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Plus 8 (also spelled as Plus8, without the space) is a Canadian techno record label, based in Windsor, Ontario and founded in 1990 by DJs Richie Hawtin and John Acquaviva. Initial releases were by the pair themselves and their friends, using aliases such as States of Mind and Cybersonik, along with other Detroit-based musicians such as Kenny Larkin. Along with Underground Resistance and Planet E, Plus 8 was one of the vanguards of Detroit Techno's 'Second Wave', capitalising on the vacuum left by labels such as KMS, Metroplex and Transmat at the start of the 1990s.
Plus 8's initial releases were a series of increasingly faster industrial hardcore recordings. This provides a clue as to the origin of the label's name; on most turntables, +8% is the maximum amount by which one can increase the speed of playback. The label began to retreat from hard and fast tempo after the release of Circuit Breaker's "Overkill/Frenz-E" and Cybersonik's "Thrash" in 1992. Hawtin and Aquaviva became disenchanted with the drug-fueled dynamic and rave culture that was driving hardcore techno. The label's total departure from hardcore came in 1992, when Hawtin and Aquaviva found themselves in a club in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The club DJ was playing one of Plus 8's records, a 150bpm version of Cybersonik's "Thrash", and the crowd began to chant along to the song. It soon became apparent that the chant was an anti-semitic football chant. The pair decided to change musical direction by slowing down the tempo and bringing funk and soul back into their music.
Important releases include early 12-inch singles from Speedy J, and from Richie Hawtin's many pseudonyms including F.U.S.E. and Plastikman. The label was suspended in 1997, as Acquaviva concentrated on DJing and Hawtin on his new label, M_nus, but releases (and re-releases of early material often licensed to other labels) have appeared from time to time, notably 2000's Plus 8 Classics triple 12-inch vinyl and CD retrospective.
- Reynolds, Simon (1998). Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture. Little, Brown and Company. pp. 225–230.