I Don't Know

Plastikman – I Don’t Know

I don’t know…
what you’re looking at…
what you’re listening to…
what you’re thinking about…

Richie Hawtin, either under his own name or by one of his many pseudonyms (Plastikman, FUSE and Concept 1 amongst others) has been making abstract, minimal techno almost as long as I’ve been alive. From early days tripping over the river from his hometown of Windsor in Ontario to witness the first wave of Detroit techno, then being one of the fundamental parts of the second wave in the early 90s, to cementing his record label m-nus as the home of 21st century minimal techno in Berlin, he has been central to techno for many years.

For me his music has always been at its best when it’s like the soundtrack to a rave on a desolate planet somewhere on the other side of the solar system. Schizoid rhythms coupled with distorted vocals and throbbing, industrial bass became the Plastikman trademark, and while his work as FUSE and under his own name seem to come from the future, Plastikman’s best tracks are nothing less than alien.

This is taken to the extreme across the Closer album, which is less repetitive than his other work and relies more on vocals, particularly with I Don’t Know. To accompany it I wanted a similarly ambiguous image, that seem somehow unearthly, but also abstract and cold. The photo is actually originally of rocks on the beach, but to make it a little more alien, I have added various textures and played with it in photoshop a little: I was really trying to create an image that looks like a postcard found in the sands around Roswell, while I Don’t Know played on a loop via a hangar’s PA system in the background.

Strangely there is not much of Plastikman’s music on iTunes – but you can get the album itself from Amazon here:

Image of Closer

And you should also check out his website here purely for the phenomenal Flash design, particularly for both Closer and Nostalgik: www.plastikman.com

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