If there is one person that it is absolutely impossible not to mention when speaking about techno, it is the legendary Canadian Richie Hawtin. Hawtin was born in England in 1970, but moved to LaSalle, Ontario at age nine. LaSalle is located just across the river from Detroit, where his father worked as a robotics technician at General Motors. His father was an avid listener of electronic music and introduced Richie to artists like Kraftwerk at an early age.
Hawtin first began DJ-ing at clubs in Detroit at age seventeen, playing a blend of house music and techno. Substance Abuse was one of Hawtin’s earliest successes, and was released under the pseudonym F.U.S.E. in 1991. Substance Abuse was released on Plus 8 Records, which was started by John Aquaviva and Hawtin himself in 1990, and remains one of the most influential labels in techno to this day. Dark and repetitive with an ominous vocal, Substance Abuse embodies everything that made early Detroit techno so great.
As time went on and techno evolved, so did Richie Hawtin. Panikattack is a considerably more modern track that was released under the name Plastikman, his most popular alias. Panikattack, like many Plastikman releases, is about as minimal as it gets, almost to the point of being dub techno. Dub techno is techno so minimal that it is created with the intent of either being played on top of other tracks or heavily tweaked and modulated with effects gear, a DJ style partially pioneered by Hawtin himself.
To this day, Richie Hawtin’s releases still center around bare-bones minimalism and psychedelic soundscapes. His 2010 Plastikman release of Kompilation was a time machine trip back to the 1990s, featuring tracks cut from the same cloth he has been using for 20 years. Kompilation was critically and commercially acclaimed, dominating the Beatport techno charts the week of it’s release. Even with a hectic touring schedule, Hawtin has planned another 2010 Plastikman release to be titled Arkives, and we can’t wait to give you the scoop when it drops.