As Christmas rapidly approaches, the beginning of December sees a whole host of opportunities to hide away from the festive party season and invest your feet and head on the dancefloor with some truly stimulating DJs. As well as the choice cuts below, there’s also the timelessly popular 2ManyDJs taking care of The 02 Academy with their friends The 2 Bears, Selective Hearing’s own Christmas party at Wire with the ‘DJ’s DJ’ Jon K, Apollonia at Mint Club, Randomer and Alex Smoke at Belgrave Music Hall. Honestly Leeds, you’re spoilt for choice. Saying that, here are ours.
Subdub Weekender, Leeds West Indian Centre, Fri Dec 5 & Sat Dec 6, £12-20
The West Indian Centre has a much justified reputation for playing host to some of the most impressive sound systems operating under the sun, and this week’s annual Subdub Weekender only pays heed to that reputation with some of the men and women who use them best. Over two days, the refreshingly uncommercial events plays host to a very up for it crowd out for the likes of Iration Steppas on Friday, plus Abi Shanti-i Sound System, accompanied in Room 2 by an Exit Records showcase that includes luminaries such as Dbridge, Calibre and Fierce. On Saturday, the Iration Steppas are joined by fellow heavyweights Mungos Hi-Fi, while Room 2 sees a set from dubstep and grime pioneers Coki and Big Narstie, joined by Riko Dan and Logan Sama, Kromestar and more, where the volume comes from the memorably titled ‘Sweet Potato Sound System’, with additional decor. Expect dub, reggae, D&B and mutant strains of bass through to the early hours.
Ben UFO and Seven Davies Jr, Canal Mills, Sat Dec 6, £15
Currently, Resident Advisor are collating votes from the international dance music community to find out just who is the best DJ in the world at the moment. Ben UFO, Ben Thomson to his Mum, would likely argue that such a poll is ultimately a nonsense of an idea, but if there’s any justice, he’ll probably finish top of it. Originally establishing his DJing and radio credentials in Leeds itself - his Hessle Audio radio show is named after a local road - and since then Ben has gone on to become one of the most respected, diverse, not to mention relentlessly polite selectors on the planet. Joined by a underground house DJ and producer par excellence in Seven Davies Jr, this one's all about Ben, who’ll be playing the sort of extended set you’ll just want to run on longer and longer, showcasing cutting edge house, techno and no doubt some absolute classic or fresh madness that, no, Shazam won’t be able to assist you with.
Craig Bratley Album Release Party, Wharf Chambers, Sat Dec 6, £7.50
Beneath the streets exists a world of slowed down, grotty disco, of which Craig Bratley is one of its reigning kings. With the long held approval of the likes of Andrew Weatherall, who released his ominous and hypnotic synth exercise ‘Obsession’ on his limited distribution Bird Scarer label, Yorkshire’s Craig Bratley has finally got an album together, entitled ‘Buy A Ticket, Take The Ride’. Wide reaching disco stalwarts Cladestino host the party, and along with Bratley, will be providing the motorik machine funk until 4am, alongside Manchester heads Joe Morris and Nick Smith.