by Don Crispy
In a riposte to Kools massive Moon
bash at Ageha last month featuring UK house duo Basement Jaxx,
rival menthol tobacco giant Salem is hosting influential Canadian
techno artist Richie Hawtin for the next installment of its
Salem Innovation Nights at Womb.
The program also includes an invitation-only Innovation Session,
where Hawtin is scheduled to talk about the Final Scratch
DJ software/hardware system hes been championing under
the theme Technology and the Future of Music.
In a past visit to Tokyo, the DJ/producer explained exactly
how the system works. Final Scratch allows DJs to control
digital media files with the use of a record. The setup uses
a special record that contains some proprietary information
that the computer is always listening to. When you put one
on the turntable, the computer uses the information on the
vinyl to control digital sound files.
Hawtin says the system has had a liberating effect on him.
Now I need take only a laptop and a couple of records.
In addition, once you have files in the digital domain, you
can manipulate them. You can reedit them or change the arrangement,
and play that new file like a record.
He says he doesnt think Final Scratch will detract from
the vinyl culture at the heart of dance music. Youre
still mixing by hand and doing all controls on vinyl. You
can also play a regular record, but now all that knowledge
is transferred into the digital domain, so it starts to let
you reevaluate music.
A second-generation DJ of the minimalist Detroit school, Hawtin
established his own Plus 8 label in 1992, releasing hits like
Cyber Sonic and Fuse, to name but
two.?Plus 8 in 1993 inked a deal with London-based Novamute,
scoring Hawtin overseas distribution for his debut album.
Released under the moniker of Plastikman, Sheet One was an
alien-sounding, trance-inducing assault on the senses that
offered a blueprint for much of the minimal techno to come.
With his profile heightened, Hawtin began to make regular
visits to Japan in the mid-90s. Over the last decade,
hes spun at Liquid Room, the massive Electraglide raves
at Makuhari Messe, and even at the Fuji Rock Festival. In
recent years, hes also been hosting New Years
Eve parties at Womb with fellow techno veteran, German Sven
For the upcoming visit, Hawtin brings with him his latest
release, last years daunting Closer album under his
Plastikman name, as well as support in the form of emerging
female Detroit techno DJ Magda.
Salem Innovation Nights@Womb, 6/26,
11pm, ¥4,000. Tel: 03-5459-0039.