Richie Hawtin revives his alias for 'EX' and exclusive Sonar gig

In the 1990s Richie Hawtin picked up the techno blueprint and took it to the edges of the universe. As Plastikman he produced an extraordinary body of work, starting with the 'Sheet One' and 'Musik' albums and incredible tracks such as the percussive 'Spastik' (below):

As the project progressed, Richie took Plastikman more and more into the realms of minimalism, and 2003's 'Closer' album was the last under the Plastikman name as Richie moved to Berlin, set up his M_nus label and threw himself in to his DJ career.

The new Plastikman album 'EX' — the first for over a decade — was recorded live at New York's celebrated Guggenheim art museum. Richie was asked to play a special show by Raf Simons, the Belgian fashion designer and artistic director at Dior. Richie performed around a specially constructed LED obelisk.

“I knew that Raf was a long-time Plastikman fan, so by accepting his offer to perform at the Dior event at the Guggenheim I knew I’d set myself up to a huge challenge,” Richie said. “Although Raf was happy to have the already complete Plastikman Live 1.5 show, I locked myself away in a series of intense studio sessions and quickly recorded enough new material for the performance and realized I might also have enough for a complete new album.”

“The music came out of me effortlessly, as I was very inspired by the opportunity to play in this beautiful architectural space renowned more for art than music,” Richie continued. “The location also allowed me to step far away from the dancefloor, giving me a huge amount of freedom to EXplore any sonic ideas that I had. Art, music, architecture, painting, sculpture— these mediums are supposed to live together.”

All tracks on 'EX' begin with the suffix 'Ex' — 'Exposed', 'Extend', 'Expand', 'Explore' and so on. The album is out digitally on Mute on June 10th, with the vinyl, CD and special edition for the SubPac portable bass system released on July 14th.

Next week on Thursday 12th June, Plastikman will play his only gig of the year — at Sonar in Barcelona, a festival with whom Richie has had a long association. Here he will perform new tracks as well as some classics, we presume. Get a taste of 'EX' from this preview here: