Cover image for Closer
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
[New York] : Mute, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 audio disc : digital, stereophonic ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact disc.

Program notes inserted in container.
Ask yourself -- Mind encode -- Lost -- Disconnect -- Slow poke -- Headcase -- Ping pong -- Mind in rewind -- I no -- I don't know.
Format :
Music CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
XX(1267099.1) Compact Disc Open Shelf

On Order



Closer music indeed. The first Plastikman album in five years brings you so close to Richie Hawtin's mind that the listen can be discomforting. There is no major change in his sound from Consumed; 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." The few tracks with any sense of forward motion are mostly saved for the tail end of the album, and with reason; the impact of "Mind in Rewind"'s menacing chug -- which could be passed off as an acid remix of Burger/Ink's epic "Twelve Miles High" -- is maximized when heard after the first seven tracks. A good percentage of the early reviews for the album drew comparisons to The Wall, despite the fact that there are more significant parallels with another Pink Floyd album: The Final Cut. Just like The Wall's follow-up, 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. It's as solitary and sobering as his DJ sets are communal and hedonistic. ~ Andy Kellman