Boomkat Product Review:
Techno maestro Richie Hawtin yields a significant new mix session with ‘CLOSE’, the latest iteration of his evolving hardware + software DJ sets, featuring live-manipulated material by some of modern techno’s biggest names, plus Cam Deas
Accompanied by crowd noise and Hawtin’s processed narration about the history and evolution of DJing, ‘CLOSE’ sees him advance on the increasingly meta aesthetics of his seminal mix CDs ‘Decks, EFX & 909’, and ‘DE9 | Closer To The Edit’, while also taking cues from the elastic chronics of 2014’s ‘Ex (Continuous Mix)’, with a focus on “spontaneity & synchronicity.”
Utilising a constantly refined system of CDJs, laptop, mixer and FX, Hawtin establishes the conditions for an ever more tactile transference of his ideas. While he may have lost some harder-than-thou listeners over the years as the contours of his sound have become smoother and appealed to people with trendier haircuts, his long-term fans and a whole wave of new ears have remained to become snagged by this effortless traction, and ‘CLOSE’ should entertain them all.
Across the 63 minute mix he’s fully in control of the flow in a way that really shows up the business techno sets as formulaic plod-alongs, constantly tweaking, building and tempering the groove with masterful tactility. So it’s understandably shocking when, at the midway point, he uses a cut from Cam Deas’ cultishly appreciated ‘Time Exercises’ for The Death of Rave as an alien bridge between reworked cuts by Edit Select and Charlotte de Witte, triggering a 2nd half of high impact big room acid techno.