Richie Hawtin vs Ricardo VillalobosCA/DE/CL
Richie Hawtin is simply one of the most recognized names in electronic music, and not only within the underground: his music reached an audience of millions as part of the official opening ceremonies at this year's Winter Olympics in Turin. Raised in Windsor, Ontario, Hawtin first came to fame in the early '90s for his work as Plastikman, which fused elements of acid with an emerging minimalist style which has continued to be his defining hallmark; for more than a decade now, his releases on Plus 8, Mute, Warp (as F.U.S.E.) and most significantly his own Minus label have defined the possibilities for maximum expression through a modicum of means, utilitizing extreme reduction and repetition to explore a radical sense of psycho-acoustic space. As a performer, Hawtin—who since moving to Berlin in 2004 has become a central figure in that city's techno culture—has distinguished himself as a relentless technological innovator, fusing traditional turntable methods with digital DJ applications like Final Scratch; captured on the mix CDs Decks, FX & 909, DE9: Closer to the Edit, and DE9: Transitions, his 'decks & FX' mix sessions continue to set the pace not only as party-moving fodder but as forward-thinking arguments for re-imagining the DJ's potential in a post-vinyl era.
Berlin-based, Chilean-born producer, DJ and composer Ricardo Villalobos has been a techno and microhouse mainstay since the mid-90s, known for his epic, genre-spanning DJ sets (from jazz to Chilean pop), recording his own brand of sophisticated, high-fidelity minimal techno on German labels Playhouse, Perlon (including the five-LP, three-part Dependent and Happy) and his own Sei Es Drum, compiling the Fabric 36 mix, and inventively collaborating with Richie Hawtin, Daniel Bell, Jay Haze, Max Loderbauer and Vera Heindel. By now a familiar friend of MUTEK, Villalobos has played the festival several times since 2001, including sets at Piknic Electronik with Richie Hawtin and Zip, as well as MUTEK in Chile. This year, Villalobos not only appears with Max Loderbauer for the live Re: ECM project, but takes up the festival's late-night Saturday slot with one of his legendarily expansive and body shifting DJ sets.