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Artist Focus

Man Vs. Machine: Richie Hawtin’s CLOSE Tour in Focus


Richie Hawtin’s CLOSE tour has been garnering interest at an alarming (yet expected!) rate, with his show-stealing performance at Awakenings Festival recently causing huge waves; the London Roundhouse is staunchly expecting the Canadian artist’s arrival and attendees’ appetites are mounting to insatiable levels as they look forward to this exclusive rendezvous.

This event is not simply a regular DJ set; it is an extraordinary delve into the mind of an icon, with live production and camera tracking that offers crowds the chance to witness Richie in a way that London might never see again. As the date speedily approaches, we take a deeper scrutiny into the refined technicals behind Richie’s show, with individual focus on the specific machines he employs for his CLOSE performance.


Customised and sophisticated, the two tables upon which Richie places his hardware contain a unique arrangement of apparatuses.



There is a litany of hardware; an Ableton Push, a miniature keyboard, controllers and a modular synthesizer take pride of place here. They create, as Richie notes, a “real hybrid of analogue and digital”, with this compendium allowing for control of sound elements including percussion, hi-hats, texture, distortion, sequence and loops.

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There are two computers loaded with Ableton and Tractor, alongside a mixing console that has been customised with four extra channels. Fascinatingly, Richie’s father helped him create this Model 1 mixer, of which there are only two that exist in the world.



In unison, the machines communicate with each other immaculately, each able to edit, cut, and bring in multiple layers of production at once so that a fresh sound is heard. Such sonics are impossible to produce with regular mixing equipment, so it is truly something inimitable that will be encountered.


Augmenting these features and immersing yourself deeper into Richie’s performance will be numerous cameras strategically placed, tracking his actions as abstract visuals. These projections take on a peculiar, glitched-out form, interspersed with negative tints, vaulting in and out of reality, and focused at close proximity to Richie’s hands – as though the spectators peer through a new reality over the equipment. The assignment and angle of the two tables of hardware – in a side-on position – also permits the crowd to get ever nearer to his movements, accentuating the vicinity even further. It is sure to be an engrossing and stirring experience indeed, with a level of intimacy that cannot be found in the regular format of an artist usually shrouded within a booth.


Richie commented in conclusion upon the authentic nature of the show: “So, CLOSE is really about experimenting, and going with the flow, going with how I feel – it’s about synchronicity, it’s about spontaneity, and it’s really just me experimenting in front of you, to see where I can take this, and to see where the journey ends – where the journey leads us.”

Richie Hawtin takes his peerless CLOSE tour to the London Roundhouse on 12th October 2018. You can keep up to date with the latest updates on the show here.

Tickets still available via Gigs & Tours.