CNTRL Tour: A Look Back

As the CNTRL Tour comes to a close, it’s time we take a look back at one of the most forward-thinking movements in dance music this year. Richie Hawtin‘s latest brainchild aimed to pull the casual EDM fan into the deeper realms of underground dance music. With a cast and crew of savvy, technical experts, including Loco Dice, Carl Craig, and Ean Golden and a college-focused tour including seminars on equipment, technology and the current state of music, this was so much more than just another DJ set in town – as Richie remarked to the novice fan, “just give us one night and I swear we’ll make your head spin”.

And spin heads they did. The nightly roster kicked off with controller master and DJTechTools.com boss Ean Golden both moderating the seminars and opening the music for the evenings. Detroit techno legend Carl Craig added perspective from the old-school days of vinyl evolving into today’s abilities to manipulate technology, while EO favorite Loco Dice opened up about his hip-hop background and how it influenced his groovy sound today. Finally, you can’t help but love Richie Hawtin’s approach to electronic music – every sound, no matter how minor – is in its place for a reason.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmmgZ67VqV8
The crowds at all shows were noticeably older – perhaps the goal of breaking through to the new EDM generation didn’t succeed as expected, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying with fans. Not only were the performances leveraging technology, the tour itself kept connected with constant photos, videos, recaps, live streams, and discussion with fans on Facebook and Twitter. Every day there was something worth checking out with CNTRL – it was meant to educate rather than promote, something that is pretty refreshing in electronic dance music.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU9lo74CMZk
From getting the key to the city in his hometown of Windsor, to starting the tour from a hotel room due to a Sandy cancellation, to legendary guests such as DJ Sneak, Kevin Saunderson, John Acquaviva, and a vinyl-only set from Seth Troxler, this was another outside the box idea from one of dance music’s biggest pioneers. We’ll be waiting eagerly for the next chapter, and as Richie says, “dreaming of the possibilities of electronic music, and going home to discover and search and find a deeper connection”. Amen.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9qrbT_Nb0

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