Plastikman & Chilly Gonzales - Consumed in Key (2022)
Minus Inc. / Turbo Recordings
Tags: #deeptechno #minimaltechno
I found myself surprised that I haven't featured Richie Hawtin, aka. Plastikman in this newsletter before because he is not only one of the biggest and most prolific stars in minimal - or deep - electronic music. He is also one of the most progressive artists in electronic music in general.
A grand experimenter, Hawtin is one of the early pioneers of techno - from the early 1990s in Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. Since then, and to this day, he has been pushing the technological and artistic envelope of the scene. He is constantly experimenting with new methods and hardware, from production and performance instruments to grand concert-scale setups that rethink the entire experience and expression of how electronic music is perceived live.
For example, I remember experiencing the performance of his previous album, EX, live at Sonar Festival in Barcelona in 2014. It featured a massive, 10-meter-tall, pulsating cylinder speaker in the middle of the audience area, which directed people's attention away from the artist himself. A performance etched into my memory.
This album is his first as Plastikman since then, and it is, of course, another experiment. It builds on one of his previous releases under the Plastikman moniker, 'Consumed,' which came out in 1998 and was a minimal, stripped-down album that became a sought-after deep minimal classic.
Chilly Gonzales, the renowned multi-instrument and multi-genre musician, heard this album and was amazed by the compository parallels it drew from freeform jazz (as opposed to the typical linearity of techno composition in general). He felt compelled to reinterpret the album on this piano, and thus this album came to be. The creative meeting between two musical worlds in a way that makes space for them both, but at the same time in unison, creates a highly original jazz-techno hybrid. Learn more about the origin story on the Consumed in Key website with small background videos and more goodies.
It comes out on Hawtin's 'Minus' label, another mastodon in electronic music spanning over three decades, and the home of many of Hawtin's musical projects, including Plastikman, through which he is responsible for iconic releases such as 'Muzik' and 'Recycled Plastik.' It is distributed under license to Turbo Recordings, a large Canadian label for techno and electro founded by another big wig in electronic music, Tiga. Turbo has an impressive 400+ releases under its belt, so it is also one of the major forces on the techno scene.
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