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A Long Strange Trip

Artifakts (BC)

Another one of Ritchie Hawtins three releases in 1998, Artifakts (BC) is the conceptual bookend of the three-part series that started with his albums Sheet One and Musik. Although it came out in the same year as Consumed, this is music that was recorded prior to that album (BC as in, before Consumed) and had yet to be released due to some extenuating circumstances. While all of Hawtins work does have a very distinct minimal, repetitive acid sound, it's easy to tell that Artifakts falls more in line with his early work.

Probably one of the easiest descriptions of the albums lies in saying that in only the course of 7 songs, the album traverses 73 minutes. While there is some blank space between the last track and some hidden sound noodling, it's easy to see that the tracks on the album aren't exactly short.

In comparison to the other two albums in the series, this is definitely the most stripped-down. Beats linger forever by themselves and other elements are added sparingly throughout the course of the disc. Were someone to hear this disc who had not heard Plastikman before, this would be the epitomy of why they think electronic music is boring and repetive. To me, it's definitely the most challenging to listen to the series, and while there are some good things about it, Hawtin has done much better work. As he says in the liner notes, maybe it was hard to get inspired to work on the music itself. If you have the other discs and are a fan, though, it's good to have to hear the progression (and see how it has even further morphed into Consumed).

Rating: 6.25