Aug 07, 2011
Richie Hawtin

Perhaps the biggest man in techno, Richie Hawtin has manifested his artistic ideations through both his own name & his Plastikman moniker. LT3 sat down with Richie on the second day of EDC to talk about the growth of the techno scene & the differences between his stage names.

Richie Hawtin pres. Plastikman - Rekall (Original Mix) [Minus]
LessThan3: First of all, awesome set as Plastikman yesterday. What are the main differences we’re going to see between yesterday’s set and today’s?
Richie: As a DJ, it could become a little more lighthearted; people can see me and I can party. Plastikman is pretty direct–it’s more cerebral with the visuals. I’m trying to take people to a darker, deeper place. I’ll try and take people deep in my set as a DJ, but it’s more flexible when I’m doing it as Plastikman. I’m lucky to be able to do both things. I love a full-on party experience where you can just lose yourself in the moment and not worry about anything, but I also like grabbing that moment when people are free-minded and take them somewhere really deep and dark.
LessThan3: It’s really awesome that you have a chance to perform as both at one festival.
Richie: We didn’t just come to just do a show–we want to be a part of this whole thing that’s happening here. I don’t make pop music and we’re not gonna be that huge in this whole scene, but I want to give people the opportunity to hear something a little bit different.
LessThan3: Obviously Plastikman has had a huge impact on your success. Where does Richie start and Plastikman end?
Richie: The first couple of years I was producing under Plastikman, and then under Richie Hawtin they fused. I was DJing a lot, and there was a moment where I found my DJing and productions all coming into alignment. They got to a point where they all made sense, and that’s when I felt like Plastikman was reborn. We all have our musical ideas in our mind that we don’t tell anybody, and Plastikman was the moment where some of those came out through the music and it became personal.
LessThan3: The Minus label is full of some awesome artists. Any favorites and anyone you’re looking to sign?
Richie: It’s hard to say favorites because they’re all my gang of friends–I love them! I’m really happy to have Geiser here tonight because he rocks it. I don’t know where he gets these f*cking basslines, but they’re incredible. I know how to produce all this shit but when an artist comes to you and is like “there you go” with that kind of material, you’re like “F*ck! I know how you did it, but like, how did you do it?!” [laughter] We have a great new EP coming from Matthew Johnson, new music coming from Loco Dice and a new guy from Brooklyn named Ambivalent who has a great track named Jackson. It’s gonna be a great year.
LessThan3: You have a pretty big influence on the minimal scene and on the techno scene in general. What do you think of the course it’s taking?
Richie: There was so much hype a couple of years ago on minimal. We had an explosion but it kind of died down. As a DJ and being a part of the scene for so long, I’m happy to just see the whole scene explode because it’s all one and the same. Now, I guess the fact that the techno hitting a bit harder is good too. I like something a little more envelope-pushing, intense, and minimalistic. If I have to choose between house or techno, I’m always gonna go a little more for the techno side. I’m quite happy with where we’re going.
LessThan3: How do you feel about collaborations?
Richie: You know, earlier on I did a lot more of them but now the only reason I don’t do more of them is because I often don’t have the time to find my moment in the studio alone, let alone with somebody else. I think if I had more time in the studio, I’d welcome a lot more collaboration than I do now.
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes, and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Richie: That’s a hard one because it’d definitely be a Derrick May record, like Rhythm is Rhythm, or it’d be Kraftwerk or a Tangerine Dream record, and all these records are like ten or twenty minutes long! [laughter] So maybe that’d be a bad idea because i’d just be getting to the beginning of it and i’d be dead! I’d be really pissed. So maybe I should pick a punk track? No, I’d listen to a Prince record like Let’s Go Crazy.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Richie: Hypnotic, Intense, Minimal.
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