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Virgin Fest 2008 Preview: Richie Hawtin

Richie Hawtin- a name that looms large in the world of techno, but one that many outside of the scene may find unfamiliar. To be clear, we are talking about techno here, not house, not trance, not generic electronic dance music. And more specifically we are talking about pummeling Detroit techno, and then, as Hawtin’s style progresses, heady minimal techno.

To make this a little more familiar to the uninitiated, techno grew out of the failing economy and racially divided Detroit in the mid Eighties. People like Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick May played a huge role in the transition from electro to techno. Hawtin, then known by the seriously unfortunate moniker “Richie Rich,” was one of the first white kids on the scene. Not even a native of Detroit, but English by birth, and an immigrant to Windsor, Canada, Hawtin was met with some resistance from the Detroit establishment. This reluctant passing of the torch from the old Detroit guard to the new kids became known as the “Second Wave of Detroit.” All this is chronicled in much greater detail in the book Techno Rebels: The Renegades of Electronic Funk, by Dan Sicko. If you have even the slightest interest on the development, and evolution of a scene from local sound to international movement, than read this book Read the rest…