Richie Hawtin DE9: Transitions

Projects like this are the shared dreams of trainspotters, music critics and DJs. Music critics can endlessly debate the influence of technology and the breaking down of barriers; trainspotters can worry about what little blip of which obscure track Hawtin just dropped; and DJs sit back and wish they were this talented. For the trainspotters out there, Hawtin uses close to 100 tracks for his latest computer-edited mix. Don’t worry, they’re all listed inside. On the accompanying DVD, which is the same mix in Dolby 5.1 and almost half an hour longer, the display tells you what bit is playing. There are also a few short videos. For music critics, it hits the sweet spot between the previous editions of the DE9 series: it’s not as slamming as Decks, EFX & 909, and not as minimal as Closer to the Edit. Hawtin’s reduction of entire tracks into loops, samples, and stabs and its rebuilding into bubbling techno is what modern technology was made for. I’m not sure if this is possible in a live setting, though Ableton’s Live software, which Hawtin used to create this, is certainly full of possibilities. Finally, for the DJs, it’s back to the drawing board — the bar’s just that much higher, again. Two 1200s and a box of twelve-inches continues to look more and more like Stone Age tech. (Novamute)