Foundational electronic music artist Richie Hawtin, aka Plastikman, announces the next stop of his ‘From Our Minds’ concept at the Knockdown Center in Queens, New York. The standalone NYC gig is a flagship moment for Hawtin’s live experience, highlighting the next generation of techno talent, in one of America’s nightlife capitals, with an independent venue, promoter, and group of performers who are committed to honoring the legacy of techno while moving the genre forward.
Earlier this year, ‘From Our Minds’ made its North American debut in the birthplace of techno, Detroit, and made its way to a series of sold out crowds in warehouses in Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and more across eight dates. Locations were sent out day-of-show, with a strict no photo/video policy, with each event providing a one-of-a-kind experience for those in attendance. The tour showcased talent Hawtin had discovered, and represented the next wave of artists from Canada to Detroit, to New York, and across the South West, representing scenes beyond the traditional major cities. Label owners, visual artists, producers, and DJs, these are artists that Richie believes are helping push the techno scene and sound forward in innovative new ways.
Knockdown Center will see this dynamic group come together for the first time on the East Coast, with the addition of two new faces, machìna & Tylr.
From Our Minds’ evolves from Hawtin’s CNTRL tours in 2012 & 2015, when, as EDM was booming across the US, Hawtin toured American college cities by bus, giving a series of performances, lectures, and workshops, aimed at educating a new generation of electronic music enthusiasts on the sound and origins of techno music. The tour takes its slogan and ethos from Hawtin’s ‘90s label imprint Plus 8 and its ‘From Our Minds To Yours’ slogan, connecting back to the early days of techno.
Today, as techno becomes increasingly popular and commercialized, Hawtin is once again seeking to provide context and nurture the underground, playing at venues that are special to him, while highlighting a new generation of artists and celebrating the collaborative and cross-generational nature of techno.
Highlighting Richie’s home country on the lineup is the Canadian artist Barbosa, owner of the Toronto label Heist Mode and infamous for blurring the lines between hypnosis and brutality in his music. Representing Texas is the pair of Declan James and Decoder, who often perform b2b as their side project Frame. The two specialize in deep, sci-fi-leaning techno, with Resident Advisor describing James’s style as “futuristic and transfixing.” Out of New York is DJ/producer Jay York who runs the vinyl label TOCA Records alongside Decoder.
Emerging from Detroit, Henry Brooks is penning a new blueprint for dark dance floors everywhere. He regularly draws parallels between the flow-like meditative state of the dancefloor and his own spiritual practices. He’ll be joined by another rising Detroit artist, producer, DJ, and visual artist Huey Mnemonic, who aims to both preserve and add to the rich lineage of his region’s homegrown sonic culture by channeling the Black American experience into his work.
SF-born, Phoenix-based, Lindsey Herbert first encountered techno on Richie’s CNTRL tour, and has been a champion of the sound in the South West ever since. Her journey now comes full circle, playing her alternating soundscapes that straddle the dark, deep, and psychedelic alongside Hawtin. She’s joined by Octopus Recordings artist Michelle Sparks, another DJ who has been instrumental to the growth of the underground rave scene in the South West. She specializes in intertwining spaced-out minimal elements and grooves with dark and moving basslines.
Recruited by Hawtin for this NYC stop of From Our Minds are machìna and Tylr. machìna’s talents were first called upon by Richie when she was selected to perform for his Prada Extends event in Tokyo. Korea-born and Tokyo-based, her compositional style is both thoughtful and playful, hinting at her love of jazz, which is also evidenced in her confident modular improvisations when she performs live. Tylr has spent over a decade in Detroit soaking up the city’s unique and diverse culture and sound. As both a DJ and promoter, his love for both sides of the DJ booth is how he wants to define himself.
Completing the bill is Richie himself, an artist who has embodied the core pillars of techno since the formative years of his career. His focus on technological advancement, coupled with the energy he puts into connecting with, and nurturing younger artists, has been a contributing factor in revolutionizing techno and keeping it moving forward
‘From Our Minds’ is committed to working with independent local promoters who are aware and respectful of the history of techno music, and its future with sustainability in the programming, planning and execution of their events. In addition to throwing large scale techno events, Knockdown Center is home to the club BASEMENT, which has been hailed by locals and touring DJs as one of the country’s top techno sites, drawing comparisons to Berlin’s famed Tresor.