Come the end of September, even the most robust, diehard ravers reluctantly accept that the UK festival season has finally run its course. Up North though, they’ve got a different agenda going on; earlier this month DJ Mag headed to Mint Festival — a two-day extravaganza dedicated to showcasing a deluge of heavyweight electronic music artists amidst the picturesque grounds of Weatherby Racecourse near Leeds.
Here are ten of the best tracks we heard over the weekend. More information on Mint Festival here.
Kydus 'Transatlantic' [Circus Recordings]
With it’s full-throttle bassline and pulsing rhythm, this rolling tech house number by Kydus sounded beastly as Sante played it through a gigantic stack as the sun went down, sending an already simmering crowd into a further frenzy.
George Fitzgerald 'Full Circle' [Domino Record Co]
This beautiful track needs little introduction and hearing Mr Fitzgerald playing it out on Saturday afternoon was a standout moment. It’s just a shame there weren’t more people to share it with us. Sadly, early set times at festivals can easily slide by without anyone noticing, no matter who is playing.
Martin Ikin & Low Steppa 'About Time feat. Elisabeth Troy' [Simma Black]
Tracks of this calibre really set the tone at Mint Festival — big, chunky, synth-laden tech house rollers with plenty of oomph. This new one from Martin Ikin and Low Steppa was released on London-based label, Simma Black, back in July, and packs plenty of punch with a lovely vocal loop courtesy of Elisabeth Troy.
Floorplan 'Never Grow Old' [M-Plant]
This is another legendary track from techno don, Floorplan, AKA Robert Hood. You might have seen a video of him playing it out during his Boiler Room set at this year’s Dekmantel festival, alongside his daughter. It’s mesmerising stuff. This is soulful, jazz-infused techno at its best and boy did it sound good when the Martinez Brothers delivered it after the sun had set.
Marc Spence 'Gonna Be' [Green Grass]
'Gonna Be' is one track off of Birmingham producer Marc Spence’s latest EP for Cheap Thrills, another quality imprint based in the capital and founded by Herve, which boasts names like Fake Blood and Mighty Mouse on its roster. With a seductive vocal loop and plenty of groove, this is a perfect record for those wee hours.
Basement Jaxx 'Fly Life Extra' [Atlantic Jaxx Recordings]
Whilst it’s always great to pounce on the latest and greatest music from budding new artists, it was refreshing to hear a few records from decades gone by, namely Basement Jaxx’s 'Fly Life Extra', a track which was released back in 2005. It’s not a classic by any means, but it still enticed numerous limbs into motion, especially those individuals with a few more clubbing years behind them.
Inner City 'Big Fun'
There were plenty of standout tracks during the weekend but there was one in particular that everyone kept talking about — Inner City’s old-skool house classic, ‘Big Fun’. There’s an art to selecting the perfect closing track and, after playing b2b at the Elrow Stage, Seth Troxler and The Martinez Brothers hit the nail on the head by closing proceedings with this late eighties stonker. Ultimate sing-a-long stuff.
Popof 'Going Back' (Luca Donzelli & Mar - T Remix) [Hot Creations]
This is another slice of peak-time tech house that captured the overall vibe of the festival perfectly. During marathon slots on the dancefloor, it’s pumping tracks like this that transform crowds, invigorating them with a renewed energy and lifting those precious stamina levels. Big up Paco Osuna for ripping up this one at the Paradise Stage.
Todd Terry 'Jumpin’' (Tee’s Freeze Mix) [Logic Records]
When you see everyone singing along, in unison, to a golden house humdinger, it’s always a moment to cherish, and it was an absolute treat to hear this classic played out on Saturday — a record that really lifted the roof!
We’d put money on this being the only record played throughout the entire weekend that has wracked up over six million YouTube hits and counting. It’s another track that speaks for itself, quite literally, but one that encapsulates Mint Festival’s ambition to serve up a diverse line-up that went above and beyond house and techno. The crowd’s jubilant reaction when this went off proved why this was such a worthy call.