Plastikman in Second Life. Now, could Plastikman get a second life? Survey says yes. Photo: (CC) Torley.

Richie Hawtin has been the subject of adulation and sometimes seemingly-random scorn by readers of this site — blame the passions of the Internet. But amidst that noise has been a clear signal: bring back Plastikman.

Richie is a terrifically talented DJ, but for many of us it’s his work as a producer that we love. And for all m-nus has done over the years, the handful of work that comes from Richie’s Plastikman persona remains significant. He’s announced he’s bringing Plastikman back, and has a survey to match. Don’t worry – this isn’t something like “What’s your favorite bpm,” or “specify preferred filter cutoff frequencies.” It’s more along the lines of whether you’d see a show in Santiago or Perth. But there are indications of a new live show and re-releases. (I’m not clear whether the “new project” includes a new release, but I do hope so, and it does talk about “creative process.”)

When considering the various aspects of Richie Hawtin’s persona, it seems fans reserve a special place in their hearts for Plastikman. So it’s only right that as we prepare for a new Plastikman project next year, you should have some input and control over exactly what you see and hear.

http://www.plastikman.com/survey09/

Richie Hawtin and the also-excellent Ambivalent reflected on music making with technology at DubSpot here in New York over the summer. I think they had some really good things to say, even if your own music tends in other directions or genres, so now is the ideal time to share that. Both Richie and Kevin spoke about the need to incorporate physical gestures into digital music making, whether it was drawing on the performance (for Ambivalent) or locking oneself into the studio and getting physical with the gear (for Hawtin). That made something like Maschine important to Richie’s newer work, he said. DubSpot has video of this conversation (led by an audience Q&A of Ableton users), as well as a private conversation with Richie about his work.

It was around that time that Richie Hawtin was scanned into the computer by a rogue software application, met another program named Tron, and had to defeat the evil Sark. Photo (CC) Luiz Roberto Galetto.

Videos via the DubSpot blog.

Thoughts? Care to disagree, for that matter, with their take on performance and what matters? (I think there’s plenty to discuss here in an open conversation.)

  • holotropik

    Wise words indeed :)

    Inspired me to play 'live' and improvise and regardless of the negative feedback Hawtin receives from the internet 'know it all' types, he is still pushing boundaries and inspiring.

    Thanks for the read :D

  • Bynar

    I think if he does new material as Plastikman, he might just shut up the internet pundits. As the videos show, Hawtin is just about one of the most down to earth guys around.

    I like his advice about finding the "unique setup" and keeping it simple. I also liked his take on new plugins and software. Work with it for a good year and then make subtle changes or additions at the start of the next year. I am proud that so far this year I have restrained myself from buying new gear. At the end of the day you have to just choose what works and become a master with the tools you have.

  • stealthyg

    Bring back the ANALOG plastikman. I didn't like Closer very much, I don't know why.

  • http://stout.hampshire.edu/~jsk06 Lost

    I like this. Happy you covered this. I've felt for a while that the 'dance' portion of digital music saw little coverage here. I feel that there is a bit of stigma against it. But as artists like Richie shows, dance music can be just as mind blowingly experimental and technically sophisticated as anything else you read about here. I guess it just doesn't have as much nerd cred. Shame really cause dance music is largely what drives digital music technology forward and I sometimes I think that voice is ignored as too conventional. When really there's just as much interesting there as chip tunes or ambient electronic music.

  • f.e

    @stealthyg : + 1

  • rhowaldt

    @Lost: + 1

  • http://limacherpaul@googlemail.com fridgey dood

    I think that Richie is a great musician expecially the lovely squeelchy sounds he produces. He has been around for a number of years now. I got into progressive trance music with bands on the megadog scene in the early 90s whilst the ambient scene and got into the ORB and was very fortunate to see Orbital on a number occasions and am really happy that they are back.I think that the true musicians of musical evolution belong back then. Like Richie Hawtin check out aphex twin and Guitarist Legend Steve Hillage (system 7) as these guys really know there Mathematical skills of how sound works with the brain.

    Anyway thanks for this article Im just going into my Cd Collection for Plasticmans first album to listen to.

    PS I havent soaked the perferated sleeve into Lsd yet Lol

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