Label:Playhouse – PLAY083, Playhouse – playhouse 83
3 x Vinyl, 12", 33 ⅓ RPM, 45 RPM, Album
Style:Minimal Techno, Tech House, House


AEasy Lee10:10
C1Bahaha Hahi7:34
C2La Raja6:02
DI Try To Live (Can I Live)9:22
E2Fusion The Enemies7:18

Companies, etc.



Released in gatefold sleeve.

Made in Germany.

Liner notes:
"Ich bedanke mich bei meinem Vater, meiner Mutter,
dem Rest der Familie, meiner Liebsten, meinen Freunden, meinen musikalischen Vorbildern und den niemals müden Erfindern elektronischer Instrumente.
Lasst das Vinyl am Leben und nicht die Roboter
unsere Arbeit tun.



I would like to thank my father, my mother, the rest of the family, my loved ones, my friends, my musical idols and the tireless inventors of electronic instruments. Keep the vinyl alive and don't let the robots take over.

Sides A, B, D and F play at 45 RPM, Sides C and E at 33 ⅓ RPM.
Catalog number is etched as "PLAY083" in the runout groove and listed as "playhouse 83" on the sleeve.

First pressings issued with a purple "villalobos alcachofa" sticker on sleeve; inside the gatefold sleeve the first text passage below the track list (with w&p, contacts) includes the following code: "efa 56408-1". It is missing on this repress gatefold sleeve, but there, another line was added, saying: "distribution via neuton and friends worldwide". In addition, the ongaku email address has changed. The sticker is missing sometimes on the repress cover.
No visible vinyl differences between all pressing versions; same run-out groove etchings, same weight.
For details, see release images.

Repressed in 2011: Alcachofa.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 661956338311
  • Label Code: LC10939
  • Other: mon 2003
  • Matrix / Runout (Etching runout side A): play083 A ⓡ at D&M
  • Matrix / Runout (Etching runout side B): play083 B ⓡ at D&M
  • Matrix / Runout (Etching runout side C): play083 C ⓡ at D&M
  • Matrix / Runout (Etching runout side D): play083 D ⓡ at D&M
  • Matrix / Runout (Etching runout side E): play083 E ⓡ at D&M
  • Matrix / Runout (Etching runout side F): play083 F ⓡ at D&M

Other Versions (5 of 9)

View All
Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
Recently Edited
Alcachofa (CD, Album)PlayhousePlayhouse cd08Germany2003
Recently Edited
Alcachofa (CD, Album, Promo, Card Sleeve)PlayhousePlayhouse cd08Germany2003
New Submission
Alcachofa (3×12", 33 ⅓ RPM, 45 RPM, Album, Promo)PlayhousePLAY083Germany2003
Recently Edited
Alcachofa (CD, Album, Reissue)Playhouse, PlayhousePlay CD08, playhouse CD08Germany2005
New Submission
Alcachofa (CD, Album, Stereo)Playhouse, PlayhousePLAYCD08JP, playhouse 83Japan2005



  • pbootsman's avatar
    Repress is comming this year and it will be get perlonized
    • ----'s avatar
      Edited one year ago
      I'd been out of techno and clubbing for a bit. Things got heated at the end of the millennium, and there was definitely a malaise afterwards. So, I went to other places for kicks. I remember hearing early micro house stuff on Playhouse, Perlon mille plateaux and Canadian labels which I loved but I couldn't imagine it being played in a club at the time.

      Mates were getting excited though, and when Alcachofa came out it was definitely a moment... the opposite of all the drumcode BS that I was burned on.

      Maybe techno wasn't just for vapid dickheads on ecstasy?
      • lobusparietalis's avatar
        Does anyone know if Y.G.H is only on CD version ? That is the song that makes me want the rec. so much. such a great piece
        • Thetheo's avatar
          This album have been on my iPod for 5 years now, and I never figured out why everyone was talking about it. Few months ago, I started listening more micro house, for example the Romanians. And a week ago, I played this album again, and it was a revelation to me. What a blast. The way he can make a 64 steps loop interesting for more than 10 minutes, the way he makes his drums musical was quite unique at the time. He brought a fundamental things in electronic : drums and percussions have draw their own melody. Masterpiece, repress is necessary !
          • Bambadeng's avatar
            I recently had a chat with my girlfriend about whether there will ever be another revolutionary turn in music history as was the invention of electronic music. Now, a few days later after listening to this album, I am inclined to think that it might be this, organic music.

            Music that is unpredictable, that does not follow a certain pattern, but connects bits and pieces in self-diversified complexity similar to that of DNA strands. Music that grows like a plant, like an organism, sounds that mutate, that have a life of their own whose ever-changing nature men will long not begin to comprehend.

            As technology advances we might be able to explore fields of these musical plants and the contemporary music, that is structured music will seem dated and odd due to its predictability and similarity. Maybe the artichoke is the first metaphor for such musical plants and Alcachofa a forerunner of these things to come, a projection into the future of music and organic systems created through technology.

            A slight hint though.
            • calipheron's avatar
              Edited 8 years ago
              So as I attempt to listen to this album for the fifth time in the space of 12 years since its release, I'm still left wondering what the fuss is about.

              Perhaps this kind of minimalist "techno" appeals to the chin-stroking elitist intellegentsia that seek out the kind of purposefully obtuse electronica as exemplified on this record. Every track can be summed up thus: tedious minimal grooves - not fast enough to be exciting, not quite slow enough be languid - squelches, token effects, occasional simplistic melodies and vocals. Every track follows this pattern. About the only part of the album that breaks from this excessive tedium is a few moments early on in Waiworinao when some guitar comes in. Nice, but the soloing isn't particularly substantial, and the rhythm repeats in a similar fashion throughout the EIGHT MINUTE track.

              Sure, concentrate and one can hear all the tweaks, the mixing, the gliches, the twisted sample-fodder. But does this mean the music on Alcachofa is capable of producing an emotional response, or is it a technical exercise pandering to the spectacle-wearing mnml-techno fanatica that write essays about such music?
              • Perloone's avatar
                Strange how this album has stayed with me for so long and my fondness for it only gets stronger with every listen.

                I actually first heard this when I was first began exploring dance music, and something told me there was something special about this guy. I didn't know he was an underground icon or a prolific artist or any of those automatic assumptions you make about Villalobos when you've known about him for a while.

                But little did I know how much this album would alter my life. As dramatic as that sounds, it did, in so many ways. It shaped the music I began looking for, the parties I attended, the people I met, the friends I made, the drugs I took...

                Tell your average person that a minimal techno album has such an impact on your life and they will laugh at you, but I think many people will understand exactly where I'm coming from.

                • Alex_Celler's avatar
                  Edited 3 months ago
                  It is very hard to put in context simply how important this album is for the history of electronic music. I have kept in my notes some of my favorite quotes about this album over the years. RA's editor in chief Todd L. Burns said '' Τhe particular genius of Alcachofa is that you only realized that things like "Easy Lee" and "Dexter" were classics after you listened to them for the second, third or 15th time. It's a nearly impossible trick, making tracks that keep you dancing but which still give up new secrets each time that you hear them. Seven years later, we're still hearing things.'' Whereas Andy Kellman of Allmusic commented that Villalobos "is in complete control of his machines at all times, and he makes them do strange things that no one else can''.

                  For me personally, one of the most striking characteristics of this album is the fact that it sounds nothing like the music of that era. As we went into 2003, It seemed like Techno had realized a big part of its potential. I vividly remember a friend telling me then (confidently yet unseemly) that ''Electronic music can't go on forever, you simply can't reinvent the kickdrum''. Yet, Ricardo, came along with this album and said to everyone: ''This is how fresh and original can electronic music still sound.'' And so Alcachofa does. Profoundly futuristic, as if it landed 15-20 years ahead of its time. It might sound like a cliche, but Ricardo Villalobos is truly and without doubt on a level of his own, light years ahead of the best producers around back then and today both in terms of talent, ideas but also with a relentless, dedicated work ethic. 

                  Even a quick examination of all the aspects of this album gives it a clean 10/10: Ricardo's mastery of his modular systems and machines, along with his incredible sense of rhythm and spark for song-creation is the basis of the success of this album. Thus, its sound-design is one of the freshest, most innovative & intricate sounding since a very long time. Programming-wise it's a masterclass of arrangement, groove creation and ingenious blend of drums, soundscapes and noises; it also has a very live-played feel which and in many cases it seems to be free from the ''step-sequencing'' approach. At least this is how it sounds to me. Aesthetically this album is a true marvel too: in contrast to the euphoria of the 90's, Ricardo produces a much more melancholic and darker sounding album which has helped push the genre in a deeper, more esoteric approach, essentially helping establish the deeper side of techno sound which thrives today, 10 years later. Deep and intelligent electronic dance music at its best. I heard people say that this album is the perfect soundtrack to the afterparty, however the truth is that this works perfectly in any situation: in the club, in the after, at home and the car.

                  However, the cherry on the pie and one of the greatest achievements in Alcachofa is - in my opinion - that all of the above is executed perfectly in dancefloor orientated context; yet the tracks are not simply groove based dance tracks, sound design based loops or tools... They are mature compositions, full songs which you can whistle, you can remember and you can sing. Alcachofa is so good, that if Ricardo was to stop releasing music today, this album alone would be enough to place him amongst the crème de la crème of the best producers around. Ricardo is an asset for Electronic Music as a whole.

                  After writing all the above and after listening again to Alcachofa the following question came to mind : If Ricardo could make such amazing music in 2003, how good is his music 10 years later in 2013? A visit in Fabric, Robert Johnson or Get Perlonized @ Panorama - places where Ricardo plays regularly extended sets - can reveal how far this prodigiously talented man has come: 25 or 30 minute long tracks played from his messy CD collection which are so brilliant that, when sober, can make the honest listener feel high and when high, will make you freak out. Is this music released? Nope. Will it ever be released? I hope some of it will, for the benefit of Electronic Music and for the inspiration it will bring to the younger generations.

                  Until then, Alcachofa still offers so much to be inspired from. Frankly, ten years later, it seems that this album hasn't aged a day, easily surpassing some of nowadays most hyped and most forward thinking releases.

                  Thank you Ricardo. We all owe you.
                  • gplr's avatar
                    Finally mine! Easy Lee, Theogenese..... BAM!
                    • Kaicho's avatar
                      Edited 16 years ago
                      I have never been able to grasp this music speak, talking of analogue this, metropolitan that. I'll say it as it is. This LP still reveals unknown pleasures everytime I listen to it. It is harmonic; it has character; it has that hard to find quality that many record producers seek to find... It is an LP where its whole is as good as the best of its individual parts. So either listen to Alcachofa in part or in entirety you will be surprised and entertained everytime. Well done Mr. Villalobos.


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