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Streaming Plastik

Plastikman, born Richie Hawtin, is one of the great techno minimalists of North America. His new album is titled Closer, and he has posted the entire thing online in streaming mode (here). Closer is the first new Plastikman full-length since Consumed, which was released in 1998. The record is marked by extended horror-soundtrack synthesizer ambience, and by lagging beats that, in jazz parlance, truly swing. Several of the album’s 10 tracks allow voices to intrude on Plastikman’s characteristically insular sound world. Hawtin is quoted in the accompanying liner notes: “How the hell did I go from being an instrumental, electronic artist to recording vocals?” The page also includes a nearly 10-minute audio-video sequence of Hawtin talking about the album and about his own musical life — about his dad’s “big white headphones” and reel-to-reel setup. The Closer tracks and the interview are available as Windows Media or Real Audio files, in lo-, mid- and broadband hi-fi. The album was released commercially this past Tuesday.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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