Richie Hawtin at the Calvin Klein Fall 2017 Runway Show.
Techno legend Richie Hawtin has always been a fan of the art and fashion world. His mechanical sonic musings are often dark and textural, painting an ever-evolving picture of space and emotion from clubs to festival stages around the world.
As leading fashion house Prada sought to shift its 2021 lines toward a digital frontier, co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons sought Hawtin's skills, commissioning the Canadian producer to create an audio companion to Prada's futuristic and highly-conceptual 2021 spring/summer and fall/winter lines. The partnership resulted in three striking soundtracks, all of which were produced under Hawtin's Plastikman alias, now officially available across Spotify, Apple Music and other DSPs.
“The musical direction was inspired by Miuccia’s and Raf’s concept for each collection," Hawtin is quoted in a press release. "Although each collection had its own specific theme, I felt confident that the visual language of Prada and sonic aesthetic of Plastikman would find a beautiful and symbiotic relationship."
The first composition is called "Sin Thetik." It's pounding bass rhythm and ambient synth melodies debuted in September for the Spring / Summer 2021 Womenswear collection, swirling through the air as models marched stoicly in an all-yellow space.
"For the Spring / Summer 2021 Womenswear collection," Hawtin says, "Prada explores thoughts on how technology influences intimacy and sensuality, inspiring my use of AI algorithms to create synthetic voices to inhabit the show's sonic landscape."
The full "Sin Thetik" release features a 13-minute original version and a 21-minute, extended ambient version. Meanwhile, "Narkosis/Spektre" from Prada's Fall / Winter 2021 Menswear collection pulses with increased tension and subtlety. It's presented digitally as three distinct tracks, pairing the 11-minute original with a nearly 16-minute take on "Narkosis" and a nine-and-a-half minute version of the bouncier "Spektre."
"The Fall / Winter 2021 Menswear collection resonated with the world's current situation and how fashion (and music) help us deal with and let us express ourselves," Hawtin says. "Combining two works into one reflected this metamorphosis with echoes of club beats and synth melodies that appear like a ghost from the past, hopefully waiting for their return."
The third release and soundtrack, "Inxtro," was composed for the Fall / Winter2021 Womenswear collection, and it also takes some cues from dichotomy.
"[It] evolves through two two distinct stages," Hawtin says. "Syncopated hypnotic beats welcome you first into an ambience of intimacy and sensuality, which then develops in the second half into a more playful and sexually charged rhythm of driving percussion.”
Each release pulses with passion and provocation, an alluring counterpart to Prada's breathtaking and forward-thinking designs. See Prada's Fall / Winter 2021 Menswear and Womenswear collections in the videos below, and find Hawtin's Plastikman compositions wherever you listen to music.
Photography by: Billy Farrell/BFA.com