Leeds has always been a party city, but with inner city electronic it has truly one of age. The multi-venue, one day and night party is a real showcase of all the very best spaces, parties and people the northern powerhouse has to offer. This year it moved to march to allow of an extra rich programme at the College of Music, and built on two prevision editions with even more offerings.
One of the highlights for many were Orbital, who turned in a stunning performance in The Refectory, with a packed out crowd soaking up their emotional techno beats and futuristic rave soundtracks, with Professor Brian Cox stating scientific theories at the start for extra deepness. After that, the pair sat down for a chat that devolved deep into their past, present and future and had the crowd in awe.
This conference came in the the sad days after the passing of Andrew Weatherall, so a panel was put together to discuss the legendary artist life and times. His impact on dance music was huge, from the early techno days via his seminal remix work and on to his cult ALFOS sound. The likes of Joe Muggs and ALFOS partner Sean Johnson all shared beautiful memories at what was an emotional time for all.
Elsewhere, Peggy Gou ended her huge set with ‘Loaded,’ a Primal Scream tune that Weartherall had turned to magic and it got plenty of people welling up. Another woman who impressed was the ever affable Haai. The Mute artist plays din one of Leeds’ most famous venues, The Warehouse, and laid down fizzing electronics and raw techno that very much blew the cobwebs away. She was as animated behind the decks as the crowd were in front of it.
Further talks from the likes of Cosmic Slop’s Tom Smith and Mike Greenwell, MasterSounds Ryan Shaw – who set up some of his custom decks with a slick TPI sound system for you to experience in the Corn Exchange – as well as Laura Jones, Matt Annis fresh from his book on Yorkshire Bleeps and Bass, Ben Hindle from DJ Mag who talked on a career in music, Dave Harvey from Love International and Ben Robinson from Bluedot Festival all offered insight and expertise on a wide range of subjects.
Topics included the future of clubbing, crate digging, working in music, how to start a record label, Bop DJ studio workshops with Tristan Da Cunha (Dungeon Meat) and Bonar Bradberry (PBR Streetgang) and so much more. Musically, further shouts must go to DJ Felix Dickinson b2b Dave Harvey live from the Love International Festival takeover at Sheaf St. All in all, inner city electronic is an essential way to soak up a wealth of culture, conversation and club sounds that is of great value to anyone and everyone.