2007 was kind of a blur for me. moments of blinding euphoria. times of crippling ennui. sleepless weekends; weekdays of supreme hibernation. nights in clubs air kissing familiars and days spent in a ramshackle fort in my room with red scarves over my lamps. my life was unconventionally structured and my music reflected that. techno, my liege, from thursdays to mondays. whatever else could fill the week.
music barters with friends. buying records at crash and immediately going to the one person who i knew had a turntable just so i didn’t have to wait another minute to hear the track. that time we went to see coldcut, out of our minds. “just for the kick”. too fucked to see bonobo. no one knew the real identity of burial yet. my ticket stub signed by two french lads. “† justice for sibel †“. waiting at bus stops. walking through the victoria quarter. passing through hyde park. pints at a local pub. afternoon garden parties. this place had insanely become my home.
when i took off to south africa for easter, i missed leeds and found solace in in a space outta sound. it took my mind back to the narrow roads of hyde park, the grey skyline of leeds, and the georgian architecture of headingley. a few friends had introduced me to this album by leeds-native george evelyn previously, although i was never afforded a chance to see him perform.
but this album represents leeds in such a manner that befits the title. the cultural diversity begets the “whatever you’re looking for” music scene. “flip ya lid” has remnants of the influential west indian scene with its reggae guitars combined with simplistic, percussive handclaps. and the final track, “african pirates,” is a jubilee of repetitive bongos and an infectious bass line, in conjunction with vocals in…well, i’m not quite sure which language. each track flows straight into the next, without, it seems, any noticeable transition, but you immediately find yourself in another space as they layers accumulate. it scopes those anthemic “i wanna be with you” moments of life, as well as those melancholic “who gives a damn about me” ones.
and, years later, whenever i’m feeling like i need a simple reminder of leeds, i put this album on and revel in my memories of living in one of the most giving cities.