Plastikman Kompilation

Plastikman Kompilation
Before Richie Hawtin was a Berlin-based superstar DJ, he was the bald, bespectacled Windsor, ON resident whose output as Plastikman catapulted Canadian electronic music onto the international map. Initiated in 1993, the Plastikman project fused an infatuation with the Detroit techno Hawtin had discovered right across the Windsor Bridge with a strong sense of conceptual minimalism drafted from his background in avant-garde visual arts. Hawtin's otherworldly soundscapes did for the Detroit sound what the likes of Autechre and other IDM pioneers were doing for UK hardcore: strip the template down to its ghostly roots and let an aura of electric atmosphere fill the open spaces. Kompilation revisits Plastikman's 1993 to 2003 run, in the form of a slim eight-track primer that peruses the highlights of Richie Hawtin's legendary alias. Five of the eight numbers cover album tracks from the fertile 1993 to 1994 Detroit-influenced period of the first two albums (Sheet One and Musik), while the more minimal and, arguably, singular identity he would adopt in '97/'98 is represented by "Panikattack" (from the Sickness EP) and "Contain" (from 1998's Consumed, considered by many at the time to be Plastikman's masterpiece). Meanwhile, 2003's "Ask Yourself" represents Hawtin's relatively unfocused fourth album, Closer. Kompilation is by no means comprehensive, and anyone who bought these albums the first time certainly doesn't need to buy this set. But for those who know Richie Hawtin primarily via his DJ mixes or from his many club dates in recent years, Kompilation offers a window into the half-forgotten world of an especially gifted artistic persona that has been buried ever since the late '90s. Since then, Hawtin has gone on to become a technologic maven whose mixes have reinvented the art of DJing, an equally valid and impressive contribution to what came before. Kompilation is equally eye opening as a picture of this country's golden period in electronic music ― when Canada was still in step with the rest of the world's musical advances and electronic artists here still saw potential in the growing generation of audiences. Sadly, all that would soon be extinguished by debilitating municipal laws and alarming headlines of teenage ecstasy fatalities at warehouse parties. (M_nus)