SXSW Review: Deadmau5 vs Richie Hawtin, Stubbs, March 12

I’m not entirely sure what DJ battles are, but when I saw that the main event for the SXSW Interactive closing party was Deadmau5 vs Richie Hawtin, my curiosity was tickled and I couldn’t resist going. Where else are you going to see two of the world’s biggest DJ’s battle it out in a backyard of a bbq house?

Deadmau5 and Richie Hawtins are two of the most popular dj’s in the world. They are also Canadian. You might recognize Deadmau5 from his trademark head ensemble, gossip worthy relationship with Kat Von D or just the fact that he is EVERYWHERE. The dude played a sold out show at the skydome, to put his popularity into perspective. Richie Hawtins has been around a lot longer, I was not as familiar with his music.

So what does a DJ vs DJ battle entail?

First of all, my expectations were this:

Instead, what I got was

Did I just use the same image twice in a post? you bet.

The setup was pretty minimal – Deadmau5 on one side, Richie on the other. Deadmau5 wisely decided against wearing his traditional headgear. With the searing Texas heat, it was probably a wise decision. They seemed to be quite friendly with each other even though they were locked in a DJ battle. I guess when you are both millionaires, what’s the point in being hostile? Maybe it’s like WWF, where the whole battle is fake, and it really is just some sort of complicated choreographed set. I don’t know. I did not see any chair shots.

After attending their hour plus battle, I think DJ battles basically come down to matching the other DJ’s beat after he has played his for a few minutes and then taking it over and adding your own twist to it and then the other dj will build on that and so forth. That is what I gathered. I couldn’t really tell who was DJing what part, but I can tell you this – they put on a freaking good dance party. They know how to build up the beat and they know when to slow it down. Combine that with an epic light show and you have a pretty stunning display of electronic dance music for all to see. I can’t even begin to imagine how awesome this would be out in a field, in the middle of the night and by the sea somewhere.

Not quite sure who won the DJ battle, but I think in the end, we all won. (cliche fact-of-life concluding line)

Posted on by Ricky in South By Southwest

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.