Techno Icon Richie Hawtin Talks Miami Art Week and How a Guggenheim Invitation Inspired New Plastikman LP

By Darren Ressler

Art and music have intersected from the beginning for techno troubadour Richie Hawtin. His brother Matthew’s work as an artist, and their shared passion for sight and sound, has influenced the Canadian-born DJ/producer since he set the world on its ear with his seminal early ’90s minimal track “Spastik” created under his Plastikman moniker. “We had this night and day creativity,” he said of his relationship with his brother. “In the daytime, we’d go to art galleries — see Ellsworth Kelly, [Mark] Rothko, Anish Kapoor — and at night go to these club experiences to see me play, Matthew was playing a little bit, Jeff Mills, Laurent Garnier. Somehow it all made sense to us.”

Currently living in Berlin and gallivanting around the world, playing the best clubs and festivals, Hawtin touched down on Miami Art Week to present Contained at Mana Wynwood with Matthew, play a few DJ gigs and immerse himself in art at various fairs.

“The only reason we booked a gig is to be here and take it all in,” Hawtin told us in an exclusive video interview (below) conducted after a blistering minimal techno set at an outdoor pop-up party at Mana Wynwood on a gorgeous afternoon. “We were at Pulse, Art Basel today, Art Miami today… seeing the blue chip art and seeing at the same time the new galleries and next famous artists who are just gestating in their initial ideas is incredible. I don’t see why people see it as a different faculty…. it’s just another form of how you bring your emotions into the world.

“It’s actually a breath of fresh air,” he continued about this particular visit to Magic City. “Usually the cities we’re going to are so concentrated on nightlife and the club experience or the Winter Music Conference… so coming here to Miami during Art Basel, the focus is on something else. We’re like an added bonus…. Because I grew up with my brother Matthew, art and music were always kind of synonymous.”

Last year the Hawtins decided it was time to do something together and present their “synchronicity” on a larger scale. The collaboration resulted in Contained. For another example of how art informs his work, an invite to present Plastikman live at the Guggenheim in New York City in November not only birthed a site-specific work — which he calls one of the most incredible experiences of his life — but also the new Plastikman album, a project he had tried unsuccessfully to complete for six or seven years.

“It put me back in the studio and inspired me enough to work on new material, and in five days I created a new album,” Hawtin shared.

“You talk about connectivity between art, music and architecture,” he added. “Music came out of me because of the opportunity to play in this beautiful architectural place that is actually renowned for art, not music. And now there’s a new Plastikman album. That’s how close these mediums actually live together but at the same time the mass population sees them as completely different things.”

Watch the full interview with Richie Hawtin below and be on the lookout for information soon about when the album will be available for fans to buy.

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