Party Planners | Mono_Cult
A true student of the music and culture of the North West, Paul Kaminski’s musical evolution began in the UKs hedonistic hub of electronic music: Leeds. For almost as long as there has been house music, there has been house music in Leeds. Inspired by his musical confines and aspired to replicate Leeds’ party hedonism, Kaminski set out to complement the emerging scene, rather than to compete.
Years of experiencing dance music concertedly imbued Kaminski to begin a day party with a clique of like-minded musical aficionados, with the now esteemed Mono_Cult party the start of his growing journey through dance music. Since its inception in 2007 Mono_cult has managed to stay both relevant and innovative, largely down to its strong musical backbone and the vision of co-founders Kaminski and Matt Long. As a night Mono_Cult quickly emerged as an essential outlet for top-tier house and techno featuring the likes of Theo Parrish, Dixon, Nina Kraviz and Johhny D, paving way for a whole host of high-end names to play in Leeds, and assuredly establishing itself as one of the most reputable nights in the UK.
Make sure you put the groundwork in. Get the buzz about it months before. Get your mates involved. There is nothing better than the energy people pick up on that resonates from the front.
For Kaminski, it’s his natural ear for deep, groove-heavy underground house music, an inclination towards the exciting and innovative and a constant desire to bring something contemporary to UK club nights that’s seen him recreate successful parties time and again. Most importantly of all is his pragmatism around what makes a good club night: understanding the city, getting to know the crowd and becoming involved with friends, not club partners.
We had the pleasure of catching up with Paul Kaminski for the first instalment of our Party Planners mix series to talk about one of our favourite UK parties: Mono_cult.
So lets start with the name Mono_cult, – Tell us more about the concept behind that and how does it relate to the parties (music ethos)?
It essentially means a single culture of music… of the house music generations.
How did Mono_cult originate and what was the catalyst in making it happen?
It started after my first season in Ibiza. I met a great group of friends going to Circoloco each week and we decided to do something in Leeds together when we got back.
Nights like Below, Secret Sundaze and Mullet Over showed us Sunday parties would work if done properly. The guys/resident djs from those parties – Adam Shelton, Giles Smith, Geddes – have always been dis I looked up to musically and when we started they had nothing but good advice when we put the idea forward.
What makes Leeds a special place to party and why how does it differ to any other city in the UK and Europe?
Leeds has such a large student population; the energy is constantly there as old students are replaced by the new. A lot of people stay in Leeds instead of moving back home when they finish, so there is a great age range of house music connoisseurs. You just have to look around and see Back2Basics – prime case in point – its the longest running club night in the world, which says a lot about Leeds and its love for house music!
What kind of problems, if any, have you faced with club owners/landlords?
The only problem we ever came across was from the council. They kept moving the goal posts and even when we had DB readers and kept within the limits they shut us down – this was in the early days from about the 3rd party once we got on their radar. Other than that I haven’t had any problems with actual club owners…yet!
In your opinion, what are the fundamental rules of putting on a good party?
Its cliché but do it for the love. Make sure you put the groundwork in. Get the buzz about it months before. Get your mates involved. There is nothing better than the energy people pick up on that resonates from the front. When people come off the street into the venue they need to feel that and that comes from the people you surround yourself with.
How important a role is social media now play in promoting parties and what did you do before it?
We have always used social media such as Facebook. I guess now there are just more platforms to keep on top of – Twitter, Instagram etc. If anything i think it makes it easier to promote then it used to be, except when Facebook made it harder to invite all mates…tight bastards.
Resident dis are just as important as the headliners. My favourite djs all started as residents (and still are). Adam Shelton (Below), Tristan da Cunha (back2basics) and the one we all look up to, Craig Richard (Fabric).
Wbeeza at District courtyard and Move D at Wire a few years back are some of our standout Mono_cult moments but what’s been the highlight and best memory of Mono_Cult for you?
It’s hard to say, though I guess it would be the second party at the lounge way back. It was when I realised we had started something special and was at our first venue “the lounge”. We were initially doing daytime parties there, the place had the best vibe on its terrace, felt like you where in Ibiza, and was exactly the atmosphere what we set out to create.
I walked outside of this venue and saw a queue around the block on one of Leeds’ main streets in the day. People were walking by looking at it thinking wtf is going on!! You could hear the music at the other side of town! Had a lot of friends from around the country come that day for the first time and so it was special to see all of them partying in one place. It felt like the time we announced ourselves.
We made a lot of great mates running mono_cult over the years and that day was when I felt that we had been accepted into the cities house scene, by complementing, not competing.
How big of a role do good residents play in the continued success of a party?
Resident djs are just as important as the headliners. My favourite djs all started as residents (and still are). Adam Shelton (Below), Tristan da Cunha (back2basics) and the one we all look up to, Craig Richard (Fabric). It goes without saying the resident sets the mood and are integral to setting the right precedent for the music of the night.
What advice if any would you gives to up and coming promoters?
Do it for the love not the money!! If you do something well enough and you’re passionate about it, become a master at it. Everything else will come.