Plastikman — aka Richie Hawtin — is an exponent of minimal techno.
He was born in England but later lived just over the Canadian border from Detroit, the home of techno, and had a dad who liked Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream.
He later lived in Berlin. He’s also into multimedia art installations.
He’d retired Plastikman until November last year, when he performed at the Guggenheim in New York. This album is the result.
So: minimal techno guy does a show in a modern art museum for a one-off event; this is on the border between art and music. We listened several times to little effect until listening to it driving up the M6 at 1am — it’s perfectly suited to that tired night-time driving feeling and the passing lights and windscreen wipers (it rained, naturally) added to the experience.
It’s minimal techno with little variation. The track names all start with “ex” (Exposed, Extend, Expand, Extrude, Explore, Expire, Exhale) and to be honest it’s pretty hard to tell where one ends and the next starts. It’s all dark, downbeat and minimalist with throbbing rhythms to keep it moving.
Fans will probably love it; for anyone else it’s dark but powerful ambient music for lonely nights in. Or late-night drives down the M6.