World renowned South Korean DJ Hunee yet again graces Leeds with his presence. However, on this occasion, he is perhaps overshadowed by the bill’s warmup act: Tom Smith, the man behind Leeds’s legendary night Cosmic Slop.
He began the evening with an eclectic mix of dance music from a variety of traditions, in a manner very much consistent with his iconic Hope Houses parties. Delivering an impeccable two and a half hours of slapping bass guitar and percussion heavy chuggers, Tom’s performance meant that by barely half midnight the entire crowd were thoroughly locked in.
Mixing vocal led, new wave belters with pumping rhythmic basslines – topped off with an occasional sprinkling of naughty (yet tasteful!) tech-house – made for an exciting step up on the modern retake of classic 80s sound. As he picks up the pace, his characteristic restraint vis-à-vis 4 to the floor beats came to pay off: dropping a powerful techno pumper to which the crowd responded rowdily.
At the point of takeover, however, the night took at unfortunate turn into mediocrity. Hunee’s set lacked inspiration, as blending of both 80s and modern sounds left me feeling disappointed, perhaps simply because Tom Smith did it better that night. But extending beyond the music was my disappointment at the distinct lack of atmosphere by the time of Hunee’s set.
While the first few hours had felt like a party, past 1am any resemblance of dancing consensus had been stamped out by a wave of pushing, disinterested attendees who proceeded to stand around stylishly for the reminder of their time there. While not directly Hunee’s fault, this resulted in a poor overall experience. A word of warning: try to avoid Wire at events with big names like Hunee, especially at this time of year.