Relatively brief and comprised of archival recordings, Artifakts [bc] is nearly as amazing as producer Richie Hawtin's other Plastikman albums and, in many ways, is perhaps the most balanced of the series. The seven tracks here consist of remnants from an abandoned Plastikman album known as Klinik. According to Hawtin's liner notes, he had intended it to follow Musik but ended up scrapping the album and releasing the Sickness single instead. In addition, he began working on Consumed, the dark, ambient Plastikman album he released in 1998. Thus, the "bc" in Artifakts [bc] is an acronym for "Before Consumed," and the seven previously unreleased tracks compiled here fall somewhere between Musik (the second Plastikman album) and Consumed (sequentially the fourth if you're keeping track). Artifakts opens with three quiet tracks very much like what Hawtin would explore more fully on Consumed: "Korridor," "Psyk," and "Pakard." Of these, the latter is surely an album highlight, extending over 12 minutes, led by a mesmerizing acid line which is eventually accentuated by haunting synth ambience once the track nears its halfway point. After this opening 25-minute stretch of sedate acid techno, Hawtin unleashes "Hypokondriak," a ten-minute exercise in seemingly bouncing beats that's quite staggering if not downright disorienting, particularly after 25 minutes of ambient techno. Of the remaining tracks, "Rekall" and "Are Friends Electrik?" are more straightforward, returning to the acid techno style Hawtin had mastered by this point, and "Skizofrenik" sounds like a variation of "Hypokondriak," again employing seemingly bouncing beats. Over the course of these seven tracks, Hawtin offers you a little bit of everything: the acid style of Sheet One and Musik, the ambience of Consumed, and the queasy rhythms of Sickness. If anything, Artifakts [bc] is a bit too all-ecompassing and lacks a sense of individuality. Nonetheless, it flows surprisingly well considering its leftover nature, and the individual tracks are certainly on a par with Hawtin's other work, making it a welcome addition to the Plastikman series.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier