Richie Hawtin Interview
2008 was a phenomenal year for Richie Hawtin and M-nus Records, who marked the label’s tenth anniversary with the audio-visual onslaught known as Contakt and released choice albums from Gaiser and Heartthrob. In Issue 25, we pay homage to Hawtin in the coveted Icon section. Here’s the rest of the interview where Hawtin discusses the amount of effort it took to stage the Contakt tour, his opinion on the so-called death of minimal and his plans for his Plastikman alias.
UMP3: So how has the Contakt tour been going for you?
Richie Hawtin: Amazing! It got off to a bit of a slow start, because originally we wanted to have one per month, so it would really ramp up nicely but we had the Detroit show. We had a test show in Vienna which was really cool, and the Detroit show which was little bit disappointing.
UMP3: I was actually there for that one.
Richie Hawtin: It’s a little bit hard to describe that. We worked with some really great people, some friends, but it came together like a party would have come together 15 years ago and the type of show it is now is nothing to do with that. It can’t be run that way. It has to be done like a concert. After that we had Sonar, which was absolutely amazing for us. I think we really hit the nail on the head. It was amazing.
UMP3: How long after the Detroit show was that?
Richie Hawtin: That was only like three weeks.
UMP3: Really? And did you have any shows in between there?
Richie Hawtin: No, no. It was just the, you know everything just came together. We have like a 25-page technical rider for the show, and if you follow that the show comes together. If everything comes together for the technical stuff, then we can do our job, because when you’re trying to get that many people working together on stage and coming back and forth, things like monitors and wiring and front of house and all this stuff becomes ultra-important.
UMP3: It sounds like a nightmare!
Richie Hawtin: It can very easily fall apart, so we actually—after Detroit and then after Sonar—then we canceled Montreal. We nearly were going to do one in Chicago, but we just pulled them because people couldn’t promise that they could do what we needed. So we thought, “Well, then it’s not worth it.” And then we really started again, full on, and this was the thing, when we put it together originally we were going to do one a month so it would really keep a momentum; but just because of scheduling and that type of thing it didn’t happen that way, so now we’re in the middle of a whole bunch of them. So we just had Berlin, which was really, really good.
UMP3: Where was that?
Richie Hawtin: It was in Columbiahalle, which is like a concert venue. The only complaint we can say about that, the show was spot on, but the only complaint we can have about that is that