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richie

Minimal techno pioneer, digital vinyl advocate, DJ superstar, and subject of a surrealist Internet parody and very popular joke t-shirt line Richie Hawtin is now evidently using Traktor and Traktor Scratch. So is Magda (of “make the tea” fame). So is Troy Pierce.

Gentle hint to NI’s DJ marketing: embrace it. Give us a special “Ubercoolische Edition” of Traktor Scratch. Heck, I’d buy one. I assume people in Berlin may also find it funny, given the influx of us Americans into their city. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read on.)

Internet memes aside, the real reason this is big news is that Hawtin was one of the DJs who threw his support behind digital vinyl with Stanton’s Final Scratch — the target market for NI with Traktor Scratch. (More recently, he used NI’s other rival — Serato Scratch Live. Thanks, Mateo.) Says Hawtin, “I find that Traktor is taking further steps forward while still remaining connected to the traditional DJ paradigm.” (Less connected to the traditional DJ paradigm, I think, are things like Ableton Live, which by its developers own admission was never originally conceived as a “DJ” program — for better or worse.) And jokes aside, I’m sure Hawtin can do some fun stuff with Traktor.

Richie Hawtin on Traktor, at Native Instruments

But I want to talk about something even more important: just as Hawtin’s label Minus Records is joining with NI for a world club tour for its 10th anniversary, the hilarious Ubercoolische site that parodies his minimalist lifestyle in Berlin is down. Happily, Google cache has preserved the white-wall apartment jokes for posterity (try a search). And you can still by the reflexive t-shirt. If anyone knows what happened to the site, let me know.

For old time’s sake, I’ve reproduced my favorite episode after the break, on Berthold Brecht. (Expletives left in for …effect.)

For the record, Magda thought it was funny, and apparently it was all in good fun because the authors of the site were fans (and actually booked the crew). You’ll know you’ve made it, too, when you’re the subject of a viral Internet parody.

Now that I’ve gotten this out of my system, next time I talk about Hawtin, Minus, or Traktor, I promise to be serious. But in the meantime:

Magda: Hey Richie, do you know that: “Because things are the way they are, they will not stay the way they are”

Richie: How do you mean Magda?

Magda: Well, Berthold Brecht said that. Does he mean that if things arent the way they were then they might be something else?

Richie: No Magda, I think he means we should use these laptops and ipods to make minimal sounds.

Ricardo: Hey Magda, Richie, whats going on?

Magda: Hey Ricardo, we’re just talking about Berthold Brecht. Do you know that he said: “Because things are the way they are, they will not stay the way they are”??

Ricardo: wow! what a minimal coincidence! I just bought you both a t-shirt with “Because things are the way they are, they will not stay the way they are” written all over it!!!

Richie: well what do you know! son of a gun – how fucking cool is it to be in Berlin?

Magda: pretty fucking cool Richie, pretty fucking cool!

I think all of this sums up the current state of digital DJing on a philosophical level, if you really reflect on it.

New rule: anyone saying anything in comments that takes this too seriously will be immediately deleted. Ironic minimal comments only.