Richie Hawtin Interview
Wednesday 7th December 2011 | Osh
We spoke to the man behind Plastikman to find out how he finds the time to be a great DJ whilst running two record labels!
Last time we were talking about Plastikman 1.5 and the release of Arkives this year what was your response back from your fans?
I have been 100%, actually 200% absolutely blown away. You know we definitely did have some people that were getting a little bit anxious and upset that we delayed it twice. Even my very closest friends usually expect us to do our best . I think we have delivered the goods. We were so rapped up in that project with different papers and different captions, with an I cut for consume that this looks like acid sheets and this one embossed so it looks like artefacts. Its a pretty crazy presentation now that we look back. Every time they said we couldn't do that I said Fuck it lets just do this, we only have one chance to do this so I'm very very happy that people can see how much time and love that was put into the whole idea, the package.
She actual release got delayed you say?
Yeah originally it was supposed to ship in February and then we thought it was going to be April but then it didn't ship until the end of August. Putting together that much text and photo's and then checking it doing test prints, cuts,the aligning of the pages and also everyone who ordered one had a special page inserted into the book with their name one it and then get special packages so we had to make sure that each one was going to the right person. It was a crazy over the top experience for us but totally worth it.
That sounds awesome that's one of your greatest achievement to date would you not say?
I think so. I'm pretty good at announcing over the top ideas and somehow pulling it off. I think Contact was like that, Plastikman 1.0 and 1.5 was like that so you know I wouldn't want to say that were not flying by the seat of our pants right now (Laughs) but that's what I like. I like trying to up the anti and what people should expect from us and the electronic scene from performance, DJ or live shows or releases that's part of it you know. To me it just seems natural as humans we grow and learn more and you want to out do yourself, you want to give people things that they haven't felt or seen or touched before, that's part of the creative energy that drives me along.
Wicked course. So what was your favourite Plastikman Live this year so far?
Ouch! Actually that’s easy, well we had an amazing tour at the beginning of the year, which seems so long ago, in Australia and that was the end of the 1.0 shows. It was Beautiful weather, we were all touring together, we had a lot of shows that we did in a small amount of time which gives you a great momentum but the best show I would say was MUTEK. MUTEK in Montreal was where we started with the Plastikman live idea, the multimedia version of the idea back in 2004. When we did that show we didn't have the success that we wanted to and I was pretty disappointed and devastated by some of the technology that just didn't work or how I thought they should at the moment in time. To go back there again which happened to be on my birthday which was the same thing years ago, and to give people the show that we had thought that we were going to do in 2004 was an incredible experience and an incredible feeling of accomplishment and yeah.. you know those kind of feelings don't grow on trees.
You have have a great series of shows coming up in this first week of December, you have Manchester, a London show at the Brixton Academy and one in Glasgow. I’m looking forward to the London date.
I am very excited about coming back to London for the first week in December, last time at the Brixton Academy show cause we had such a great 'Contact' show there and many great experiences over the last 20 years in the early days doing shows their, were going to come with full power with the whole team and we hope to have an incredible night there.
Awesome. So we got Plastikman 2.0, that's forthcoming. What upgrades have you and your team made to Plastikman cause its gone from 1.0 to 1.5 so what's 2.0 going to be about?
Well 2.0, that's a big undertaking, we cant really talk to much about it cause its going to take us another six months too finish it so we really don't want to release too many of our crazy ideas, but you know we will continue with the idea that were trying to make a fully immersive experience and perhaps take that experience and make it even more immersive environment and bring people really into the whole structure of the show, the sound and the lights. I think concerts are where people go to be bombarded by sound, light, video, smell and temperature that creates something magical, like a reality that's a non-reality and those are the kind of ideas we want to explore as we expand and progress.
OK cool. When we were talking last year you guys were talking about the new software company that you have called Line, have you got any new developments with that cause I know your doing stuff with Ableton and so forth.
Yeah with Line we done a lot of work with some of the products which was inspired for the Plastik Man shows, like Capture which works with Ableton then we started to release a series of fun Apps called Remiix. We have Remiix Dubfire, Remiix Jon Aquaviva, Remiix Plastikman, Remiix Cocoon yeah we got a whole bunch that's coming out. These are Apps where people can take different tracks from various artists from those labels and mix in parts of a track over other parts of tracks and remix their favourite artist. When they are finished they upload those remixes to Sound Cloud and share it.
What about the Sync Project, hows that going?
Sync has been updated for the 1.5 show. What we did with the new show, is there is a little bit more interaction with me and the crowd. I actually appear a bit more on the visual screens and with Sync you can chat or text two people in the audience using the application with me on stage.
OK so I'm now just getting the difference fully from 1.0 and 1.5 cause Plastikman was originally where you would kind of be not Richie Hawtin and people would be taken away by the music and the visual but now what your doing is your bring yourself back into it a little bit and also communicating with people.
Communicating in different ways as a DJ like looking at the people,I'm with the people yeah but with Plastikman I'm disconnected I am, I'm behind the cage with LED's and Plastikman is always about me communicating with people via electronic music and now were letting a little more communication via electronic signals. Heightening that Infra Red and the wireless LAN and phone networks so there's always a connection you know but via technology and that's kind of another thing that everybody knows that very much interests me.
Cool. I just want to talk about Cliff Martinez who did the sound track for Solaris. He was on your CD and you don't really get people to remix your Plastik Man stuff but have you got anyone forthcoming from anyone you can tell us about, a secret?
Right now there will be no more remixes of the Plastikman other than what we released on the Arkives set. Of course Martinez was an incredible honour to have him remix Plastikman you know his sound track especially from Solaris are absolutely wonderful and to have that kind of connection was amazing. That was my point you know when we decided to do that section of Archives, we didn't just want to bring anybody on board. I wanted to ask people to remix it that had an impact on my career either inspired me or sounds like such a wonderful movement and make those connection you know.
This question has nothing to do with Plastikman, if you had an empty swimming pool what would you fill it with?
Water cause I swim every morning (Both Laugh)
No No really. One of the things I have about myself is having time to think about the past present and the future and a lot of my thought process is done in my early morning swim. So I try to do up to five days a week so a pool without water is a life without ideas.
( Laughs) Wow that was quite swift. You weren't even ready for that one that was a perfect answer.
I was amazed myself, I think I'm going to have to have a drink after that one. (Laughs)
Last year I asked you the one about the desert island, I don't know if remembered that one but you said Christopher Columbus, Neil Armstrong and you said you would take your girlfriend because life with three men on an island wouldn't be good would it? (Laughs) no exactly we would be just talking about discovering stuff wouldn't we and I would like to discover stuff with my girlfriend on a desert island that I havent discovered!(Laughs)
Thanks for time bro, see you in December.
The Pleasure is mine Joe, see you then buddy.
Keep up to date of the Plastikman Live Tour at www.richiehawtin.com