#TBT: The Evolution of Richie Hawtin’s Sound From 1996 to Today

Richie Hawtin 90s 1

How much can a techno producer’s sound change in twenty long years?

Before you answer,  you must consider that the first recorded use of the word techno in reference to a specific genre of music was in 1988. In less than thirty years since we have seen a myriad of sub-genres and styles come to life, launching the careers of new talented producers and DJs while also cementing the names of those early pioneers into the history books electronic music.

One such early influencer was Richie Hawtin. As part of the second wave of Detroit techno artists to emerge in the early 1990s, the Canadian producer became the leading exponent of minimal techno thanks to his work as Plastikman and as the head of the iconic Plus 8 label he began with John Acquaviva. In 1998, Hawtin launched M-nus Records and then in 2012 introduced the world to his ENTER. concept, an experimental event series that took Space Ibiza by storm and was then replicated at events throughout the world.

Although today Hawtin is a champion of technology, even curation and the evolution of live deejaying, it is always interesting to go back in time to investigate and navigate through the past and origins of the sound that launched his career in the mid-90s.

The below video immortalizes a Hawtin set performed at The End in London in 1996.  We can tell you that the set includes tracks such as “Krackpot” by Plastikman, “Wisdom To The Wise” by Dave Clarke, “Filter King” by 69 (Carl Craig) and Vapourspace’s “Gravitational Arch Of 10,” just to name a few.

Has Hawtin’s sound changed? If so, how? Tell us on Facebook or send us a Tweet with your opinion!

Free Download: Plastikman – EXhale (Sonar Live Mix)

Plastikman SONAR

Richie Hawtin will go down as one of the most influential visionaries of our generation. While there are many prolific artists that helped establish the scene, Richie Hawtin has played a major role in shaping the cultural and musical landscape that we live and breathe every day. From showcases at the Guggenheim to marathon sets world-wide, nothing is off limits for Mr. Hawtin.

His most recent endeavor manifests in the form of the CNTRL Tour in which he and fellow esteemed artists travel through the United States visiting college campuses spreading the good word about technology and techno culture. Tomorrow night marks the grand finale of the CNTRL 2015 Tour, and to honor this day we’re sharing the free download of his Plastikman EXhale recording live from Sonar 2014. EXhale is a truly minimal gem encompassing abstract sounds and textures, coming together to form one cohesive piece of electronic music.

The official CNTRL Closing Party will be taking place at the Hollywood Palladium with special guests Chris Liebing, Victor Calderone, Ean Golden, and Lee K. After a long tour across the United States we expect this one to end in grand fashion.

CNTRL Closing Party: Tickets | Information

Throwback Thursday: Plastikman – Plastique

Plastikman Live

The calm before the storm. That’s what I envision when I listen to the minimalistic works of Plastikman. The career of Richie Hawtin begins when his family settled in Windsor, Canada, one of the closest Canadian cities to Detroit. With a start at clubs like The Shelter, and meeting Detroit legends like Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, and Jeff Mills, Richie’s career was launched into a scene where he could experiment and test his creativity. For Throwback Thursday we’re taking it back to Plastique, a track from Richie’s peak days of Plastikman.

With droning atmospheres, acid drenched leads, and rolling shaker patterns, Plastique feels like I walked right back into the peak of one of the Plastikman parties of the 90’s. This is just one of many tracks that can be highlighted throughout his previous releases, each track somehow telling a different story. It was this type of sound that became popular in techno powerhouse countries like Germany. And like all scenes, it takes a sound and introduces it’s own influence. With his music being exposed and accepted in different parts of the world, it was only a matter of time before his vision would be shared everywhere. For insightful history about Richie Hawtin, and Detroit in general, take a look at this feature Slices documentary.

But he’s come a long way from his warehouse raves in Windsor and Detroit. Richie Hawtin has established himself at the forefront of music, technology, and nightlife branding. Headlining festivals and expanding his brand has taken him everywhere from Timewarp and Space, Ibiza to the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The future still appears to be bright for him, and it’s always interesting to see what he comes up with next. But for now, we can look back on a timeless classic from Plastikman.