Clubbing preview: Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez set to headline Hard Times event at Mint Warehouse in Leeds

Kenny 'Dope' Gonzalez
Kenny 'Dope' Gonzalez
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Following its first season in Ibiza and hosting Mint Festival at Wetherby Racecourse, Hard Times returns to its home city of Leeds to celebrate 22 years in the dance music industry.

To mark the milestone the Hard Times team have brought back favourite Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez, one half of the legendary Masters at Work who played at its first birthday in Huddersfield more than two decades ago.

Gonzalez is one of the most prolific artists of the modern music age who was amongst the first wave of house producers from New York. Four times Grammy nominated, he has been entertaining the masses for over 25 years.

In 1990, Gonzalez and Louie Vega began a creative partnership appropriately dubbed ‘Masters At Work’. As the MAW sound became prominent and pervasive in the clubs, they became more sought after by artists and labels, eventually remixing artists such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Daft Punk, Barbara Tucker, India, Soul ll Soul, Donna Summer and many more.

Joining Gonzales, and making their Hard Times debut, are Detroit Swindle, who were formed in in Amsterdam in 2011 by Lars Dales and Maarten Smeets. The Dutch production duo and owners of the Heist Recordings music label recently recorded an instalment for BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix and will be returning to Leeds after their appearance at Patterns Festival in June.

Robert Owens, who played at the very first Hard Times in 1993, will return, performing a live PA of his classic songs ‘I’ll Be Your Friend’ and ‘Tears’, which was produced by Frankie Knuckles.

Alongside will be Hard Times favourite CJ Mackintosh. Mackintosh has had a long association with Hard Times, having been a monthly resident, however his residency at the Ministry Of Sound set him up as been one of the world’s most recognised DJs. Elliot Eastwick completes the main room line-up and is making a return home as he and Miles Hollway were both long standing residents who went on to achieve acclaim both as DJs and producers.

Hard Times will be celebrating its birthday on Saturday December 5 at Mint Warehouse in Leeds. For details visit