With the news of MiNT Club's closure fresh in his mind, Jack Law spent the night in the venue for system's showcase.
Last updated: 12th Oct 2018. Originally published: 11th Oct 2018
On 20 September, Mint Club in Leeds announced it would be closing its doors for good in early 2019, with a heartfelt post on social media. After more than 20 years at the centre of the city’s clubbing scene, the demise of this award winning venue comes courtesy of a series of redevelopments in the area around it. Sadly, this is proving to be a real threat to clubs across the country, but in the face of this disappointment we must take the opportunity to celebrate success.
Over the years, a string of promoters have built up strong reputations in Mint Club, not least the revered Back to Basics, alongside Leeds favourites Filth, Wax:On, Technique, Asylum, Louche and many more, of course including club owners, System.
And many of these world renowned artists have kept on coming back, year in year out, often excited by the prospect of playing again in this intimate space, under that ever admired LED roof. All of these names have been supported by loyal residents Bobby O’Donnell and Annie Errez since day one, residents who have developed their own reputations as the party’s stand out warm-up DJs.
In more recent times, “rominamal” has become a firm favourite at the club. This term has been coined by some to describe the increasingly popular sound coming from the Romanian techno scene. Last weekend saw the return of some of the leading figures who have helped shape this genre; Rhadoo, Raresh and Praslea.
As we arrived, the former was already deep into the mix, punching through big basslines laced with intricate melodies. Floating piano riffs drifted in, inducing brief dreamy states before the bass pummelled back through those powerful Funktion Ones that together have been described by many as one of the clearest, finest sounding systems around.
It wasn’t until Praslesh took control that the pace picked up and the real masterclass began. The duo, Praslea and Raresh, have been playing together for many years now, sometimes for several weekends in a row. As such, they are no strangers to sharing the booth. The chemistry between them is easily apparent as they seamlessly mix through rolling pumpers like Moby’s Bassline remix of Fortran 5’s ‘Heart On The Line’ and a fine selection of warming, synth-laden beats layed down until deep into the morning.
With only a few months before Mint Club’s closure, many of those who have frequented the club over the last 20 years are planning what will be their last night in a venue that is, or was, close to their hearts.
Some will make the journey back to Leeds as an ode to their student days. Some will come out of clubbing retirement as an ode to their youth. Some will be making their debut in the club before it’s too late. Whatever the reason you’re attending, the last in the series of parties at Mint are set to be pretty special and we’ll certainly be making several appearances as we celebrate the life of an exceptional club.