There’s no beating around the bush. System are the gold standard for party goers in Leeds and have been for a number of years. Their musical philosophy is consistent and tight, with the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, Rhadoo, Enzo Siragusa and Praslea coming back on a regular basis.
System promoter Mikey McMahon tells me “The DJ choices are built on friendships that System have made over the years. I think if you want the longevity that System has pulled off, you need those friendships.”
Starting off the stacked tenth birthday line-up was System residents Bobby O’Donnell and Annie Errez. Both DJs are well versed in the art of the warm-up slot and set the tone for night. Errez got the rhythm going with some dubby minimal giving an insight on how the night was to play out.
On the stroke of midnight, Romanian maestro Praslea took over the decks. It’s difficult to describe just how well the Romanian minimal sound suits Mint Club. It’s an intimate venue fitted with an LED ceiling that glides with colour when a track drops. Considering many of System’s bookings fit into the minimal category, the vibe inside the club fits the music to perfection.
I went in with expectations of how Praslea would play. He ditched the light minimal tracks for more snappy and dubby minimal ones, as these ilk of DJs sometimes seem to do in front of UK crowds. Tracks such as Roman Flügel’s ‘Bibo’ provided one of the highlights of the night. The drop rolled out of the sound system as clean as you like and was met by the flashing LED ceiling.
Treatment (Onur Özer b2b Binh) followed on from Praslea, opting for harder hitting minimal tracks. Motion Unit’s remix of ‘Krusher – Me To Do’ took the night up to boiling point with it’s 303 vibes. The crowd were in a frenzy before they decided to bring the level down a bit as arguably the main attraction was getting ready to man the decks at a little past 4am. Enzo Siragusa b2b Archie Hamilton b2b Rossko.
The FUSE contingent have been a System staple in the past few years and their growth in the past couple of years has been staggering. Enzo, Archie and Rossko delved deep into their music collection, mixing in old, new, unreleased secrets, subtle drops and hard rollers.
The blissful piano keys of Enzo Siragusa, Archie Hamilton and Subb-an’s Playdem bought the room to fever pitch while Ricardo Villalobos’s ‘What You Say Is More Than I Can Say’ brought smiles to those that knew. Their set, which lasted just under four hours; was a masterclass in electronic music.
So, after ten years of bringing the best of electronic music to Leeds; where does System go from here? They have their own stage at Mint Festival, their bookings are top notch as well guaranteed sell outs and they’re prone to the odd collaboration with other party collectives. “It’s just about progressing those club nights, there’s always room to grow and throw even better parties. I have no doubt that System will be around in another ten years!” says Mikey. It’s hard to disagree.