DECKS EFX & 909
ALBUM NOVAMUTE, PLAYGROUND RELEASE: OCTOBER 25, 1999 REVIEW: DECEMBER 7, 1999
Richie Hawtin is something of a veteran within the area of minimalistic techno. Under the guise of Plastikman he has, since the early 90's, created some of the most prominent techno there is to get. Brilliant albums like "Artifacts [b.c]" and "Consumed" offer a sound that is sparse, brutal and atmospheric, perhaps only matched by Aphex Twin’s "Selected Ambient Works II".
On "Decks EFX & 909" Hawtin demonstrates another side of his creativity: his talent as a DJ. But it is a mix album that goes beyond the simple celebration of it's cover stars. Instead, Hawtin rearranges and mutates the original tracks to create a whole new texture and feel that is unmistakingly his own. Of course minimalistic, but not in a Plastikman kind of way.
This album is instead related to a more traditional form of Detroit techno. It's hard, hypnotic, thoroughly danceable. And of course it also features (among loads of other rather unknown artists) the king of the Detroit scene, Jeff Mills. But the endless stream of pumping rhythms aims strictly at the dance floor. This is music that should be collectively experienced. At home, presumably with an insufficient equipment, it becomes a bit tiring.
Of course, "Decks EFX & 909" still is a very competent album but just never half as interesting as the previously mentioned Plastikman albums. Though you do crack a smile when you hear Nitzer Ebb's EBM classic "Let Your Body Learn" incorporated into this massive Detroit orgy.