From: Windsor, Canada
DJ style: “Techno.”
Best known for: “1990: Plus 8; 1991, F.U.S.E; 1993, Plastikman; 1998, Minus; 2005, ‘DE9’; 2008, Contakt; 2013, ENTER.; 2016, Model 1.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Balthazar & JackRock ‘Rave Story’ (Odd Recordings). It’s hard for me to go back and play old rave records from the 1990s, as they just don’t feel as fresh or exciting to me as they did back then. ‘Rave Story’ gives me enough of the sound of that era but successfully wraps it up in a fresh way with a result that is both pounding and exhilarating!”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “DJ ANNA. Although ANNA has been around for quite a while, this year saw her step up her productions and remixes to another level.”
Richie Hawtin never stops. For the best part of three decades, the Canadian DJ/producer has worked tirelessly to redefine techno. From the early days of the Plus 8 label — home to then-emerging artists like Speedy J, Kenny Larkin and Dan Bell — and his expansive F.U.S.E. project, into the menacing, acid-soaked minimalism of his Plastikman alter ego, Hawtin was an innovative artist and ground-breaking label owner.
As the ‘90s drew to a close and the new millennium started, he turned his technological focus to his DJing. As anyone who had the pleasure of hearing in a club or just his ‘X-Mix’ CD can attest, vinyl-era Hawtin sets were a propulsive blend of house and techno. The addition of a 909 for his 1999 mix, ‘Decks, EFX & 909’, accentuated his angular selections and paved the way for the intricate ‘DE9: Closer To The Edit’ and ‘Transitions’ mix CDs. By the time the latter mix arrived, the minimal — or ‘mnml’ — boom was in full swing, with Hawtin’s Minus imprint positioned at the epicentre, with the label producing artists like Marc Houle, Magda and Troy Pierce.
While Hawtin revived the Plastikman project in 2015 for a series of new EPs, he continues to look forward. Apart from his touring schedule, which has seen him visit Asia twice and play across Europe, the US and South America, he tells DJ Mag that he has been “working hard to continue the development of my CLOSE live concept and learning video editing in order to finish an upcoming audio/visual release that brings you closer to how I perform and the intensity of spontaneity and synchronicity!”
Words: RICHARD BROPHY