Richie Hawtin's CNTRL tour educates and entertains

Richie Hawtin's CNTRL tour educates and entertains

The EDM old-timer teaches college students about the music's past.

Electronic dance music veteran Richie Hawtin wants to teach fans about the history of the genre. As the electronic dance music gains even more ground with the masses, he thinks that it is important to educate fans as well as to entertain them. The fact is that most of the people now listening to EDM are new to the genre and ignorant of its past.

To eliminate that ignorance, the Canadian-born DJ has launched his CNTRL tour, with friend Loco Dice, another DJ/producer. Together the two will travel to 17 college campuses across the U.S., teaching students about the roots of EDM and introducing them to the artists who built the genre, like Carl Craig, Josh Wink and Tiga among others. It is also about getting new people interested in the music and drawing them in.

Hawtin grew up in Windsor, Ontario and under various aliases like “Plastikman,” has been producing minimalist techno since the 1990s. He is also a co-founder of a record label called Plus 8. Yassine ben Achour, otherwise known as Loco Dice comes from a Tunisian family, but grew up in Germany.  

According to Hawtin, what is happening now with the EDM scene in the U.S. is similar to what occurred in the 1990s with raves. It appeared that EDM was going to be a permanently popular genre, but it did not work out that way. This tour appears to be about helping the genre to be more than just a passing fad.

Aside from Hawtin’s lectures on EDM’s history, topics will include Loco Dice lecturing on the use of old school DJ techniques with the technology available today, as well as Johannes Kramer (Hawtin’s sound technician) lecturing on the value of having good sound quality. The tour began in late October and is presently underway.