The main room at Canal Mills is the mothership of nocturnal reckless abandon in Leeds. You’ve probably had a few heady moments in there of late, watching producing goliaths such as Detroit cool cat Moodymann or maybe even gaudy deep house merchant Gorgon City. But one can’t help think that the recklessness that suffuses the dancefloor has undergone a transference into the booking policy at Canal Mills.
It is a sign of the times that Dusky, Adam Beyer, Barnt, Move D and Jeremy Underground can share a bill. One must come to accept that it is Canal Mills’ duty to book big names and stick them in a big room, and no doubt hundreds of punters were creaming over the expansive house and techno sounds of Dusky and Beyer. It just seems a bit much when a gorgeous spin of an edit of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams gets poked and pinched by the noise from next door.
That’s exactly what happened on Saturday 22nd November. After Barnt (of Chappell fame) brilliantly chugged Room 2 into life, it was Move D rolling out the smooth house records. Like a hippie uncle who had taken control of the music at your family Christmas do (with glasses, silvering beard and a wooly jumper to complete the look), he dished up wholesome tracks from several points on the dance music spectrum. A flurry of acid tracks, including his own Acid Grind featuring Jus-Ed, twisted things up a bit. But, in the main, the vibe was very laidback and akin to the dreaminess of that Fleetwood Mac track. At one point, a record jumped. The German didn’t panic, nonchalantly blowing on the needle and plonking it back on wax. You sense more of a fuss would have been kicked up in the main room.
Jeremy Underground closed proceedings with what can only be described as a set of pure bangers, deliciously melding Chicagoan and Manhattan house sounds, all underscored with the most fierce kick drum imaginable. Liem’s If Only got a great response, and left the 5am dancers with a positive, albeit melancholy, message that hoped to ‘make this world a better place’. One thing is for sure: in the topography of Canal Mills, Room 2 is this song’s imagined better place.
(Photo credits: Justin Gardner via Canal Mills)