Richie Hawtin on Being Barred from the US: “It was Like Cutting the Umbilical Cord”

by | Jul 5, 2017 | News | 0 comments

As household a name as Richie Hawtin is, it’s strange to think that an unfortunate turn of events once made him fear for his career. In an interview with BBC World Service, the Berlin-based DJ, producer and entrepreneur relived a 1995 incident that caused him to have a breakdown.

In the wake of the Oklahoma City Bombing of the same year, Hawtin had been barred from the US. He recalled that the day after the tragedy, in which 168 were killed, he “had a gig in New York which was supposed to be a pivotal point, it was the first Plastikman live show of New York.”

After driving across the border with his brother, Matthew, Hawtin was pulled over by authorities. After being detained for several hours for not having any working papers, the two were sent back to Windsor, where Hawtin’s family lived at the time. He explained:

I remember going home after being in detention for six or seven hours and just crumbling on my mum and dad’s floor because it was like my career was over. My girlfriend was living in Detroit, all the parties we were doing were in Detroit [it was] everything that Plastikman had become. It was like cutting the umbilical cord. It changed everything for me.

When One Door Closes

As luck would have it, Richie Hawtin’s dilemma influenced him to become an international superstar DJ. Since he still held a passport he shifted his focus to European bookings, and by the time he had permanently relocated to Berlin in 2004 he had played no small role in helping pioneer the minimal techno genre.

It bears mentioning that Hawtin still still experiences the occasional barrier of entry; visa issues forced him to cancel his performance at the 2016 edition of Movement in Detroit. Of course, the situation was far less grave this time around, and the ENTER. mastermind has found his way back onto US soil since then.

Richie Hawtin will bring his CLOSE – Spontaneity & Synchronicity stage show to Primavera Sound in Porto, Portugal in the next stop on his world tour.

Source: Mixmag

Recent Articles