As New Year’s Day parties slowly become a leading fixture of the winter clubbing calendar, mono_cult carried on their now-longstanding tradition this year with a line-up more than fit to hold its own amongst the host of other nights popping up around the country. After a fitting warmup set from mono_cult residents, Floating Points captured the celebratory mood with his usual well-crafted mixture of house and disco. While most of his set seemed to focus on the former, featuring a handful of his own tracks such as ‘Nuits Sonores’ and ‘Sparkling Controversy’, he ended on a high note with a more soul-tinged selection of hard-to-find classics before handing over the reins to Daphni and Four Tet.
Starting with an edit of Bobby McFerrin’s ‘Thinkin’ Bout Your Body’ currently doing the Youtube rounds, the pair went on to play sounds more specifically suited for a room of Canal Mills’ size, wading regularly into techier grounds and euphoric breakdowns (usually prompting a sea of camera phones into the air.) Again, the highlight for me came in the last half hour as they ditched the 4×4 and started drawing for a range of funk and jazz more usually associated with their recent sets.
While the intimate Room 3 was held down by residents from the Leeds-based Just A Little such as Stephen Howe and Elwood, Move D and Gerd Janson played driving sets to an eager crowd in the slightly larger Room 2, both equally living up to their reputations as world-renowned selectors. Move D’s set comprised mostly of a more refined old-school sound, playing tracks that feel as if they ought to have been house anthems even if you’ve never heard them before. Gerd Janson, however, achieved that rare feat of playing across the house/techno spectrum without ever losing direction, bringing raw drum tracks, disco edits and borderline Balearic sounds together with an impressive coherency.
Despite the venue being slightly oversold, which made navigating between rooms or even going to the toilet a nightmarish task, mono_cult delivered a solid choice of DJs to bring in 2015. They did this by proving again their knack of finding selectors capable of keeping both large and small rooms moving until the early hours.