Mute Records is one of the most successful independent British labels still in operation, having been formed in 1978 and still going strong today. As such, their discography is broad, and not an easy one to find a way into for the uninitiated. The last 10 years have seen them release high profile records from Moby and Goldfrapp, as well as less accessible, but still equally as significant albums from Grinderman and Liars, but it’s easy to forget that their beginnings were rooted in the industrial sounds of the early 80s. Label founder Daniel Miller originally formed Mute to put out his first single as The Normal, and subsequent years saw him release similarly dark electronic music by Fad Gadget, D.A.F. and Depeche Mode. It was at this time that Mute’s initial musical aesthetic was formed, one that married the fury of punk rock with the electronic elements of the burgeoning synth pop movement.
You get the feeling had Richie Hawtin been born 200 years ago, he would have been one of those intrepid explorers, sailing the high seas in search of untold treasures, spices and cultures, or perhaps a canny inventor tinkering in his basement.Thankfully for us, he’s chosen to devote his life to exploring the nether regions of electronic music. It’s brought him many things – fame and notoriety, a swelling legion of fans few in the industry can match – but never has he strayed from his singular vision.
2010 saw the somewhat unexpected (but very welcome) revival of Hawtin’s most revered project: Plastikman. A host of well received live shows were performed at major festivals across the US and Europe, offering a new generation of electronic music fans a glimpse into one of techno’s most enduring pseudonyms . Anyone lucky enough to have witnessed one of these shows will remember the new material showcased alongside many a classic, with the timeless drumroll of “Spastik” teased in before being fully unleashed.
Juno Plus editor Aaron Coultate recently caught up with Richie – central to discussion was the Arkives 11-disc boxset, which compiles the finest moments from the original Plastikman era alongside remixes from some of the artists who inspired Hawtin most.
Following a summer when Ritchie Hawtin has wowed festival audiences from Barcelona to Detroit with his newly revisited Plastikman project, Minus release this Kompilation. A Greatest Hits by any other name, it rounds up 8 of Hawtin’s personal favourite Plastikman productions. Kompilation is a chronological document too, commencing with the acid thump of “Plasticine” taken from 1993’s Sheet One and ending on the menacing abrasive throb of 2004s “Ask Yourself”. Sandwiched between you get the seminal machine drum funk of “Spastik” interspersed with the nocturnal insect stomp of “Kricket” and the escalating acid jack of “Marbles”. This release serves as a superb starting point for new converts who might have seen the Plastikman show at Sonar or Time Warp; it’s also handy for the Hawtin obsessives to see how their own Plastikman mp3 playlists compare to the master. In fact it’s more than enough to forgive him for THAT cube.
In our Guest Blog section, we’ll be regularly roping in a globe-trotting DJ to share the literary burden at Juno Plus. They’ll bring you a weekly first hand account of life on the road; the parties, the highs, the lows and everything in between.
Guest Blog: Hobo (Minus) – “Rulez of the Road” – Pt 2
Last week Hobo played in Italy and Spain, had a blast, and learned one of life’s valuable lessons (don’t party on an empty stomach). In his second post the techno starlet takes us on board his trip to Manchester for the Minus Warehouse Project gig. We also have a very cool teaser to promote his forthcoming album.