Festival preview: Denney at Mint Festival, Wetherby Racecourse

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From DJ-ing at fabled Leeds club night Back to Basics to having a worldwide dance hit with the track Low Frequency, Denney has more than lived up his billing in Mixmag as a ‘future hero’.

This weekend he’ll be appearing at Mint Festival, on its return north to Wetherby Racecourse. Ahead of his appearance on Saturday, he spoke to the Yorkshire Evening Post.

You’ve been DJ-ing for 18 years but when did you first start making your own music?

I first started making music when I was 15 on a game for the PlayStation called ‘Music 2000’ and loved it even though it was mainly just glueing samples together. I enrolled on a music technology course at college when I was 19 to learn the basics to do it properly and then went to Uni and continued on from there, so I guess I’ve been making music properly for 12 years now.

Who were the DJs that inspired you?

Back then it was Derrick Carter, Yousef, Mark Farina, Steve Lawler, Roger Sanchez and Carl Cox mainly...in fact they all still do now!

How much has the club scene, particularly in the North, changed in the past couple of decades?

I think generally it seems most venues have got smaller capacities than they did when I first started going clubbing and they’re not as regular. Back then there were so many weekly parties going on but now parties seem to be monthly or just do a couple of big events per year. There are some amazing parties going on now in the north along with the nights that have been going since the early days that are still as strong as ever such as Back to Basics and Shindig.

You’ve worked with Steve Lawler at VIVa Music. Has he become an important mentor for you?

Absolutely and a really good friend, it’s like having an older brother who gives really good advice and guidance. Plus also we are continuously having a laugh and banter.

Were you surprised that your track Low Frequency became such a big crossover hit, catching the attention of Ministry of Sound?

Absolutely, I never thought it would have got the attention and reception it has when I made it. It really is amazing to see it now getting a full re-release with the music video on Ministry Of Sound and it crossing over to daytime radio. Last year it was getting played at DC10 on the terrace and now it’s on TV adverts...crazy!

Where has been your favourite place to DJ around the world?

I have a few for different reasons but I would say on par would be Burning Man in the USA, Lost Beach Club in Ecuador and Renate in Berlin.

Are you excited about the prospect of playing back on home turf at Mint Festival?

I am incredibly excited as haven’t played around Leeds since the beginning of the year and Mint Festival is looking incredible, I’m playing in Hot Since 82’s Knee Deep In Sound arena so should be “Mint”.

What’s top of your playlist at the moment?

A track Steve Lawler, Detlef and myself have all made called Secret Society, it’s a straight up acid peak time track and seems to be going off every time I play it.

Mint Festival runs at Wetherby Racecourse from Saturday September 19 to Sunday September 20. The bill also includes Sven Vath, Paul Oakenfold, Duke Dumont, Maya Jane Coles, Skepta and Skream. For details visit www.mintfestival.co.uk