I’ve never met Richie Hawtin in person. I interviewed him on the phone once, for an L.A. Weekly article that ran back in 2008 and is now replaced with a lovely 404 error. (Hey, isn’t Internet supposed to be forever?) Despite having never met Hawtin in an official, shake-your-hand capacity, I am thoroughly convinced that he is the coolest guy in electronic music.
Hawtin is a fantastic DJ. (I’ve seen him play several times, once with Jeff Mills, which was kind of the be-all-and-end-all of techno nerdery in L.A. back when we thought our city had Berlin potential.) He’s a great producer and has decades of awesome work tied to his name. But, the reason he stands above nearly everyone on my Awesome Electronic People list is because of his commitment to technology. Hawtin pushes music forward, both sonically and technologically. The gist of his career, at least from my own observations, is that technology exists to empower artists to explore horizons that previously existed only in our imaginations. It’s not about erasing the past, so much as it is about embracing it as we march onward towards the future. This is why I’m incredibly excited to hear about Hawtin’s latest endeavor.
Hawtin and DJ/producer/labelhead Loco Dice have joined forces for CNTRL: Beyond EDM a music and education tour of college campuses across the U.S. and Canada. Only a limited amount of dates have been released so far, primarily encompassing the U.S. East Coast and Midwest, along with Ontario and Quebec. According to the press release I received, there should be a West Coast tour next year.
Each event is divided into daytime and nighttime programming. During the daylight hours, attendees can hit up lectures about music technology. At night, there will be performances from Hawtin, Dice and Ean Golden, the latter of the must-read blog DJ Tech Tools. There will also be guest DJs, including Kevin Saunderson, Seth Troxler, Carl Craig and Josh Wink, and guest lecturers, like Tiga and John Acquaviva. From the press release:
The events will focus on the techno and technology aspects of modern-day electronic music, presenting the more futuristic and underground side of the genre, as championed by HAWTIN and DICE and their peers for the last two decades. Central to the CNTRL concept are daytime seminars in the colleges to inform and inspire people about technology, music production, live performance, and the business of electronic music. These will take place from around 5pm-7pm on show day and are presented by worldrenowned electronic music production and DJ school, DUBSPOT. All DJs performing on the night will participate in the master classes by day, and CNTRL will invite local DJ / production / industry pioneers from each region to also take part in the events. CNTRL will be a future thinking session but will also ensure the students leave with a deeper understanding of how the genre developed to where it is today. The event then ends with a low-ticket gig at a venue near campus, giving the students a chance to experience the artists in action.
Tour dates are listed below. If you’re in any of the cities on this list, I strongly suggest you attend. I’m just hoping for at least one California date in 2013 so that I can check out what looks like a fantastic event.
10/29 — Buffalo, NY– TBA/Town Ballroom
10/30–Syracuse, NY– Syracuse University/Westcott Theatre
10/31–Boston, MA– Berklee College of Music/RISE
11/01–Washington DC– American University/EchoStage
11/02– Philadelphia, PA– Drexel University/Electric Factory
11/03– New York, NY– NYU/Webster Hall
11/05– Montreal, QC–McGill/SAT
11/06– London, ON–UW Ontario/London Music Hall
11/07– Windsor, ON– University of Windsor/Boom Boom Room
11/08– Toronto, ON– TBA/The Hoxton
11/12– Detroit, MI– Wayne State University/TV Bar
11/13– Urbana, IL– TBA/Canopy Club
11/14– Ann Arbor, MI– University of Michigan/Necto
11/15– Dayton, OH– University of Dayton/Masque
11/16– Chicago, IL– Columbia College/The Metro
11/17– Madison, WI– TBA/The Magestic Theater
11/18– Minneaspolis, MN– Slam Academy (with UMN EDM Club)/The Loft at Barfly