4 June 1970 (age 50)
Banbury, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Richard "Richie" Hawtin (born June 4, 1970) is a British-Canadian electronic musician and DJ. A three-time DJ Awards winner, he became involved with Detroit techno's second wave in the early 1990s, and has been a leading exponent of minimal techno since the mid-1990s. He became known for his recordings under the Plastikman and F.U.S.E. aliases. Under the latter, he released his debut album Dimension Intrusion (1993) as part of Warp's Artificial Intelligence series.
In May 1990, Hawtin and John Acquaviva founded the Plus 8 record label, which they named after their turntable's pitch adjust function. In 1998, Hawtin launched M-nus Records. In summer 2012, Hawtin first presented ENTER., his experimental event at Space in Ibiza. In 2016, Hawtin launched his own technology company called PLAYdifferently, and released the MODEL 1 mixer, co-designed with Andy Rigby-Jones.
Hawtin was born in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England, and at the age of nine moved to LaSalle, Ontario, a suburb of Windsor, Ontario. 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.
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. 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 single "Spastik" and parent album Sheet One, going on to release a number of 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 and other producers, explored so-called Minimal techno. His M_nus label also pursued this direction.
In 1999, the Decks, EFX & 909 mix album, the first in a series of three, included 38 tracks molded via effects and drum machines.
In 2001, Hawtin performed at Life Fest in Windsor. He spent part of 2002 and 2003 living in New York City, before opening a label in 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."
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 technology such as the Lemur Controller. Two years later, at the Time Warp festival in Mannheim in March 2010, Hawtin unveiled a new Plastikman live show, known as Plastikman 1.5, which toured internationally.
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.
In 2013, Hawtin worked with his brother Matthew on concept pieces entitled Contained at the Art Basel showcase in Miami.
In July 2015, Hawtin was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music Technology by the University of Huddersfield. Hawtin's launched his own music technology company, called PLAYdifferently, in 2016. The first release was the MODEL 1 mixer, co-designed with the award-winning Andy Rigby-Jones. The mixer has been adopted by DJs such as Carl Cox, Jamie Jones, Loco Dice and many others.
In 2016, Hawtin worked with German artist Andreas Gursky for the Not Abstract II exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery in New York.
A long-time interest in Japanese drinks saw Hawtin opening a sake bar, Sake 36, in Berlin in 2020, as a side venture. He says he manages his sake brand, 'Enter Sake', like a record label.
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.
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.
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, titled EX, was released digitally on June 10, 2014 followed with a physical release on July 15, 2014 .
On December 11, 2015, Hawtin released a fifteen-track LP titled From My Mind To Yours to commemorate the 25 year anniversary of his record label Plus 8. The album consists of all new tracks from his various aliases such as Plastikman, F.U.S.E., Robotman, R.H.X., and Circuit Breaker. In its first week, it reached the top 20 in the UK dance album charts.
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