Those who follow minimal techno troubadour Richie Hawtin know that he has a passion for sake, a lovely alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin that is made from fermented rice. He even set up his boutique ENTER.SAKE brand and has been integrating the spirit into his global events. In a ceremony held earlier this month at a shrine in Kyoto, Hawtin was named a 2014 Sake Samurai by the Sake Samurai Association, a council for the Japan Sake Brewers Association. The award acknowledges Hawtin’s understanding, appreciation and promotion of sake through his efforts.
Techno and sake have a lot more in common than most people think. Both are produced by dedicated artisans who constantly draw from past learnings in order to create the best possible end result, sparing no short cuts and never catering to fleeting trends.
Says Hawtin, “The sake industry was filled with small family-run breweries each following their own distinct style with careful and creative thought about each step of the production, much like how our favorite labels dedicate themselves to a certain sound and unique aesthetics.
“At the same moment I learned how the domestic Japanese sake industry was actually in decline with so many young people moving their tastes to beer, wine, cocktails and other spirits, forcing many breweries, some with hundreds of years of history, to close their doors forever. This sparked my imagination of somehow combining my love (and knowledge) of the electronic music scene and the world of Japanese sake in a way to help (in my own way) revitalize the Sake industry and introduce my fans and colleagues into the world of Japanese sake and culture.”
Hawtin added, “To be honored by the wake community for my work spreading the taste of Japanese sake to the international market is humbling and another positive step for my dream of combining music, sake and technology into an immersive experience.”