Words by Alex Theodossiadis
In a scene which is seeing increasingly short lifespans for club brands, any party that has pushed underground music for 6 years is a worthy cause of celebration, especially when you consider the manner in which Butter Side Up have done it.
A quick glance at the list of previous artists they have had might trick you into believing it was the lineup for a small festival, with their guests representing all the greatest strands of dance music from the last 25 years. Detroit is heavily represented with bookings such as Kyle Hall, Daniel Bell, Theo Parrish and Marcellus Pittman, whilst the best of continental Europe comes with the likes of Hunee, XDB and Tama Sumo. However, the sound which Butter Side Up have really come to specialise in has been seen in their bookings over the last 12 months, with the deeper digging minimal sound of Evan Baggs, Margaret Dygas and Andrew James Gustav. These are artists whose sets are loosely tied by sub heavy tones and glitched out noises, but divulge in genres as diverse as electro, breaks, uk garage and classic 90s techno. Butter Side Up residents Hamish Cole, Ciaran Hansen, Jonny Sleight and Hugh Bailey all play in this vein which has been pioneered and perfected by Perlon boss Zip, hence it's not surprising that Perlon affiliate Sonja Moonear was invited to come and play a 4 hour set down at Wire for their birthday.
(BSU founder and resident Hamish Cole - Photo: Justin Gardner)
Hamish Cole provided a lengthy opening as Sonja's delayed flight meant she didn't take to the decks 'til nearly 2:30am, but this didn't matter hugely as Hamish delivered one of the best warm up sets heard in recent months, with most of Leeds most knowledgeable heads crammed round the booth cheering every new record that he slipped in. Swinging through selections from Slow Life, Linkwood and Christian Jay it was a deep and jazzy affair that had the crowd grinning as they wiggled around to every fresh break or click that popped out of the crisp Wire system.
Wire can sometimes feel a bit flat as it suffers the misfortune of being the only good small club of its kind in the city, but the BSU crowd was on electric form, with everyone wanting to get in close and personal for Sonja Moonear. Sonja followed on seamlessly as she always does, taking the definition of classy to it's essence as she effortlessly floated around the booth, beaming ear to ear from the raucous reception every track brought with it. Her style manages to marry the subtly of tech house and minimal with the raw groove and energy of techno, and once the party hats came out, it was a non stop cheer-a-thon all the way to the finish line.
The biggest reactions of the night came for Mole People's 'Break Night' and the loopy nonsense of 'Up' by Butric, and by the time Moonear had stuck on Brian Eno's 'An Ending' at 6am, it was all too soon for the party to be finished, but as they say, time flies when you're having fun.
(Sonja orchestrating the BSU birthday celebrations - Photo: Justin Gardner)
Words by Alex Theodossiadis
Photos courtesy of Justin Gardner