On Consumed Richie Hawtin sticks with his traditional minimal style, but the sounds on this album are much different from those on his previous two. There are more textures echoing around the ever-present beats. These tracks are slower, more menacing, and at times even ambient. “Contain” sets the tone with brooding, reverberating bass and hypnotic clicks and beats. On “Consume” two notes alternate like an out-of-control locomotive. They seem to speed up as more sounds build, and the image in my mind shifts to a conveyer belt in a factory assembly line. “Cor Ten” picks up on the same theme, after “Passage (In)” provides a brief interlude.
“Ekko” has an underwater feel to it. While I listen, I feel like I’m lying on the ocean floor, staring up at the flickering lights reflecting off the interface. Hawtin uses another simplistic pattern of shifting bass, and then sonar notes kick in among swirling taps. My favorite track, “In Side,” plays with the same type of mesmerizing counterpoint present at the end of Hawtin’s Mixmag Live! set.
This album is best listened to straight through. All of the tracks adhere to a similar theme, but the overall effect is satisfying. I’ve always been a fan of Hawtin’s subtlety, however. I like to listen to this album from a room adjacent to the one containing my speakers, or while I’m lying in bed with my headphones on. Like all Plastikman material, the tracks grow on me. This is good stuff.