Richie Hawtin at Alte Börse, Zürich

Why is there so much new talent and guys like Richie Hawtin are still around? The canadian who brought Detroit their own sound is more than a legend in Europe. Many are not even aware that he is NOT from the UK. His alter ego Plastikman has featured on so many compilation in the last two decades, even discogs.com has lost track.

Of course, with such an Uber-Persona in the world of techno, you are bound to find some haters, unless you are Derrick May or Juan Atkins. He offers it too, the awkward hair with the clumsy movements on stage. He has no real hit to speak of, more a definition of a very early version of that Detroit sound, Electro House. It is both minimalistic and danceable (the secret lies in BPM speed), but failed to progress notably in all these years. Even at yesterdays gig, I had the nostalgic and warm sensation of being at a Dachkantine gig again. But there is more to that. If everything, Richie Hawtin sees and hears talent way before and pushes it into his own releases, not labeling it his music, but giving it the stage it deserves. While holding stoically on to his style, you only need to watch him and you know what’s what in the strange scene of electro house, that holds both fantastic und utterly discgraceful music. With Richie it is always the first kind.

And of course there are his live sets. First off, he will not stop playing. Two and a half hours in, the sun already coming up, and he’s only getting started. It only works after 2am, but boy does it work well. The crowd, coming from all over, going mental while still being remarkably friendly and peaceful. For some reason the bigger-name artist on stage, the higher the number of idiots attending. Not so this time. Made you a bit sad, that Alte Börse is apparently up for closing, because the location and the sound system especially do work the magic. We’ve seen it with 2manydjs two years ago, and we’ve seen it again with Richie Hawtin.

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