During the first panel of her four date Wire residency Peach jokingly suggested that the UK has a ‘dance privilege’. The sheer number of clubs, regular visits from big name touring DJs and the fact that you can hear dance music pretty much whenever you turn on the radio (all three of which North America lack) make the UK one of the best places to party (and indeed pursue a career as a DJ). And although she might have said this in jest, after seeing her first residency set it might be more accurate to say that whilst the UK has the privilege of the best clubs, the states certainly has the privilege of exporting some of America’s best DJs.
Peach’s residency, entitled Circuit, takes place over four dates in 2020. Alongside club nights in which she will showcase some of her favourite North American artists, as well as local Leeds talent, she’ll also be teaming up with the likes of Equaliser and Love Muscle to offer a series of panels, workshops and ambient listening sessions, in an attempt to integrate the North American dance scene with that of Leeds.
The residency kicked off at Outlaws Yacht Club with a panel discussion on eurocentrism in music. Peach was joined by fellow North American DJs CCL and Club Fitness, all of whom have now made their home this side of the Atlantic. It was an enlightening and rather surprising discussion, given North America’s huge stake in the creation of dance music (Chicago and Detroit are famed for the birth of house and techno respectively, whilst disco and US garage all came out of New York clubs) you would be forgiven for thinking that it would still be leading the way. Yet, although parties in the states are still going strong, several factors such as the lack of budget airlines, strict liquor laws, police crackdowns on warehouse raves, and a lack of money meaning venues can’t pay touring DJs big bucks (among other factors) means that clubbers often wait months to see a DJ we might catch several times a year in the UK, and that North American DJs and producers do not get the exposure they deserve. Peach’s, CCL’s and Club Fitness’s advice? Swap your yearly pilgrimage to Dekmantel for a trip to America and check out the local talent at some of their festivals (or you can just support them on Bandcamp instead!)
If you needed any further convincing that North America is home to some of the best DJs then Wire is the place to be. Flesh in Tension resident Kessie (filling in for Alex T who is out sick) kicks things off with her chugging techno, it is easy to see why she’s already earned support slots with the likes of Objekt.
Club Fitness’ following set is a workout of bass driven techno cuts that’s way better than going to the gym, whilst CCL brings an eclectic mix of breakbeats, house and electro-funk. Finally, Peach treats the sold out crowd to her selection of house and techno deep-cuts, showcasing exactly why she has earned a reputation as a brilliant selector.If this night is anything to go by, then North America is re-earning its place on the dance music map as a gold-mine for hidden, up-and-coming producers and DJs that you’d be foolish to overlook. If you don’t fancy heading over there yourself then Peach will be inviting some more talent across the Atlantic for the second date of her residency on March 21st, in the form of Toronto-born (now Berlin Based) Nathan Micay (who will be hosting a production workshop for beginners beforehand) as well as Leeds-based production duo Space Cadets. We can’t wait.