EX (Minus/Mute)

Rating: NNNN

It’s not usually a good sign when an artist who hasn’t released a record in over a decade returns with a live album instead of a studio recording. Fortunately, Richie Hawtin isn’t the kind of performer to use a Guggenheim Museum performance to simply run through his hits. Instead, EX is a proper album of all-new material – composed specifically for that iconic space – and features some of the best work of his career.

Hawtin has been as influential as a party DJ as he has been for his recorded Plastikman work, but his last two studio albums saw him moving further away from the dance floor and were increasingly dark and claustrophobic. On EX, Hawtin’s getting back in touch with his core audience and with the uniquely cerebral take on acid techno that made his early 90s releases such seminal moments in the history of dance music. Music that’s as suited to the art gallery as it is to the after-hours club.

Top track: EXposed

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