It’s all thanks to concepts like Richie Hawtin’s CNTRL tour that I can hold my head up high when I identify myself with the underground crowd.

Created with the posterity of producers and DJs in mind, the college campus initiative aims to arm aspiring artists, engineers and industry heads alike with an insightful grasp on the technological facets of dance music. Education is the key word here, and Hawtin intends on kicking down the doors of EDM to inspire the eager and expand their horizons. It’s not just musical tastes that are of concern (although one of Hawtin’s primary missions is to open up the masses to the not-as-easily-digestible genres); the overarching goal is to insulate musicianship as we navigate through a technology-driven future.

Launched back in 2012, CNTRL was conceived to stir the pot and help guide the scene on a facilitative and informed trajectory. The initial 17-stop run was branded with the “Beyond EDM” mantra, in which Hawtin and friends set out via bus to provide a lecture-based experience as a means to expose the roots of electronic music while exploring the potential that lies ahead.

Much has changed in the dance music ecosystem since the inaugural run, so now the tour returns with a new course of action. In April, CNTRL will make a coast-to-coast trek to talk shop in academic settings as it hits eight North American markets. Through the current iteration, Hawtin is rolling out a curriculum that focuses on “Individuality & Creativity in Technology-Based Music”—both of which are integral to the progression of our culture.

“I believe that there is a deeper understanding already to how diverse the scene is, and that there is now much more interest in alternative types of electronic sounds outside the very narrow EDM definition,” Hawtin tell us. “With this in mind, we have maintained our commitment to artists who represent this more alternative sound, and will delve deeper into the individual creativity of each artist’s approach, and focus our talks more on the now and future—rather than delving too much into the past and history of our scene.”

The itinerary includes a combination of day and night sessions, following the same format as before, where students are presented with a wealth of innovative knowledge. By day, focused talks consisting of panels, presentations and an hour-long masterclass—backed by Point Blank Music School—will take place to provide students with a different vantage point than can be found at a nightclub or festival.

“I hope the day events will help demystify some of the performance techniques we use that end up being powerful moments on the dancefloor or on a recording, and generally strengthen the connection between the audience and the artists.”

In addition to sharing his own expertise on the topics, Hawtin is inviting a rotating roster of like-minded individuals to assist him in leading the conversation. DJ Tech Tools’ Ean Golden reappears in this second round to help moderate the seminars, joined by underground staples including Dubfire, Matador and Chris Liebing, to name a few.

“Most of the discussions will endeavor to explore each artist’s own unique outlook on the world of electronic music production and performance, and give their own insight into how they tap into the creativity by using the machines and software that they have access to,” Hawtin explains. “The world of electronic music is based completely on how different individuals develop their own ways to interface into the various machines they use, in order to unlock and or transform the creative ideas they have in their minds and onto the dancefloor.”

After sundown, knowledge will be dropped in the more traditional sense of DJ culture through live sets and mixes. These intimate gigs will fill out venues near each of the campus locations. Attendees will then be able to see the lessons learned that day in application at a party that essentially serves a greater purpose.

Hawtin’s vision is a noble pass at wanting to shape the performers of coming generations. CNTRL is electronic music’s saving grace, and it will only further expand as the scene continues to develop and prosper.

“We hope that CNTRL will continue to evolve into an educational hub within the electronic music scene, helping to continue our music exploration into the future, while retaining its connection to its original intentions and respecting the foundations that were laid many years ago.”

If you’re looking to harness your creativity or get in on some BTS action, claim a pass to one of the eight stops below.

Technology companies participating are:

AIAIAI
Beatport
DJ Techtools
Funktion One
Little Bits
Livid
Pioneer
Roland
Splice
Subpac
Traktor (Native Instruments)

CNTRL Tour Dates & Lineups:

Wednesday, April 15 – Boston
Berklee College of Music / Middle East Downstairs

  • Richie Hawtin
  • Matthew Dear
  • Matador
  • Ean Golden
  • Guest Speaker: Michael Bierylo, Chair, Electronic Production and Design – Berklee College of Music

Thursday, April 16 – Penn State
Penn State University / Levels

  • Richie Hawtin
  • Matthew Dear
  • Matador
  • Ean Golden

Friday, April 17 – New York
NYU / Webster Hall

  • Richie Hawtin
  • Francois Kevorkian
  • Ean Golden
  • Dantiez Saunderson

Saturday, April 18 – Montreal
Concordia / New City Gas

  • Richie Hawtin
  • Marc Houle (Live)
  • Ean Golden
  • Mateo Murphy
  • Guest Speaker: Blue Hawaii

Sunday, April 19 – Toronto
University of Toronto / Coda

  • Richie Hawtin
  • Marc Houle (Live)
  • Justin James
  • Ean Golden

Wednesday, April 22 – Seattle
University of Washington / Neptune Theatre

  • Richie Hawtin
  • Dubfire
  • Chris Liebing
  • Ean Golden

Friday, April 24 – San Francisco
San Francisco State University (Music/Recording Industry Program)/ DNA

  • Richie Hawtin
  • Chris Liebing
  • Matrixxman
  • Ean Golden

Saturday, April 25 – Los Angeles
UCLA / Hollywood Palladium

  • Richie Hawtin
  • Chris Liebing
  • Victor Calderone
  • Ean Golden
  • Lee K
  • Guest speaker: Grimes

UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
2686 Schoenberg Music Bldg.
Los Angeles, CA 90095

CNTRL: Technology Trade Fair [Open to the public]
1 pm – 3 pm

Point Blank Masterclass w/ Richie Hawtin [Open to the public]
3 pm – 4pm

Artist Lecture [Open to the public]
4 pm – 6 pm

RSVP via the Facebook event.

Follow CNTRL on Facebook | Twitter
Follow Richie Hawtin on Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud


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