Few techno personalities boast the tenure of Richie Hawtin while still remaining as relevant as he is today. Recently, the Berlin-based DJ, producer and Plus 8 co-founder went on the record to offer perspective on the growing pains faced by he and his contemporaries.
In an interview with High Snobiety, Hawtin discussed a range of topics including his early years, DJ equipment and fashion. In response to a question about how DJ culture has evolved, he said:
My ex-label partner John [Acquaviva] and I have an investment firm now, where we’ve invited nearly a hundred different DJs to pool their money together to reinvest in companies and technologies that empower creative people. In a way, it’s so far removed from where we were 25 years ago as a little record company. That shows you the size and the complexity of the scene, how it’s truly become an industry. No DJ or electronic musician, save for Kraftwerk and a couple others, have reached this age. Many of us don’t really know where it’s going, or how we’re supposed to act. How long is the career of a DJ? Where do we go from here? Should we be slowing down as we’re getting into our 50s or 60s and not be in the booth in a club for 20-year-olds, or is that part of the magic?
Hawtin’s insight into the quandaries facing DJs of his era illuminates modern electronic music’s unique cultural context. A handful of elder statesmen now task themselves with devising a blueprint for their successors to follow – even if only for the sake of their own career longevity.
In a separate interview published three months ago, Richie Hawtin recounted how the Oklahoma City Bombing of 1995 nearly derailed his career. He will continue his tour with a performance tonight, October 20th, at Blue Marlin Ibiza in the United Arab Emirates.