There’s always a push-pull dynamic going on at the Red Marquee after hours. Though the festival tries to get like-minded electronic music artists together on particular nights in order to adhere to a given theme (Planet Groove, Tribal Circus), generally the similarities are only there if you look deep for them. Consequently, you’ll have dedicated electronica artists followed by IDM acts.
Jon Hopkins seemed to be the main draw on Saturday morning. He went on at 1:15 and played for an hour that was interrupted by a major technical glitch that took about 5 minutes to fix. Hopkins has won lots of awards and is a respected soundtrack composer (he studied classical piano at the Royal College of Music in London), so he knows the deeper end of electronica, but he was obviously hired to get people dancing, and he did, but not in the usual way, which is to start a groove and then just keep adding and subtracting during the time allotted, gauging the audience’s temper as you go. Hopkins actually played what amounted to songs, finite compositions that varied greatly in tone and structure, but were definitely distinct musical entities.
Thus the crowd wasn’t able to build up a head of steam, but that seemed OK with them. At the end of each piece they clapped and hooted and wiped the sweat from their brows, eager to hear what would come next.