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Richie Hawtin

Richie Hawtin is probably the most popular DJ in techno, and the one name certain to polarise opinion. Some see him as a digital innovator, while others think he has sold out his underground roots to become a techno pop star. No matter what side you belong to, there's no doubt that Hawtin is a fascinating character, as his answer to DJmag's question about how the recession affected him shows. "I think the recession has actually helped my gigs this year," Richie reckons. "We've put more effort into each gig than before, spending extra energy and ideas on lighting, visuals and the entire experience," he explains. This approach means that Hawtin has plenty of fond memories of gigs in 2009, from "smoothly transitioning between house, techno, tribal and back again," with Dubfire and Luciano at La Dune in Toulouse, France, to his favourite gig of the year, "at a warehouse in St. Louis, with huge speakers, one lightbulb and a bunch of kids freaking out." Technology continued to loom large in his performances. He integrated Native Instruments' Maschine into his set up, alongside his usual four digital decks. "We also introduced our Twitter DJ application, giving a real time insight into the way a DJ builds and creates his or her individual dynamics within a set."