John Acquaviva is known primarily through his association with, and recordings for, Plus 8 Records, the label he founded with Richie Hawtin (aka Plastikman). Acquaviva is also one of the most prized techno DJs around the globe, as well as a multi-label entrepreneur -- he helms Probe and Definitive Records in addition to Plus 8. While growing up in London, Ontario, Acquaviva became a music lover and started DJing in 1980. He gradually accumulated a small bedroom studio of equipment to produce music similar to the Chicago and Detroit records he enjoyed, when he met Richie Hawtin in 1989.
Hawtin was a DJ with a wish to produce as well, so the two began recording together. Their first single, "Elements of Tone" by States of Mind, became the first release on Plus 8 Records. When later releases -- by Acquaviva and Hawtin, plus Kenny Larkin, Mark Gage and Jochem Paap (aka Speedy J) -- pushed Plus 8's pedigree into the stratosphere during 1991-92, Acquaviva and Hawtin formed Probe and Definitive to spread the wealth. Eventually, Acquaviva took over Definitive, pushing the label closer to his vision for progressive house and techno with releases by Ian Pooley, Clemens Neufeld and David Alvarado. His DJing quickly entered the world-class level as well, encompassing an incredibly wide range of music -- from straight-ahead techno, Chicago house and disco to Michael Jackson and Brazilian pop. His first mix album, Transmissions, Vol. 1, was released in 1996. Two years later, Acquaviva shared the Studio !K7 mix album X-Mix, Vol. 3: Enter Digital Reality with Hawtin and released his second solo jaunt, From Saturday to Sunday Mix. CreamCD followed in 1999. ~ John Bush