Richie Hawtin rocks it.
Oh and I totally just stumbled upon the best article ever - a mini recap of the birth of minimal. It's a bit dated (2007), but still relevant. Read: Space Exploration, courtesy of guardian.
A few excerpts:
The sound that has been filling those clubs and distributed on those labels, and which has exploded across the continent, is broadly known as minimal. Over the past five or so years, it's grown from an arcane subdivision of techno into an ubiquitous buzzword on the dance scene.
Characterised by simple, spare beats and subtle sonic details, minimal can baffle novices: how can music with seemingly so little to it manage to work dancefloors into a state of frenzy, let alone cross over to casual dance fans? But there is a rich emotional pull to the best minimal records: furthermore, by stripping all extraneous sound from a track, all the subtle details - shifts in tempo, melodic phrases, textural effects - are magnified a hundredfold. It is equally cerebral and physical: on the dancefloor, you can lose yourself in thinking about how the dots join up with each other even as your body moves automatically to the beat.
Villalobos and Jonson are good friends, but their attitudes to their art could not be more different. Villalobos is, to put it bluntly, a renowned party freak: in most pictures he is dishevelled, wild-haired and wild-eyed. I interview him a week before his girlfriend gives birth to their first child; when asked how his lifestyle will be affected, he sighs deeply before replying, "I guess I will have to go home after the first afterparty instead of the fifth."
Jonson, on the other hand, is more introspective... Until recently he based himself in Vancouver rather than Berlin for artistic reasons: "In a city which doesn't have a club scene, I find that more creative - because there's less to do, all the musicians are hanging out with each other and making music. And I don't really take inspiration from clubs - nature inspires me. Art, architecture, the weather inspires me. And girls."
In minimal techno, what is not in the music can be as important as what is there: the gaps in between the beats and the melodies provide the spaces in which the dancers can find liberation, to free their minds by losing them. Villalobos smiles, and says merely: "That freedom is what I want to give to everyone."
over & out -