Plastikman Live 1.5 - Barrowland, Glasgow, Sat 3 Dec
Spectacular live performance by the techno artist
The abundance of older faces among the Barrowlands crowd suggests that many could well have been present for Richie Hawtin’s first appearance at the venue, a DJ set as part of Pure’s Hogmanay celebrations in 1994. How things have changed.
Returning under his Plastikman guise for the final, sold-out leg of his ‘Live 1.5’ UK tour, this time he is backed by a ten-strong team of visual, lighting and sound technicians to help him present a show that spectacularly redefines what we should expect from a live performance by a techno artist.
Initially, Hawtin is barely visible, housed in a cage-like structure onstage but the darkness is quickly broken as lines of red and white LED, rise and fall across its curved surface, rippling and snapping in perfect synch with the foreboding tones of opener, ‘Ask Yourself’.
Eyes and ears are kept equally enthralled as the meshed LED wall twitches, throbs and flashes in a continually changing combination of strobes and patterns, utterly in time with the Canadian producer’s heavily edited, minimal, acid-tinged selections for a set ably balancing experimentation with the needs of the dancefloor.
Eventually stepping out in front of the lights to man a lectern-like controller, he delivers the thoroughly expected but none too disappointing finale of ‘Spastik’ to delirious scenes, begging the question – how can Plastikman ‘Live 2.0’ hope to top this?