Richard "Richie" Hawtin (born June 4, 1970) is an English-born Canadian electronic musician and DJ who was an influential part of Detroit techno's second wave of artists in the early 1990s and a leading exponent of minimal techno since the mid-1990s. He is best known for his work under the alias Plastikman and for his ENTER. events in Ibiza and around the world.
Hawtin is known for DJing 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 M_nus Records. In summer 2012 Hawtin first presented ENTER., his experimential event at Space in Ibiza.
Hawtin was born in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England, but moved, aged nine, to LaSalle, Ontario, a suburb of Windsor, Ontario across the river from Detroit, the birthplace of techno. 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., whose Approach and Identify 12" is closely associated with the origins of the IDM subgenre. 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 iconic persussive single "Spastik" and parent album "Sheet One", going on to release breathtaking 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, pioneered the Minimal techno style. His M_nus label also pursued this direction. In 1999 the Decks, EFX & 909 mix album, the first in a series of three, set new standards for technological input, including 38 tracks molded via effects and drum machines.
Hawtin spent part of 2002 and 2003 living in New York City, before moving to 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."