Plastikman’s new album ‘EX’ is the first album release since 2003’s ‘Closer’ and was recorded live at the Guggenheim, New York’s iconic art museum. This very special performance was at the invitation of influential Belgium fashion designer and artistic director at Dior, Raf Simons, for the Guggenheim’s annual fundraiser, performed around a specially constructed LED obelisk.
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This album presents a live performance of specially composed music Richie Hawtin gave at New York’s Guggenheim last year and as such is also the first new Plastikman material to be released for over ten years. At just under an hour in length, it consists of seven tracks that merge seamlessly into each other. All the hallmarks of Hawtin’s pallette are here: blackhole bass throbs providing gravitational heft, liquid smooth acid lines, foil-wrapped percussion and brooding synths that occasionally verge into cheesiness, all dropped at intervals into a bath of resonating flangers, disorienting spatial effects and filter sweeps.
While Hawtin has made a reputation for mining a particularly minimal seam of techno, he has always striven to attain maximal effects, like a sense of huge, enveloping space and frictionless momentum. There are points on this album where he does manage to touch the sublime heights of some of his classic records, like on ‘EXpand’ when a deep 4/4 kick is introduced against a brooding drone and a distant, reverb-blurred blip to suggest a sense of being lost yet irresistibly sucked into infinite space.
Nevertheless, the music feels a little overly polished compared to rawer edge of earlier stuff and there’s a considerable lack of urgency across the album as a whole. But that doesn’t make it a bad listen, if you are one of Plastikman’s many admirers then there’s plenty here to keep you satisfied as well as for anyone who appreciates stripped-down, spaced-out electronic music.
10/10 Bas Wilffert Customer review, 29th October 2014
This new Plastikman album is the first album I've listened to while beeing a fan of this kind of music. When Plastikman's first album came out in 1993 I was only 2 years old and it isn't till the beginning of 2013 that I started to fall in love with techno music. But since the first time I've heard this record on the day it was released I was sold.
The dynamic and atmosphere in this album are from another planet and what makes this record complete is the live element it has. It's not a 100% perfectly produced record and thats why it is a 100% perfect record for me definitely.
If you love to be taken on a trip while listening to a record you should not hesitate and buy this one. It's not an album you should shuffle or skip through.
Just lay down on your couch, turn on the record and be carried away from the world for an hour.
7/10 Liam Customer review, 8th August 2014
Classic Hawtin, 5 tracks of very spaced material. Never quite reaching the full on Plastikman of old but then that's not a bad thing. If your a fan it's not gonna surprise if your not it could be a great first plastikman album. If you buy the cd your in for a treat very nice cardboard packaging, enjoy.
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- EX (Performed live at the Guggenheim, NYC) by Plastikman
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