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The third in the series of Plastikman albums produced by Richie Hawtin, Consumed is a turn away from the high-bpm, drum-machine mania that characterized much of his its two predecessors, Sheet One (1993) and Musik (1994). The acid techno motifs remain in place, and Consumed is structurally similar to Musik: it commences and concludes with standout epic tracks while its mid-section tends to be experimental in nature, filled with shorter Ping-Pong-ing tracks that aim to disorient. However, this is an ambient techno album, make no mistake, driven largely by deep, rumbling basslines and accentuated with shimmering synth washes and almost subliminal microsound ticks -- and not only is it ambient, but it's dark and mysterious in tone. Moreover, Consumed plays like a continuous album rather than a collection of tracks; individual tracks stand out only when memorable moments arise, the opening build of the title track, for instance. It's easy to be drawn in by Consumed, which makes the title all too fitting, for the ambient mood and dark tone are inviting while the mammoth basslines and synth washes are enveloping. All of this makes Consumed Hawtin's most listenable album to date. His previous Plastikman albums are remarkable achievements, for sure, and are filled with plenty of astounding tracks; likewise, his Concept album has its own share of highlights. But none of those albums is as thoroughly excellent as this one, even if it's fully removed from the dancefloor, best enjoyed at home rather than in a danceclub context.

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