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Essential Listening: Richie Hawtin

Essential Listening: Richie Hawtin

Thom Meakin | Features & Interviews

Richie Hawtin is a man of multiple aliases, in fact four different pseudonyms are featured here alone. Considered dance music royalty by many, it is clear to see why. The owner of three labels: Plus8, Minus and NovaMute, Hawtin’s output was consistent throughout the 90s and he has also played an instrumental part in developing a range of Native Instruments hardware. Born in Canada, Hawtin has been heavily influenced by the Detroit sound, yet has crafted a highly individual style and still maintains a heavy technological presence within his sets. His ENTER club nights have become legendary in Ibiza, providing a full clubbing experience to customers, and there is even an ENTER branded sake. Add to that the fact that he released his own mixer, the Model 1, last year and the veteran boasts quite the CV.

Richie Hawtin – Shufflephunk
Released in 2003 and a change from Hawtin’s usual stuff, this one is on a more minimal, techier tip. A little different to the other entries on this list, the rolling hi-hats push the track forwards for its entirety, with various intricate elements being introduced throughout the duration.

I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve heard this melody in dark basements. A mainstay in many touring DJs’ sets, it is difficult not to like. An energetic, euphoric club track, I would highly recommend a listen to anyone who hasn’t yet.

Jackmaster – Bang the Box
Another classic, under a different alias, the booming vocal, that comes in after around a minute and a half, sets the tone for remainder of the track. A true dancefloor destroyer, it experienced a revival earlier this year via a Slam remix on Soma records, with an equally heavy flip.

Plastikman – Spastik
Arguably Hawtin’s most famous release, Spastik still sounds as fresh as when it was released back in 1993. The rolling snare fades in and out, constantly changing dynamic, creating an atmospheric, peak time record with a driving kick drum to match; Hawtin at his best.

FUSE – Into the Space
Gently teasing the listener in anticipation of a characteristic heavier Hawtin moment that never comes. A true display of Hawtin’s diversity as a producer, the dreamy synth line is accompanied by a simple underlying bassline, alleviating any need for a kick drum.

Richie Hawtin has a busy Halloween ahead, with a double header on Saturday 28th October taking him to Leeds' MiNT Club and Circus in Liverpool in quick succession. The Detroit native will then venture back to the UK in December for the Printworks closing party, where he'll be presenting his PLAYdifferently mixer alongside the likes of Nicole Moudaber, Luciano and Chris Liebing. 

Photo courtesy of m-nus.com 

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