to play its part. Testament to Moufang’s ability was the effortlessness with which he retained his audience, casting a spell with his signature brand of warm, punchy house and minimalist approach to mixing. An embodiment of composure and maturity, the tempo never threatened to climb, nor did his mixing slip, as he gracefully adjusted his set to both the system and the crowd.
Moving through territories and genres with a natural ease, each selection added content to the emotional journey, as exemplified by the summer-stroll poignancy of Laurence Guy’s W.L.Y.B or the palette-cleansing loops of his own remix of Sand by Kolja Gerstenberg. Dipping into tracks like Joey Negro - Do What You Feel (Body Rock Mix) and The Organ Grinder’s Living in a Bottle, the kind of straight-up party starters that he has become known for administering, Move D ensured that the final dance was never to descend into melancholy, instead whipping up a deep fever with the assistance of his DJ Jus Ed collaboration Acid Grind during an extended period of squelchy transformative acid.
Though of course, a night like Deep Fever was never going to end merely with the turning on of the lights, its final hour in Mint was illuminated by a fine return to disco, with Move D saving Fleetwood Mac’s anthemic Dreams as his final contribution before gathering up his collection and making the journey back to Musiquarium, the night’s spiritual home and the most fitting venue for a conclusive and emotional after party.
Deep Fever must thank Move D for the perfect ending; Leeds should thank Deep Fever for the perfect journey.
Words by Andrew Kemp
Photos courtesy of Deep Fever