Richie Hawtin is a Canadian electronic musician and DJ who was influential part of Detroit techno’s second wave of artists in the early 1990s. Hawtin is known for DJing minimal 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. In 1998, Hawtin launched Minus records, a label he uses primarily as a launch pad for his own projects
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!.
Hawtin dismisses speculation as to the demise of dance music. In an interview he said, “In the last few years, the interest in electronic music has gone back up, the quality of the music has gone back up, there’s a buzz which reminds you of the early days,” he insists. “From where I’m sitting right now, dance music is more vibrant than ever. In some countries you’ll always have the press saying it’s going down and writing it off, but somewhere else the interest level is soaring and people are discovering this music for the first time, like in South America, where it’s completely kicking off – it’s unbelievable down there. There are some great festivals and parties in Europe, and over the last five years I’ve seen Ibiza go from complete cheesy shite music to the resurgence of a number of different types of progressive electronic music.”
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.