Coachella beyond the main stage: Plastikman's futuristic minimalism
From: Windsor, Canada
Reason to care: Plastikman is one Richie Hawtin, who hard-core Coachella fans will know performed at the first Coachella in 1999. Back then, Hawtin was offering a version of techno that stripped away much of the noise squiggles and chaotic effects to concentrate on the barest of rhythms and melody. That tweak, which reached its zenith via the masterful, haunting full-length "Consumed," went on to influence a generation of producers and helped spawn the sub-genre "minimal techno," also known as "microhouse." Since then, Hawtin has thickened his sound and moved further into the performance aspect of his dynamic DJ sets.
Fun fact(s): 1) The cover of Richie Hawtin's first release as Platikman, 1993's "Sheet One," was perforated with little squares that looked like LSD tabs. 2) His influential 12-inch release "Spastik" sounds as fresh and shocking as it did upon release in 1993. 3) Police once threatened to shut down an early rave because the promoters lacked a dance permit, so Hawtin, who was the DJ, asked the crowd to sit down, and he did his whole set with them relaxing on the dance floor.
Next: For his Coachella set, Hawtin is debuting something called SYNK, which is an integrated iPhone/iPod Touch application developed specifically for his 2010 tour. If you download the app and run it during the Coachella set, according to the press materials, you will "participate in an experiment in audience-performer interaction aiming to blur the lines of perception and participation."
-- Randall Roberts