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  Plastikman Closer Mute
Rating: 4 out of 5 Rating: 4 out of 5 Rating: 4 out of 5 Rating: 4 out of 5

by Jason Grimes

"I'm starting to enjoy the pain."

This is music for wet suits and deep sea submersibles. Prepare to be assaulted with the hydrostatic pressure of Plastikman as we enter an underwater world spanning from the ice caps to the depths of the Marianas Trench. Richie Hawtin dons here the garb of our Captain Nemo, skillfully guiding our craft through the final frontiers of minimalism. But what life forms lurk in the phosphorescent murk, and is the journey worth the price of admission?

Master of all things odd and acidic, Richie Hawtin had of late been working with minimalism, more track-based and loopy. While he sought to re-invent the "wheels," releasing a couple of masterful DJ meets live P.A. sets, it seemed that his seminal sound of minimal acid would be lost to the ages. So while Closer is probably not as important a release to the world of music as was Sheet One, it is an unquestionable success on which Hawtin, as an artist, reaches deep into his repertoire, and paints from his darkest palette with finesse.

From open to close, the 10 tracks here run together with cohesion of superb sequencing. Tracks in the 7 through 10 minute range (which most are) conjoin purposefully with shorter songs creating a unified soundtrack to our deep sea journey. Hawtin's newest ideas and visions are evident from the get go, as we open with "Ask Yourself", an almost 9 minute track that slowly meanders through synthesized ambience and deliberate acid. "Ping Pong" twitches and grows, bouncing like the demonic, sightless spawn of an underwater behemoth encased in a malleable womb, while the hazy one-two punch of "Lost" and "Disconnect" seem to follow a lonely, more sinister, path along the bottoms of our consciousness.

Throughout all this rattles a new tool in Hawtin's arsenal which is worth noting: the use of vocals. While we the listeners sit quietly aboard Plastikman's underwater vessel, perched nervously on rusty chairs, looking over the twisted, alien landscape we're passing slowly through, the voice of the insane Captain interjects distorted and crackling over the intercom. Combining this trick with his dexterously dark programming creates a whole new experience and aesthetic.

So climb Closer to the edge and hear the surroundings. And while you may be left sea sick, that's just what the good doctor ordered.


Plastikman - Closer

Track Listing:

  1. Ask Yourself
  2. Mind Encode
  3. Lost
  4. Disconnect
  5. Slow Poke Twilight Zone Mix
  6. Headcase
  7. Ping Pong
  8. Mind In Rewind
  9. I No
  10. I Don T Know

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