NME.COM

London Brixton Academy

They've hired a brutal beat terrorist to shut down the party tonight. We're lost in a fug of sweat and uncompromising grins, stoked by the recently departed [a]Chemical Brothers[/a], but everyone stil

They've hired a brutal beat terrorist to shut down the party tonight. We're lost in a fug of sweat and uncompromising grins, stoked by the recently departed Chemical Brothers, but everyone still standing has one final manic dance left inside them. And if there's one man who can sap the strength of even the most hardened gurning jerker, it's techno |ber-lord Richie Hawtin.



For a few minutes, the sheer pummelling noise he produces is undeniably impressive. He builds up layers of harsh drums and spasmodic hi-hats, attacking his effects boxes to create an even more psychotic rhythm. There's no space for any sound to breathe, but still - as on his recent 'Decks, EFX & 909' record - a strange mathematical groove begins to form, like perfect equations emerging from a mass of chaotic numbers.



And it serves its purpose: we submit to the battering, limbs twitch, every industrial climax is greeted with a hoarse cheer. But Hawtin's dedication to such an unchanging, soulless sonic landscape is ultimately a little laughable. It seems outdated to remain a purist, in any musical genre, in these days of fruitful cross-fertilisation, especially when you stick to an unsexy hardline with such geeky zeal.



But there's no diverting Hawtin from his course: he's lost to the ever more metallic pulse. Meanwhile, all around him the rest of the world evolves a little further and maybe discovers that - hey! - this seemingly dark, extreme beat blitz is really music for the imaginatively challenged.

Share This

More Reviews

Boxed In – 'Melt' Review

With their bigger and better second album, London-based indie/dance band Boxed In have earned their breakout moment

Album

Warpaint - 'Heads Up' Review

California’s coolest lift their usual murk on a free-spirited, adventurous third album at odds with its ‘mature’ description

Album
Connect With Us
This Week's Magazine