» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Novamute Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Richie Hawtin has a challenge for you: if he strips down his beats, and I mean really strips them down, to their absolute most technical and minimal, can you still dance? He seems to think you can. Closer is his first release as Plastikman in five years, following 1998's Consumed. The beats remain intensely pared down to their elements, letting the spaces in between play as much of a part in Hawtin's techno as the whumps and thumps of his Roland 303 bass lines and 808 hits.

There is more of a dance feel to some of the songs here than usual for a Plastikman release, especially in comparison to Consumed. The main change on this record is the addition of Hawtin's own vocals to a few of his songs. Of course, this doesn't mean happy-house soul style singing, or the lame endeavors of fellow minimal-tech artist Luke Slater with vocalist Ricky Barrow. This is something very different.

The standout track on Closer, and one that offers the best example of the new Plastikman, is "Disconnect." See-sawing, blippy circus tones start off the track before ominous bass warps and the slightest backbeat chime in. Hawtin's vocals find their way into the mix soon thereafter, effected and slowed down to the point of utter surrealism, as he intones "I try in vain to disconnect my brain. I don't know if I can handle it, handle so much pain." And that is pretty much it: mix and repeat.

Plastikman tracks often have a way of sneaking up on you. The sequencing on the record is such that one song blends into another, and Hawtin's production is so ethereal that you often aren't fully aware of the track until a click sets in over the minimized throb, as in "Headcase." Even if these songs aren't fully honing in on your conscious state, you feel them nonetheless - in the back recesses of your brain, in the pit of your belly, and yes, in your ass.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker



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