Saturday 28th Nov
Mint Warehouse, Leeds
Dirty Disco may be a name that doesn’t ring many bells for people who have graced Leeds in the last few years, but for those who recognise the brand, this was a night drenched in anticipation. For a club night that never initially planned a second outing after their debut party, Dirty Disco came a long way in a relatively short amount of time, establishing itself as one of the most celebrated house/techno devoted nights in the UK. It’s been responsible for a host of parties that have gone down in Leeds folklore. From their infamous partnership with the Northern Light, to throwing pool parties on the white isle, to hosting 4,000 capacity stages at festivals, and throwing very very wrong after parties consisting of… well… very wrong things indeed. And so, it’s more than safe to say Dirty Disco were having a successful spell… that was until a well-known club bought the rights to the ‘Dirty Disco’ name and despite a positive stint under the new alias, ‘Bastards of Dirty Disco’, the musical journey soon came to an end.
Five years later… and the Dirty Disco team are back! Celebrating their 10th anniversary at Mint Warehouse with a line up that includes Young Marco, Session Victim, Motor City Drum Ensemble and Paranoid London, with support from all of the old residents and friends of DD.
Session Victim were in the booth upon arrival in the main room, offering an uplifting selection of house, disco and soul. Unfortunately Young Marco was playing at the same time upstairs, and being big fans of Session Victim’s 2012 EP, The Haunted House of House, as well as pretty much every other release they’ve put out since, we opted to stay put. Tracks such as the recently released Butch – Dope got the dance floor moving, before the more nostalgic sounds kicked in, dropping Alan Braxe & Fred Falke – Intro and Sister Sledge - Lost In Music. Session Victim made for the perfect warm up act for MCDE, as you’d do well to find any other act with a more visceral connection with soul in their DJ sets than either of these two.
1.30am came around almost instantly and it was time for Motor City to grace the decks. Starting with a careful mix of older, more soulful selections, Danilo aka MCDE then transitioned to a more vibrant afro beat with driving conga beats, before seamlessly switching to a more house and bass driven sound, dropping The Deep – Love Your Brother and then The System – You’re In My System (Kerri Chandler Remix) soon after. Whatever environment Danilo seems to be in, whether he’s producing an online podcast, playing at small outdoor venues or a dark warehouse room in Leeds at 2am, he never fails to offer his own signature, deep and haunting sound injecting both his DJ sets and production with an amount of roughness, energy and gritty soul which has become uncommon in times of digital production. He always proves his emotional and melodic side without forgetting how to make people dance, which proved the case throughout his two hour set, with tracks like Frankie Knuckles – So Many Tears and James Brown - I'm Satisfied (Underdog Edit), before finishing on the hugely revered soulful bomb, Ashford and Simpson - The Boss (Mark Seven Edit).
Paranoid London then had the difficult job of following crowd favourites such as Todd Terje – Inspector Norse and Bileo – You Can Win as MCDE closed out his set. As the night wore on, Paranoid catered for the shift in atmosphere, gradually drifting into a darker, deeper sound. Resembling the minimal sound that Dirty Disco loved to promote in their original days, Paranoid offered a fluid groove of analogue laden techno for the remainder of the night.
The crowd were fanatic, stomping the night away until the early hours with regulars from 5 years ago and new dirty disco partiers coming together on the dance floor, a welcome sight as the broader mix of people made for a more interesting crowd. This definitely doesn't feel like a reunion by any stretch, more like the start of something special for a night that can attract people back to the dance floor whilst drawing in new faces at the same time. With any hopes, the Dirty Disco team will choose to throw another event before their 15th anniversary, as this really was one not to miss.
Words by Chris Simpson
Photos courtesy of Dirty Disco