Electronic music majordomo Richie Hawtin plans to stay in Plastikman mode throughout 2011 with a comprehensive box set, more extensive touring of the Plastikman Live show he debuted this year and possibly, he says, some new music to go with it.
"I want to continue to explore this project," Hawtin tells Billboard.com. "I feel the freedom and excitement to get back in the studio and just experiment. I feel in a privileged position to play all over the world and that I'm doing just what I love to do. I want to do that not only behind the decks or behind the computers in a club or a festival; I want to do that more again in the studio. I feel free to just go in there and do what I love to do."
Even as he created the new show, however, Hawtin has been spending a lot of time in Plastikman's past. Having recently released "Plastikman Kompilation," he's currently taking pre-orders at www.plastikman.com for "Arkives," a 12-disc set that includes all six Plastikman albums from 1993-2010, five CDs of rare and unreleased material -- including the new single "Slinky" -- and a DVD, as well as a 64-page book and a custom-made holiday card. The set is due out in February and will, Hawtin says, serve a variety of purposes.
"I do feel there's a certain momentum right now," he explains. "We're enjoying huge crowds and success and notoriety, and I really believe that there's a lot of kids out there who are coming to our gigs and partying and dancing...but they don't know the whole history of Plastikman. Some of them weren't even born. So 'Arkives' is really to bring everyone up to speed, to knock on the doors of old fans and say 'Remember this?'..and to knock on the doors of the younger fans who are at the gigs now and say, 'OK, you need to know a couple of tracks here that are gonna connect you more to the artist you like right now.
Hawtin says that "Slinky," which he initially recorded in 1995, is key in that pursuit of using the past as a springboard to the future. "It kind of defines Plastikman," he says. "It has one foot in the past; it feels like this connection to this place where Hawtin came from, that acid time, those early Detroit days. But it still finds a place to be relevant in 2010. These tracks still destroy dance floors. That made me feel reconnected to the Plastikman sound. It reminded me how unique the project has always been."
Plastikman Live -- which introduced Hawtin's new visuals as well as the interactive Synk iPhone application at 2010 festivals such as Timewarp in Germany, Coachella in California, Movement in Detroit and Dreamfields in the U.K. and Argentine -- continues in March with five dates on the Future Music Festival tour in Australia. Hawtin then plans to "shut down" the show until a planned tour in October and November. He then plans to roll out Plastikman Live 2.0 in 2012.
"It will be really something incredible, but it's not a lighthearted endeavor," Hawtin notes. "It's hard, logistically and financially, to pull together all those people and equipment. It's pretty specialized. So we need time to organize logistics and hopefully gather support from promoters to really take this thing out there. We're hoping 'Arkives' will help build that support so we can do some more shows in North America especially."