Richie Hawtin

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Richie Hawtin
FOR FLYER Hawtin 1528 cropped.jpg
Background information
Birth name Richard Hawtin
Born (1970-06-04) June 4, 1970 (age 44)
Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Origin Windsor, Ontario
Genres Techno, minimal techno, Detroit techno, ambient, electronica
Labels Plus 8, M-nus, NovaMute

Richard "Richie" Hawtin (born June 4, 1970) is an English-born Canadian electronic musician and DJ who was an influential part of Detroit techno's second wave of artists in the early 1990s and a leading exponent of minimal techno since the mid-1990s.[1] He is best known for his work under the alias Plastikman and for his ENTER. events in Ibiza and around the world.

Hawtin is known for DJing techno sets making use of laptop computers and digital mixing equipment. In May 1990 Hawtin and fellow second-waver John Acquaviva founded the Plus 8 record label, which they named after their turntable's pitch adjust function.[2] In 1998, Hawtin launched M_nus Records.[3] In summer 2012 Hawtin first presented ENTER., his experimential event at Space in Ibiza.[4]


Hawtin was born in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England,[5] but moved, aged nine, to LaSalle, Ontario, a suburb of Windsor, Ontario across the river from Detroit, the birthplace of techno. His father worked as a robotics technician at General Motors, and was a fan of electronic music, introducing his son to Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream at an early age. He has one brother, Matthew, who is a visual artist and ambient music DJ. Hawtin attended Sandwich Secondary High School in LaSalle. He began to DJ in clubs in Detroit at 17, and his early style was a mix of house music and techno.[6]

With Canadian DJ John Acquaviva he formed the label Plus 8 in 1989 to release his own tracks under the name F.U.S.E.,[6] whose Approach and Identify 12" is closely associated with the origins of the IDM subgenre. He dropped out of the University of Windsor, where he was studying film, and Plus 8 went on to release material by artists such as Speedy J and Kenny Larkin. Hawtin adopted his Plastikman incarnation in 1993, releasing the iconic persussive single "Spastik" and parent album "Sheet One", going on to release breathtaking albums and touring a live show for the next decade.

In 1996 Hawtin released a series of monthly 12-inch singles, entitled Concept 1 which, alongside the work of Robert Hood, pioneered the Minimal techno style. His M_nus label also pursued this direction. In 1999 the Decks, EFX & 909 mix album, the first in a series of three, set new standards for technological input, including 38 tracks molded via effects and drum machines.

Hawtin spent part of 2002 and 2003 living in New York City, before moving to Berlin, Germany, where he focused on his M_nus label, developing the careers of DJ-producers such as Magda, Gaiser, Hearttrob and Troy Pierce. In 2006, he collaborated with choreographer Enzo Cosimi on a composition called "9.20" for the Winter Olympics opening ceremony. He said, "Enzo and I are very much interested in pushing boundaries, both as artists and for our audiences. Working together for the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Games delivers the creative endeavor to not only entertain a huge audience, but to also introduce them to sights and sounds that they may have never experienced before."[7]

In 2008 the M_nus presents Contakt tour criss-crossed the globe, presenting Hawtin, Magda, Troy Pierce and others jamming on wireless audio workstations using brand new technology such as the Lemur Controller. Two years later, at the Time Warp festival in Mannheim in March 2010 Hawtin unveiled a spectacular new Plastikman live show, known as Plastikman 1.5, which went on to tour the globe.

In June 2011 Hawtin worked with Anish Kapoor on an installation in the Grand Palais in Paris.

In 2012 Hawtin worked with Loco Dice and Ean Golden in promoting Electronic Dance Music on a tour of North American universities entitled CNTRL: Beyond EDM, which included music production seminars, lessons in the music business, and live music performances.[8]

Since 2012 Hawtin has presented ENTER. at Space in Ibiza during the summer season, promoted via an acclaimed marketing campaign featuring a black dot. ENTER. consists of five specially designed rooms and a wide array of electronic music. Due to Hawtin's love of sake and Japanese culture ENTER. also has a sake bar that sells its own brand of sake, produced in a collaboration with Kyoto's Sookuu Sake Company.

In November 2013, Hawtin performed as Plastikman at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. This performance inspired him to finish a new Plastikman LP. "It put me back in the studio and inspired me enough to work on new material, and in five days I created a new album," he said. The album will be released in 2014.[9] The same year he also worked with his brother Matthew on concept pieces entitled Contained at the Art Basel showcase in Miami.

Recording career[edit]

"Substance Abuse" was released in 1991 under the F.U.S.E pseudonym

Problems playing this file? See media help.
The minimalist track "Ping Pong" was recorded under the Plastikman alias

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Hawtin has recorded music under the aliases Plastikman, F.U.S.E., Concept 1, Forcept 1, Circuit Breaker, Robotman, Chrome, Spark, Xenon, R.H.X., Jack Master, Richard Michaels and UP!. He also recorded and performed, in combination with other artists, under group names such as The Hard Brothers, Hard Trax (with his brother Matthew Hawtin), 0733, Cybersonik (with Daniel Bell and John Acquaviva), Final Exposure (with Joey Beltram and Mundo Muzique), Just For Fun (with Holger Wick), Narod Niki (with Akufen, Cabanne, Dandy Jack, Daniel Bell, Luciano, Ricardo Villalobos, Robert Henke and Thomas Franzmann), Two Guys In The Basement (with John Acquaviva), Spawn (with Fred Giannelli and Daniel Bell) and States Of Mind (with Acquaviva).

Hawtin and Pete Namlook collaborated to produce the From Within series of albums which blend minimal techno and ambient. He has also released a mix CD Sounds of the Third Season with Sven Väth.[10]

Slices magazine launched a series of biographies in 2007 called "Pioneers of Electronic Music"; their first issue was a 60 minute biographical documentary on Hawtin. The film follows his career from his early days crossing the border to Detroit to his current life in Berlin, and contains interviews with many colleagues and family members.

2011 saw the release of Arkives 1993 - 2010, a massive box set containing everything Hawtin has released under his Plastikman moniker, as well as a new mixed set and previously unreleased material. The collection includes CDs, vinyl, digital downloads and a DVD.

Selected discography[edit]


  • F.U.S.E. : Dimension Intrusion, 1993
  • Plastikman: Sheet One, 1993
  • Plastikman: Recycled Plastik, 1994
  • Plastikman: Musik, 1994
  • Plastikman: Sickness (EP), 1997
  • Concept 1: 96:CD, 1998
  • Concept 1: 96:VR, 1998 (remixed by Thomas Brinkmann)
  • Plastikman: Consumed, 1998
  • Plastikman: Artifakts [bc], 1998
  • Plastikman: Closer, 2003
  • Plastikman to the power of 9: Kompilation, 2010
  • Plastikman: Arkives, 2011
  • Plastikman: Ex, 2014 (UK Dance #16)

DJ mix compilations[edit]

  • Richie Hawtin: Mixmag Live!, 1995 (Live DJ mix album)
  • Richie Hawtin: Decks, EFX & 909, 1999 (DJ mix album)
  • Richie Hawtin: DE9: Closer to the Edit, 2001 (DJ mix album)
  • Richie Hawtin and Sven Väth: Sound of the Third Season, 2002 (DJ mix album)
  • Richie Hawtin and Ricardo Villalobos Live at the Robert Johnson, Offenbach, Germany, 2004 (11 hour DJ set)
  • Richie Hawtin: DE9 | Transitions, 2005 (DJ mix album)
  • Richie Hawtin: DE9 lite: Electronic Adventures, 2006 (DJ mix album, produced with MixMag)
  • Richie Hawtin: Sounds from Can Elles, 2008 (unmixed various artist compilation, free with DJ Magazine issue 467)
  • Richie Hawtin: Mixmag presents: Richie Hawtin - New Horizons, 2012 (DJ mix album)


  1. ^ "Richie Hawtin Bio, Music, News & Shows". Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  2. ^ Reynolds, Simon. "Generation Ecstasy". London: Routledge, 1999. 225-226. ISBN 0-4159-2373--5
  3. ^ "ten weeks of silence". Retrieved on March 6, 2009.
  4. ^ "ENTER the Void, Richie Hawtin and Ibiza". Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  5. ^ Gregory, Andy (ed.) (2002) International Who's Who in Popular Music 2002, Europa, ISBN 1-85743-161-8, p.224
  6. ^ a b "Richie Hawtin: Biography". Mute records. Retrieved on April 5, 2009.
  7. ^ "Richie Hawtin creates 9:20 for the XXth Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony". Resident Advisor, January 16, 2006. Retrieved on April 5, 2009.
  8. ^ Sami Yenigun (29 October 2012). "Dance Music Looks Beyond EDM And Hopes The Crowd Will Follow". GBP News. Georgia Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "Richie Hawtin Confirms New Plastikman Album 2014". Mixmag. Retrieved on December 13, 2013
  10. ^ "Richie Hawtin & Sven Väth". Mute Records. Retrieved on March 6, 2009.

External links[edit]