Reclining on a leather sofa every bit as black as his clothing, Richie Hawtin may not look like a man divided.The Canadian artist is chipper and friendly, a far cry from the portrait of protracted seriousness he displayed during his spellbinding performance as Plastikman the previous night.It's more of me now, but I was always more of an introverted kid.The nerd in the corner who would be playing with computers and technology.”Donning a nostalgic smile, Hawtin trails off for a moment.“That’s why I got into this music, but Richie Hawtin is really not 100% that person,” he says. It's me locked away by myself, and the music, the frequencies, the structure and the journey you’re taken on by listening to a Plastikman album is about as close as you can get to my thinking, my feelings and my emotions.“The most important thing to recognize as someone trying to unleash creativity is the moment where all of those inspirations and ideas have suddenly bundled together and they're ready to come out. I had a number of free weeks last October or November and all these ideas that had been filtering around in my brain were ready to come out.
Hawtin is set to DJ under his eponymous moniker, serving upbeat techno and tech house rather than Plastikman’s brooding soundscapes.As an artist whose music is inextricable from identity, it’s no surprise that his persona has similarly shifted.“Well, the funny thing is that most people expect “Richie Hawtin” to be the real Richie Hawtin,” he says.“Of course it’s part of me, but I’ve learned how to be the performer I am onstage over the past 25 years, to interact, feel and party with the people.Everything you need to put on a great DJ performance.
The alter ego is closer to the human than anyone thought.”Reviving that alter ego after a decade of dormancy was not an overnight decision.Hawtin describes an incremental process of collecting and refining ideas during the long stretch since 2003’s “Closer.” They ultimately found form in Plastikman’s performance at New York’s Guggenheim Museum last November, which was recorded for “EX,” the first Plastikman album in over a decade.“It wasn’t that there was no Plastikman thought going on or creativity, it was just never the right moment to capture it,” he says.