Plasticman

From HiveWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Contents

Biography

be sure to check out the Richie Hawtin page too.

Richie Hawtin's name has become synonymous with techno. As co-founder of Plus 8 records alongside John Aquaviva (which later spawned Probe and Definitive), founder of Minus Records and the ultra minimal Concept series, the man behind F.U.S.E., Circuit Breaker, one third of Cybersonik and most notably Plastikman he has pushed the boundaries of electronic music and DJing in to the future whilst continuously evolving with the technology around him. Currently based in Berlin, Hawtin's DJ schedule remains as hectic as ever and his commitment to pushing technological boundaries has seen him pioneer new software such as Final Scratch, Ableton Live and develop a new 'Control' DJ mixer with Allen & Heath. Indeed it could be said that if anyone today were living the futuristic lifestyle envisaged by Kraftwerk's Man Machine it would most likely be Richie Hawtin.

Hawtin began as a DJ skipping over the border from his native Windsor, Ontario to DJ at places like The Shelter and then hang out till dawn at The Music Institute in Detroit. Heavily influenced by the Detroit techno scene the young Hawtin was inspired to set up a studio in the basement of his parents house and it was from this studio that he spawned the first Plus 8 releases which ranged from bleep techno and classic Detroit hardcore through to blissed out house music.

From the early 90's Hawtin's DJ career really started to take off with bookings all over Europe and the world. However, not one to turn his back on his roots, Hawtin began to develop his own parties in Detroit and the surrounding areas such as Jak and Spastik. His F.U.S.E. alias had already spawned the massive acid techno monster 'Substance Abuse' and album 'Dimension Intrusion' (Warp 1992) but his debut album under the name of Plastikman for the Novamute in 1993, 'Sheet One' and later single 'Spastik' were something of a revelation. With rampant drum assaults violently fed through and looped back via filter after filter the sounds of Hawtin were completely alien and revolutionary. Not infused with the lush orchestration of fellow Detroit contemporaries, Hawtin stood alone battering listeners with incessant polyrhythmic drum patterns and a rigid agenda of militant minimalism born out of his love of mid 80's European electronic music. Original as much as revolutionary, Hawtin had arrived.

His second Plastikman album 'Muzik' (Novamute 1994) cemented his reputation as a minimal conceptualist par excellence whilst his remixes of La Funk Mob, X-Press 2 and Robotman's 'Do Da Doo' showed his acid house/TB-303 dancefloor spirit still in full flow. Hawtin was also making leaps and bounds as a DJ and by the time of his momentous Glastonbury appearance in 1995, an event that saw 20,000 crammed into the dance tent to experience an appearance still regarded by many as a defining moment in dance culture, he was beginning to incorporate further technology into the DJ format. Drum machines and effects units were then later added to his weaponry to produce DJ sets that went far beyond the segueing of beat into beat. Hawtin had struck upon a unique approach, one which was to define his style and lead to a crop of imitators.

After over zealous immigration officials banned him from the States for 1 year in 1995, Hawtin cocooned himself into his Windsor surroundings and developed his time driven Concept series that was to see a new 12 released per month over the course of a year. Slow and dub laden, the sound was one of introspection with emphasis on detail and a pre-cursor of where Hawtin was going next. In 1998 Hawtin released the third Plastikman album 'Consumed', crammed with deep moods and inescapable locked grooves, the album was lush and warm, marking a new phase in Hawtin's development. The end of 1998 saw Hawtin release Artifakts (BC), an album that marked the end of a musical trilogy that had started with Sheet One and Musik.

Hawtin was next to put all his energies back into DJing and channel them into a new mix CD – an event that was to re-interpret the art of the DJ mix and once again take it to the next level. Already incorporating more avant garde elements into his DJ sets 'Decks, EFX and 909' (Novamute 1999) incorporated layers of tracks and effects, creating a new tapestry of aural art. As with his DJ sets, Hawtin was bringing in more studio equipment into the equation: from guitar pedals to compressor and delay modules and the all important Roland 909 drum machine, Richie Hawtin's DJ sets were becoming a live event in themselves.

Yet Decks and EFX were only the springboard for Hawtin's next mix project. After working with the French Ministry of Culture on a millennium celebration installation in Avignon (2000) and an industrial cut up of Yello on the massive club 12" 'Orange' (Minus), Hawtin was back in the saddle for 'DE9: Closer to the Edit' (Novamute, 2001). Where 'Decks, EFX & 909' cut laser-style between tracks the new mix project saw him reconstruct the mix album even further. 'DE9' was recorded using a unique process where over 100 tracks were sampled, cut and spliced down into their most basic components. Left with over 300 different loops, Hawtin then recreated and reinterpreted each track putting the pieces back together, as if an audio jigsaw puzzle – using effects and edits as the glue between each piece. The result was a mix album like you'd never heard before.

In the new millennium his monthly residency at Sven Väth's Cocoon parties on Ibiza spawned a new mix CD 'Cocoon Club, Ibiza: The Sound of the Third Season' (Novamute, 2002) which was to act more as a snapshot from a place and time that was partying in full flow. It was now some five years since the last Plastikman album and Hawtin was now ready to revisit his arch nemesis/alter ego once more. 'Closer' (Novamute, 2003) brought the listener a little nearer to the artist himself. It further delved into the mind of this unique figure in the electronic music world, making this his most personal work ever. Musically, Closer was his most complex work to date – still working within the re-occurring themes of minimalism and repetition, yet it is Plastikman at his least linear. Structures are drawn out, slowed down, pitched into oblivion – sounds collapse in on themselves and then re-emerge taking on new form. Extrapolate this to a more organic, human or psychological view, and you get dysfunction, indecision, self-scrutiny – the internal battle involved in the dissection of the ego. Hawtin was laying himself and his demons bare – nowhere was this more demonstrable than opening single 'Disconnect'. For the first time Hawtin's mutated vocals let the listener into every pore and fibre of his soul and the record buying public were indeed 'closer' to the artist than ever before.

2004 sees Hawtin spending his time between Berlin and Windsor, rebuilding his studio in the German capital and still DJing long, long sets that turn night into day. Whilst he releases a second single 'I Don't Know' from the 'Closer' opus and embarks on his first live show as Plastikman in 9 years at Montreal's Mutek Festival who knows what new influences Plastikman will soak up in his new Deutsche surroundings or what studio collaborations lay in wait. Vorsprung durch technik as they say.


Albums

Consumed

Consumed
  • Released: 1998
  • Tracks: 11
  • Label: [Mute US]
  • Track Listing
  1. Contain
  2. Consume
  3. Passage (in)
  4. Cor Ten
  5. Convulse (sic)
  6. Ekko
  7. Converge
  8. Locomotion
  9. In Side
  10. Consumed
  11. Passage (out)

Artifakts

Artifakts
  • Released: 1998
  • Tracks: 11
  • Label: [Novamute]
  • Track Listing
  1. Korridor
  2. Psyk
  3. Pakard
  4. Hypokondriak
  5. Rekall
  6. Skizofrenik
  7. Are Friends Elektrik?

Closer

Closer
  • Released: 2003
  • Tracks: 10
  • Label: [Mute US]
  • Track Listing
  1. Ask Yourself
  2. Mind Encode
  3. Lost
  4. Disconnect
  5. Slow Poke (Twilight Zone Mix)
  6. Headcase
  7. Ping Pong
  8. Mind In Rewind
  9. I No
  10. I Don't Know

Musik

Musik
  • Released: 2003
  • Tracks: 10
  • Label: [Novamute]
  • Track Listing
  1. konception
  2. plastique
  3. kriket
  4. fuk
  5. outbak
  6. ethnik
  7. plasmatik
  8. goo
  9. marbles
  10. lasttrak

Personal tools