Review: Mono_cult 6th Birthday

monocult 6th bday

Mono_cult 6th Birthday
Saturday 2nd March
Canal Mills

In the six years since Mono_cult made it’s humble beginnings on a Sunday afternoon in the The Lounge terrace, it has grown to become one of the largest, most established, forward-thinking electronic music nights in Leeds, as well as throwing parties in Hideout and Sonar festivals. For the birthday celebrations a fittingly strong lineup was presented, staying true to the night’s house and techno roots, featuring Innervisons head honcho Dixon, Hotflush boss Scuba and ex-Panorama bar resident, Prosumer, all playing in the large warehouse space of Room One. Room Two showcased their recent enthusiasm for more up-beat bass heavy sounds, with the quick-fire, genre-hopping Oneman and Londoner Ben Westbeech, also known as Breach.

After resident and founder Matt Long warmed up the main room, Prosumer got things into full swing, with some high-quality deep house selections, flawlessly mixed, using the Allen & Heath V6 rotary mixer especially brought in for the occasion. The sound in Canal Mills main room has always been slightly questionable and unfortunately, this still seems to be an issue, as it took a while to find a spot where the music could be heard clearly.

Meanwhile in Room Two, Oneman had the crowd in the palm of his hand, as he rapidly mixed between house, bass, grime and everything in between, rarely letting one song play out for more than a couple of minutes, which is a refreshing take on DJing that you wouldn’t find at your average house night. Highlights included recent releases such as Bonobo’s ‘Cirrus’ and Joy O’s ‘BRTHDTT’.

The sound in Room One seemed to improve as the night went on and by the time Dixon stepped up it was a lot clearer. The long-time Berlin DJ more than rose to the occasion, playing a fantastic selection of music, a highlight being his edit of Ian Pooley’s ‘Computerrhytm’. It is somewhat rare these days for a DJ to have such a recognizable signature style, but Dixon is one of the few who has achieved this, with his bubbling arpeggiated synths, powerful chord progressions and growling bass lines, creating a mesmerising euphoria amongst the crowd.

Scuba rounded things off with another fantastic set, bringing slightly harder and darker techno sounds to the main room, and providing the night with an excellent climax. A brilliant night all round; great lineup, cool venue (despite a few sound issues) and a good crowd. Bring on the next six years!

words: Dominic Freeman
photo: Ian G. Ramsey

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