Apr 21, 2012

RhoDeo 1216 Beats

Hello, last year i got my hands on Arkives: 1993-2010, an overwhelming anthology of Richie Hawtin's Plastikman productions. In addition to a six-piece vinyl set featuring a dozen remixes, there was a 249-track digital download, as well as this heavy object, which holds 15 CDs, one DVD, and an elaborate 100-page hardcover book. On the CDs: the six Plastikman full-lengths (all remarkable or classic), two discs compiling Plastikman remixes of other artists (from La Funk Mob to Heartthrob), two discs filled with new remixes of Plastikman tracks (by the likes of Vince Clarke, Severed Heads, Moby, Carl Craig, and Green Velvet), a 69-minute Arkive mix, and four discs collecting additional previously released and unreleased content. When Arkives was released, Hawtin’s status as one of the most innovative and iconic producers of electronic music had long been firmly established. It’s both a bold exclamation point and a (rather pricey) gift for his followers, who probably won’t mind all the duplicate material when so much non-album content has been wrangled and paired with a book that requires hours to be devoured in full.

Well today and next week some of those goodies will be posted here. As you can deduce from the links posted at the bottom i'm a bit of a fan of Hawtin's work. How time flies.. all are over 3.5 years old, and live.

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While original Detroit technocrats like Juan Atkins and Derrick May were changing the face of electronic music in the mid-'80s, Richie Hawtin was growing up across the river in Windsor, Ontario. A British native born in Banbury 1970, he moved to Canada with his family at the age of nine. Introduced to '70s electronic/minimalist pioneers Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream by his father (who was a robotics engineer for General Motors), Hawtin began DJing at the age of 17 -- as DJ Richie Rich -- and soon landed gigs at Detroit hot-spots like the Shelter and the famed Music Institute, home to all-night club sessions by May and Kevin Saunderson.

Hawtin and +8's co-founder, John Acquaviva, began working together in 1989, originally to make a Derrick May megamix for use on the radio; they later emerged from Acquaviva's studio with several original recordings. The duo issued one single, "Elements of Tone" as the first release on +8 Records (credited to States of Mind), and sat back while many in the techno world puzzled over who was responsible. The label's later releases -- by Kenny Larkin, Jochem Paap (aka Speedy J) and Mark Gage (aka Vapourspace) in addition to various Hawtin/Acquaviva projects -- made the label famous for laboratory-precise techno based on slowly evolving and shifting acid lines. The aggressive sound matched the work of the label/artist collective Underground Resistance as the best techno to come out of Detroit in the early '90s.

His style formed by a fusion of the barest acid house and straitjacket-tight Detroit techno, Richie Hawtin became one of the most influential artists in the world of techno during the 1990s, even while sticking to out-of-date synth dinosaurs like the Roland TB-303 and TR-808. Hawtin combined lean percussion and equally spare acid lines into haunting techno anthems that kicked with more than enough power for the dancefloor while diverting headphone listeners as well. While even his early recordings were quite minimalistic, he streamlined the sound increasingly over the course of his recording career; from the early '90s to the end of the decade, Hawtin's material moved from the verge of the techno mainstream into a yawning abyss of dubbed-out echo-chamber isolationism, often jettisoning any semblance of a bass line or steady beat. Hawtin released material on his own +8 Records under several aliases -- some in tandem with co-founder John Acquaviva -- and made the label one of the best styled in Detroit techno of the 1990s. He earned his pedigrees from worldwide fans of techno for his best-known releases, as Plastikman (for NovaMute) and F.U.S.E. (for Warp/TVT).

The Plastikman project debuted in 1993 with two releases for +8: the seminal "Spastik" single and an album, Sheet One. Hawtin's first wide release, however, came with the alter-ego F.U.S.E. (short for Further Underground Subsonic Experiments). A more varied and melodic project than Plastikman (but not by much), F.U.S.E. released the album Dimension Intrusion for the British Warp Records in late 1993. As part of the label's Artificial Intelligence series, Dimension Intrusion was also licensed to Wax Trax!/TVT for release in America. (Hawtin joined such ambient-techno heroes as the Aphex Twin, Black Dog, Autechre and B12, all receiving their wide-issue debuts.) Later, NovaMute signed an agreement with +8 and another Hawtin-founded label, Probe; Sheet One was reissued in 1994, followed by the second Plastikman LP, Musik. Much more restrained than Sheet One, the album fit in well with the growing ambient-techno movement. All told, Hawtin was responsible for the release of three albums and a good-sized EP in the span of just one year.

That impressive schedule was shattered in 1995, when Hawtin was entangled in a silly U.S.labor law that denied him access with his tools.Refused entrance for more than a year, he lost his inspirational grounding with the Detroit scene and found it difficult to continue recording for his third Plastikman album, Klinik. While he waited for re-entry, Hawtin spent time setting up the sub-label Definitive, and continued to DJ around the world. Though he recorded scattered singles for +8 and related imprints, his only full-length release that year was a killer entry in the Mixmag Live! series, taken from a DJ set recorded at the Building in Windsor. By the time he was able to return to America, he had changed his musical direction and eventually abandoned the Klinik album.

In early 1998, he released his third Plastikman LP, Consumed, which proved to be just as brutally shadowed as the Concept 1 material. The continued experimentalist direction showed Hawtin coming full circle, back to his position on the leading edge of intelligent techno. 99;s ,  Decks, EFX & 909, defacto the first in what has become his DE9 series, is the next step for Richie Hawtin after his Mixmag live album and the increasing minimalism of Consumed .Hawtin displays not only his talents as a mixer but also as a producer, using turntables, an effects processor, and a Roland pedal, plus a TR-909 drum machine for added beats.  In May 2000, Hawtin performed at the first Detroit Electronic Festival alongside Derrick May, Juan Atkins and other techno masterminds. More than 200,000 people attended from all over the world.

He spent part of 2002 and 2003 living in New York City, and has since moved to Berlin, Germany.. Hawtin collaborated with choreographer Enzo Cosimi to create a composition called "9.20" for the 2006 Winter Olympics opening ceremony. In 2007, Slices DVD magazine launched a series of biographies called "Pioneers of Electronic Music", with the first issue being a roughly 60 minute documentary dedicated to the life of Richie Hawtin. The film follows his career from his early days crossing the border to Detroit to his current life in Berlin, interviewing many colleagues and family members.

Hawtin has recorded music under the aliases Plastikman, F.U.S.E, Concept 1, Circuit Breaker, The Hard Brothers, Hard Trax, Jack Master, and UP!. He also recorded and performed, in combination with other artists, under group names such as 0733, Cybersonik, Final Exposure, Spawn and States Of Mind.

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Artifacts (bc) rose, phoenix-like, from the ashes of the unfinished third Plastikman LP, Klinik, to become an intellectual bridge between Richie Hawtin's Musik and Consumed albums. None of this information should matter to the casual listener -- it simply serves to place the disc in historical context. Said casual listener is more likely to be put off by Artifakts (bc)'s minimalist trance techno sound -- the tracks are long and linear, the recording level is relatively low and the mood is subtle, even by Hawtin's standards.

Plastikman - Artifacts (BC)   (flac 338mb)

01 Korridor 5:48
02 Psyk 8:30
03 Pakard 12:13
04 Hypokondriak 10:34
05 Konstant 7:49
06 Rekall 10:46
07 Skizofrenik 4:59
08 Are Friends Elektrik? 12:58
09 Lodgikal Nonsense 2:18

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Closer music indeed. This Plastikman album brings you so close to Richie Hawtin's mind that the listen can be discomforting. Hawtin takes his mastery of minimalism and use of space a couple steps further, rarely putting dance rhythms to use. Paranoia and claustrophobia persistently fester throughout the course of these 75 grueling minutes, with little in the way of release. Adding as much suspense as the filmic, synthetic orchestrations present in a handful of the tracks are the producer's own vocals, which are disguised in a manner similar to an extortionist or stalker who wants to hide his identity over a phone line. There is, however, no doubt that this particular voice belongs to Hawtin, who examines himself in the wake of what sounds like an extremely torturous relationship: "I don't know what's left to gain/All the guilts and now the blame/I don't want to stop this game/I'm starting to enjoy the pain."  Closer will likely become the one that a small number of devotees declare to be the supreme Plastikman album, while most of the crowd dismisses it outright for being impenetrable, deadened, too glum. Regardless of where the average listener falls, Closer is quite an accomplishment, even if it's the least inviting in Hawtin's discography. Given the right frame of mind, Closer has the potential to be the most powerful Plastikman album -- an alternatingly cathartic and mind-wrenching place to lose yourself in.

Plastikman - Closer  ( flac 311mb)

01 Ask Yourself 8:45
02 Mind Encode 5:43
03 Lost 3:47
04 Disconnect 5:41
05 Slow Poke (Twilight Zone Mix) 8:24
06 Headcase 9:16
07 Ping Pong 9:27
08 Mind In Rewind 10:19
09 I No 3:39
10 I Don't Know 11:06

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A compilation of the 3 Nostalgik 12 inchers

Plastikman - Nostalgik  ( flac 220mb)

01 Snark 8:34
02 Aquatik 10:43
03 Plinkplonk 7:13
04 Kink 6:41
05 Plonker 5:12
06 Panikattack (Second Attack Remix) 8:05

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elsewhere (Rhotation 34,46,50)

Plastikman - Consumed ( 98 ^ 153mb)

Richie Hawtin - Decks, EFX & 909  ( 99 ^151mb)

Sven Väth & Richie Hawtin - The Sound Of The Third Season (02 ^153mb)

FUSE - Dimension Intrusion  ( 93 ^ 166mb)

Plastikman - Musik  (94 ^164mb)

Richie Hawtin - DE9 | Transitions ( 05 ^162mb)

Plastikman - Recycled Plastik (93/94 ^ 99)

Plastikman - Sheet One  (93 ^ 145mb)


Anonymous said...

A note of clarification:

Rich never spun at The Music Institute. He very well might have gone to the space as a patron, but he only DJ'ed in Detroit at The Shelter (in the basement of St. Andrew's Hall - a small concert venue) before he started +8. He did play at that space in the '90s, but by then it was an empty building that could be rented for an evening by anyone with the cash.

Also, Rich didn't set-up Definitive in 1995 after being banned from the USA. The label was started by Karl Kowalski (with help from John Acquaviva) in 1992. After a few years, Karl decided to pursue a new career path in the casino industry and he handed full control over to Acquaviva. Rich really didn't have any input with Definitive - his baby was Probe Records.

I just felt I needed to clear up a few things as someone who was very close to all the principals on this subject. Beyond that - good selection and great site!

Anonymous said...


Can you re-up Plastikman?

Many thanks