18 Jun 2013

Basically unique..

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It’s around 6am, sometime in the summer of 2002, and The Mint Club is lost in a cacophony of shimmers, smoke and throbbing house music. Daylight has begun to invade the periphery of my vision, creeping through from the alleyway outside where a healthy amount of people sit chatting animatedly, resting and meeting new friends before another dancefloor assault. It doesn’t really matter which international superstar house DJ graced the Technics earlier in the evening because, as is so often the case with Basics, their set is in the process of being utterly eclipsed by one of the residents. This morning it is the ever versatile James Holroyd who has the fluidly moving crowd bumping and gliding in equal measures when a familiar vocal and a jagged hook float out of the speakers. Realisation snakes across the floor as the first verse of Soldiers Of Twilight’s Believe is greeted by enthusiastic whistles and cheers acclaiming one of 2020 Vision’s finest dancefloor moments. Hands move upwards, reaching for the sky; the front; the lights; the friend next to them; the stranger equally caught in the moment. Suddenly the volume is dropping, twisting and contorting in anticipation of the late arriving bassline and, as it all kicks in, sunshine bursts into the outer reaches of the club, filtering through the fingers of raised hands and illuminating sparkling eyes and ear to ear grins.

This particular night wasn’t my first at Leeds institution Back To Basics and with multiple visits to multiple future venues still to come it would be a long way from being my last but it still sticks in my mind as one of the true transcendental moments that I’ve been lucky enough to experience in what’s increasingly becoming a decidedly long time spent on house music dancefloors. My last trip into Basics madness was just a few weeks ago when they had Chicago house cornerstone Mark Farina visiting and it was great to see the place jumping, as it always has, with house aficionados really enjoying a masterful set from one of the legends of the movement.

Nights come and go, ebb and flow, rise and fall. Bandwagons are jumped on as new musical genres fleetingly set fire to the scene and are gone again in the blink of an eye but Basics endures thanks to a great sense of fun, a twist of mischief, a devotion to house and techno music and a penchant not just for great parties but for great parties that last days rather than hours!

These are exactly the foundations that anyone running parties should build their aspirations on and in their 22nd year nobody knows it better than Dave Beer and the Basics crew. They’ve kept it real, (held it down if you like), never sold out and never chased the bandwagon, just stayed true to themselves and what they believe in and that’s why they’re still going strong all these years later. Basics, we salute you and can’t wait to get behind the decks in that backroom this Saturday..

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