The arrival of chocolate eggs, newly born lambs and elongated Spring evenings signals one time in the student calendar: numerous weeks off lectures and seminars for the Easter Holidays, plus a return to the posh corners of the British Isles. Home doesn’t quite compare to university, especially at Leeds where weekends (and weekdays) are a balancing act, juggling house parties, underground raves, disco nights, circus themed extravaganzas and of course, our beloved Fruity.
At home, however, things aren’t the same and for those opting to leave Leeds for four weeks meant missing out on key events happening in the city. One being System’s huge sellout night at Mint Club on Thursday April 13th, which featured a five-hour long set from world-renowned techno DJ Joseph Capriati. Due to System placing the event on a weeknight and with the majority of students having already left Leeds, the crowd in attendance was a strange one. The club consisted of a mixture of local college kids and slightly older techno pilgrims who flocked to Mint Club from far-and-wide to witness one of their genre’s finest producers spin the decks – for the first time at a Northern club this side of the Pennines.
Following a warm-up set from System resident, Bobby O’Donnell, Capriati took centre stage at around 1am as crowds had slowly filtered in from the rain, packing out the award-winning small club. With its high-quality Function One sound system, immersive smoke machine and hallucinatory ceiling illuminating the inner core of the dance floor, Mint Club was a perfect setting for Capriati’s Yorkshire debut and his set was an ideal accompaniment for the acoustic and aesthetic fittings.
For any aspiring DJs, watching Capriati was like watching Stephen Hawking give a lecture on astrophysics. For the whole duration of his extended set the Italian had full control over the crowd, orchestrating shapes to be thrown throughout, permitting a continuous hand to be waved in the air from somewhere within. Surprisingly, Capriati started his set with a more tech house sound, preparing the crowd for heavy bass-intensive techno beats to come in the following hours. Nathan Barato’s ‘Freaks Of The Industry’, released on house-leading label Hot Creations last February, was a significant track of the night and one that you’d normally not expect in a Capriati set.
As the set progressed the Italian slowly moved through the genres, continually infusing his infamous build-ups and body-shaking bass into every drop. And by 4am, when drinks were drunk and eyes were wider, techno became more progressive and tech house was soon forgotten. Thanks to Capriati’s unequivocal mixing brilliance, the crowd maintained its energy until the final minutes, and it’s a real shame that more Leeds students couldn’t be present. As one of the finest DJs to grace a Leeds club, Capriati’s five hour set was a true techno spectacle and one that will live in the memory for a very long time. Grazie Joe.
(Image: Elliott Young)