RICHIE HAWTIN

By Dan Prince, Photos : Alexandre de Brabant May 2016 MUSIC Read in PDF format N9/2016
RICHIE HAWTIN The techno start who changed the face of Ibiza forever looks back at his four glorious enter. Years and - as always - to the future.

How much of a factor in your decision to not bring Enter. To Ibiza this summer was down to this being the final year of Space on the island? 

I’d prefer to be full of surprises rather than make the moves that everyone is expecting. Part of the reason I fell in love with techno music in the first place was its ability to develop rapidly, keeping its eye focused on new sounds and constantly look forward. With that in mind, I’m always trying to stay inspired by being involved in projects that are timely and which excite me as much as the people around me. The most amazing projects are ones like that, where everyone’s energy seems to flow from one to another as if that energy is intensified in a feedback loop that allows all of us to do incredible things together. As this energy percolates, new ideas come forward – some of them are bought back into the project while others jettison off on their own unique pathways. This is exactly what happened with ENTER.Ibiza. During the course of four years so many exciting things developed from the experiences we had each Thursday night. ENTER. Sake developed into its own worldwide brand, my own recording creativity was reinspired by watching so many new artists perform (particularly in our Mind room) and one of the most exciting projects of my career developed as we tested the early prototype of our recently released PLAYdifferently MODEL 1 mixer throughout the last two seasons. At the end of 2015, as we started to think about the 2016 season, we realised that I needed to rebalance my schedule in order to make sure all of these projects had enough time to grow. With that in mind it was a natural decision to take a step back from Ibiza this season and allow my creative energy to flow where it needed to go.

The introduction of the ENTER.Sake bar was ingenious…

Thank you! The Sake bar became an early hangout point as many of our friends had the chance to play early sets with more musical freedom than perhaps they’d find during a typical late-night performance. We had many beautiful moments with artists such as Dixon, Guy Gerber, Dubfire and Maceo Plex – to name a few – opening up the room and warming everyone up for the long night ahead. It was incredible to witness a completely packed Sake bar and then realise that the rest of the ENTER.Experience hadn’t even begun yet!

So what is next for your beloved Sake brand?

My knowledge of sake is still in its infancy compared to my experience in music and technology so the next steps are to dedicate more time to learning even more about the production and culture of sake. I’ve changed my schedule to allow me more opportunities to visit Japan each year in order to visit more breweries and meet up with the key players in the sake industry. It’s an incredibly exciting time in the sake community as you’re starting to see the next generation of young brewers experimenting with traditions and making their first steps into continuing their family legacy. I’m still aware that I’m just a novice within such an old culture and the only way to further my knowledge is to meet, talk and taste sake from each of the breweries and learn about their unique brewing methods. As I’m very much interested in the balance between craftsmanship and technology I’m always hoping to learn more about how each brewery balances oldschool production techniques with high-tech wizardry in reaching their goals of brewing the most refined sake.

You are playing the Ushuaïa opening party, your first time here since 2013. What makes this such an amazing venue to play?

With so much clubbing taking place in the sweaty confines of dark clubs – which I love by the way – Ushuaïa offers a complete contrast with the warmth and feeling of dancing outside under the stars close to the beach. This feeling is what bought many of us to the island in the first place, to be partying outside celebrating the music that we all love. Returning to Ushuaïa for the opening is an exciting opportunity to introduce the perfect frequencies for another wonderful summer of music-fueled experiences on the wonderfully, crazy island of Ibiza.

Thoughts on the Space / Ushuaïa handover?

The clubs on Ibiza are at an interesting point in their development. Some clubs prefer to retain their historic vibe like the legendary – and quite incredible – Amnesia terrace, while others move forward looking for renewed identity. Space I believe falls into the latter as those often-talked-about mornings on Space’s open air terrace are long gone and have been replaced in recent years by a darker more intense experience leaving the club in an identity crisis of what it wants to be. My feeling is that this is the perfect moment for a rebirth and renewal of the building and identity of that historic planes-flying-overhead location. I’m confident that the team behind Ushuaïa realize this opportunity and are already working on how a newly imagined inside-outside club might fit in between all the other offerings on the island. A challenging opportunity not without risks, but definitely worth undertaking!

Who is inspiring you musically in 2016?

Over the past few years I’ve had an intimate view on some of the artists we have introduced at ENTER., particularly Fabio Florido and the ever-charming Hito. Watching Fabio develop his own hypnotic techno style and Hito’s fascination with vinyl have both been incredibly inspiring. They are two of the breakout artists of 2015 and continuing into 2016 both seem connected to the earlier days of Chicago albeit with a modern twist. Meanwhile, Matrixxman and Chambray continue to progress their own personal style and direction with each release and neither are shy for a challenge. Some of this year’s most beautiful atmospheric techno tracks have already been released by Berlin’s sensitive Blind Observatory, while up-and-coming Julia Govor seems intent on developing a unique style at her own pace, something that in today’s fast-paced world is rare and much needed. And if you want to see someone who slams the dancefloor with some serious undertow of bass matched by a smile that would make even Chris Liebing jealous, then go no further than Whyt Noiz. And from one of our most requested artists at ENTER.Ibiza, Gaiser has three new EPs in the bag; hopefully by the time you read this some of them will be on the way to your ears and with titles such as ‘Facefall’ and ‘Rubdown’ you can imagine what kind of bass-driven lunacy they are all about! Also, for 2017 keep your ears on Stellar, two young producers from Holland!

What can we expect next from the Hawtin studio…?

Working in the studio for me is a very physical experience; touching, grabbing, turning and playing various devices in a way that is unique to me which become a seamless and frictionless conduit of the ideas and feelings I have at that moment. I can change the pitch, bring that line in / out, turn the EQ on that frequency, or add percussion for renewed syncopation. All of these moments happen in real time and at best develop organically and intuitively from one moment to the next and are hopefully captured and then edited for released later. The past two years have been an exciting redevelopment of this creative process, first working on the Plastikman ‘EX’ album completely digitally and then last year’s newly created analog retrospective(ish) ‘From My Mind to Yours’. The next experiment is a tighter integration of both, utilising instruments and devices that have unique interfaces allowing me to better reach a more intimate balance between man and machine. Perhaps this is some sort of re-visit to my earlier work ‘Concept 1’…

When was the last time you danced to a DJ?

February 2016, Berlin at Berghain to DVS1. I’m very proud of my Midwest roots so I’m always interested in artists that have come from the conduit between those cities that I frequented during my early DJing career. So to experience DVS1 playing at Berghain was like a dream, a flashback to memories of our old warehouse parties, big speakers, strobe lights and techno DJs who aren’t afraid to push and pull frequencies and fold records into themselves into a new sonic tapestry that only exists at that moment. I like to listen to great records and songs at home in their entirety but on a dancefloor I want to feel like everything been ripped apart and put back together in some unique way. DVS1 was incredible that night.

And the last time you were really pissed?

During my last Sake Sommelier Level 2 course in Japan I decided afterwards that it was a good idea to take the 1.8-litre Ishobin sake bottles from the brewery back with us on the two-hour bus ride back to Tokyo!

What is on a Richie Hawtin rider?

Our new ENTER.Sake cups! The perfect and easy way to enjoy sake in a club or festival!

Richie Hawtin hosts a special ENTER.SAKE tasting dinner menu at Minami on the Ushuaïa Opening Party May 28th pairing his sake with delicious Japanese food.

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