TECHNO: Derrick May / Helena Hauff

Rebecca Varidel
29th Oct 2019

“The Sydney Opera House Studio parties always make for an incredible experience, and always with the very best DJs - past alumni include Yaeji, John Talabot, Andrew Weatherall, Steffi, DJ Harvey, Flume and Laurel Halo. Today's announcement is no exception, ‘wringing emotion from machine-music’ on Saturday December 7 is the legendary founding father of Detroit techno, Derrick May, and on Friday December 13 perhaps the most thrilling techno DJ working right now, Helena Hauff, makes her Australian debut. Both artists display bold singular visions, deep musical rigour and an innate understanding of the dancefloor. With the Studio's second-to-none sound, mark down these two visceral evenings of world-class driving techno as not to be missed.” Ben Marshall, Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Music

The Sydney Opera House’s legendary Studio will host two titans of the techno world this December – one of Detroit’s original electronic innovators Derrick May and one of the most in-demand German DJs and producers, Helena Hauff.

From the ground-breaking futuristic and cerebral techno sounds birthed in Detroit three decades ago, to its industrial peak in Germany, May and Hauff will each take over the Studio for one night only across two weekends of raw, pounding intensity this December in their Opera House debuts and Hauff’s first ever Australian performance.

Derrick May – Saturday 7 December
Known as one of the greatest living figures in electronic music, Derrick May revolutionised the genre with childhood friends and founding fathers of techno, Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson. As one-third of the ‘Belleville Three’, they forged the sound of what would become known as techno, or “high-tech soul music”, as May envisioned it. May’s recordings as Rhythim is Rhythim and Mayday helped fuel the rave phenomenon that swept Europe in the early ’90s, while his Transmat label nurtured future heavyweights like Carl Craig and Stacey Pullen.

After the release of the System 7’s album Mysterious Traveller (2002), May quit recording and instead dedicated himself to DJing, becoming a highlight headliner in the global club circuit. Since then, he has released a string of singles, remixes and, in 2014, pioneered an ongoing orchestral project performing with numerous international orchestras including City of London Sinfonia at Southbank Centre this year. Now, in his Opera House debut and for one summer night only, May will play a non-stop, sweat-inducing five-and-a-half hour DJ set that can’t be repeated.

Helena Hauff – Friday 13 December
Voted “the most exciting DJ in the world right now…[making] zero concessions to mainstream tastes” (Crack, 2017), Hamburg-based Hauff will make her Australian debut in the Studio this December in a heady mix of Krautrock-influenced wave, techno, electro and post-punk. Hauff, who has released three albums with legendary label Ninja Tune including her latest LP Qualm (2018), has garnered an in-demand status in recent years but remains true to her underground roots, even initially releasing her debut record, A Tape (2015) on cassette only. Since her first international booking in 2012, Hauff has become irreplaceable on the festival and club circuit performing at Dekmantel, Dimensions, Primavera Sound and Berlin’s infamous dance club, Berghain. Don’t miss the opportunity to be immersed in an unpredictable and one-off DJ set with support from Sydney’s charismatic House of Mince resident DJ, Kate Doherty.