The small but growing techno community in Las Vegas has been gaining steam over the past year, with more well known artists of the genre getting picked up for one-off nights in the clubs. First Adam Beyer, then Loco Dice and now, all techno prayers have been answered: Richie Hawtin will play Marquee on October 26.
Although Hawtin has performed at Electric Daisy Carnival, and last year played a legendary set that didn’t begin until 4 a.m. at Drai’s Afterhours, his Marquee date marks the first time the techno pioneer graces the decks at a mainstream nightclub in Las Vegas. Hawtin is likely one of the biggest underground names to emerge into this wave of electronic music the United States is currently enjoying. But if you’ve never seen or heard him before, or if you typically get your usual dose of electronic music in Las Vegas nightclubs, be prepared for something completely different.
There is no “press play.” You see how he’s up there, intently staring at his laptop, machine and various controllers? He’s actively manipulating and looping music through his set. Hawtin tailors the music to the crowd and the atmosphere, taking us on a journey in which even he might not be sure where it will end up.
“Spastik.” One of Hawtin’s signature tracks under his Plastikman moniker, its frenetic drumbeat makes frequent cameos through many of his sets.
You will get lost in the sound. Pay attention. There are many layers of sounds intricately woven together over a pulsating beat. Clear, distinct notes each have their place and time within the set.
If you’re used to EDM, trap or dubstep, the tempo will be a little … different. There won’t be a crescendo of synths to lead you into the bass drop. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. You may find a decrescendo of beats that make you listen a little harder as they diminish until suddenly the bass is just there for you. Techno builds you up with its finesse and edge, not with sweaty, ham-handed grabs at your boobs.
The finest new-wave haircut in all the land. If a haircut came back from the future and set out to embody the aesthetics of “mnml” and techno, it would be the one on Richie Hawtin’s head.
A set that won’t happen ever again. Certainly, Hawtin will play more sets in the future, likely with some of the same songs he plays that night, but he invents each set anew for every gig. (See: “There is no ‘press play’ ”) So much so that his DE9 Fragments series features remixes of his live DJ sets, manipulating segments of a set that will strike a specific chord with those who were there, while seeming slightly detached to those who weren’t. It’s like looking at a funhouse mirror reflecting another mirror of the night.
The crowd might skew more local, and a little older. There are few names that get the old heads out to a club on the Strip at 3 a.m. Richie Hawtin is one of them. So please watch out; we don’t want to break a hip.