Acetate, alongside Back to Basics and Cosmic Slop, is one of the must-do pilgrimages any self-respecting student clubber must make in their time in Leeds. The night was established in 2011 by Hessle Audio’s Pearson Sound, and has sporadically appeared on Wire’s events calendar ever since. The premise is simple: two turntables, a rotary mixer, and some of Pearson’s friends and favourite DJs with a bag of their best records.
On the bill for the first edition of 2017 was Craig Richards, with Pearson in support. Richards is known for being your favourite DJ’s favourite DJ; a Saturday night resident at London clubbing institution fabric since its opening, he has played alongside some of the best in the world and the esteem he’s held in is clear when you hear other artists wax lyrical about his selections.
Craig is known for catering to the more minimal and obscure side of the house and techno spectrum, so it was surprising on arrival to hear Pearson Sound playing hard and fast in the warmup slot. Pearson’s smooth transitioning between UK funky and garagey vocal house had an already crammed Wire basement dancing in full flow by the time of the switchover, meaning Craig might have lost the crowd if he tried to dial down the energy.
However, with Richards’ years of experience, that was never likely to happen. Instead, he carried along with the vibe Pearson had established, before taking things darker with some speaker-warping techno and electro records as the witching hours approached. From around 5am onwards, Pearson and Craig traded record for record, playing some significantly strange but rapturously received bits from their collections, before Pearson unleashed the garage classic ‘Baby You Make My Heart Sing’ by Ordinary People to a stunned basement at 6am. When Pearson finally called it a night with the clock approaching 7:00, the remaining crowd walked out knowing why Acetate is regarded as being so special.