Richie Hawtin has done more than enough to establish himself as one of the defining artists in all of electronic music. The Canadian has produced multiple innovative sounds across a variety of aliases and even moved into the more technical aspects of the business as his career progressed. Simply put, producers like him don’t come around that often, and with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at his top ten tracks of all time that set him apart from the rest, given that he will be landing in Ireland for the upcoming installment of Forbidden Fruit Festival.
10. Minus / Orange 2
Hawtin’s hypnotising take on minimal, drone-y techno is the sort of loop heavy track that perfectly sums up plenty of the electronic music that was around at the time. While there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot going on, the winding nature of the track reels you in as is the case with plenty of his productions.
9. Bang the box
Possibly more well known for Slam’s remix that would follow in the coming years, this offering, under Hawtin’s ‘Jack Master’ alias is most definitely one of his biggest tracks and is one of many cutaways from his signature sound.
This is one of his more instrumental and down tempo tracks that was at a time where there was much more attention paid to the slower tracks within electronic music, rather than an ambient offering or two on every few EPs
Sticking to a somewhat more down tempo theme we see his work as part of the Cybersonik group and ‘Technarchy’ most definitely brings us Hawtin’s acid, with a more overpowering electro tone that runs throughout.
6. Minus / Orange 1
The A side of the Minus / Orange EP definitely is a lot more inspiring than its accompanying track, despite its significance, and gives a sneak peak into the more acid influenced side of Hawtin that is much more prevalent throughout a healthy chunk of his discography.
Plastikman is most definitely our favourite side to the versatile producer and with tracks like this in numbers under the alias’ belt it’s hard to argue against it. ‘Krakpot’ is one of a number of genre-breaking tracks that defined an era, full to the brim with droning kicks and crackling acid.
4. Call it what you want!
‘Call it what you want!’ is an ode to the more unashamed side of early 90s techno and this is undeniably the sound of early Richie Hawtin work. While the producer’s sets may now feature a more reserved take on the heavy side of electronic music, this is his contribution to ‘blow the door down’ techno.
Hawtin released a mountain of material on his collaborative label effort Plus 8 records. The releases came in a number of relentless dance floor anthems that are sure to keep you moving in the rave. This particular number instills particular thoughts of a dingy warehouse with an endless number of dancers being hypnotised by the bleeps and kick drums.
2. Acid Probe
‘Acid Probe’ manages to merge together the earlier inspirations of Cybertronik into the more recognised Hawtin acid formula into what is a track that is both suited to the both club and home listening. While he is accredited with being an innovator, his use of acid is one of the most consistent and impressive across all of dance music.
From the minute we kicked off the list, we knew there’d be no competition as to what would come out on top. The Dubfire re-work of the track would also place very highly if we were able to include remixes, but really this is Hawtin’s masterpiece and a true ode to the success of his Plastikman alias. ‘Spastik’ encompasses almost every sound that has emerged from Hawtin past and present and delivers it as one of the most unique and iconic electronic music tracks that’s hit the planet.