Wow ... Buying a Richie Hawtin release needs an instruction manual.
Let's say you want Arkives, his new retrospective boxset of Plastikman material from those acid-soaked and sleekly minimal years between 1993 and 2010. Well, you can be sure that there will be no less than four different versions from which to choose.
So you need to ask yourself: What kind of consumer am I? An archivist? A vinyl fetishist? An immaterialist? A totally unhinged completist?
Note: You need to pre-order between October 10 and December 31. Hawtin's only making enough to satisfy demand! So decide quick. Here are your options:
Reference: For the anal music academic in every minimal techno head, this special 11-disc CD/DVD/book version of Arkives is a bona fide collector's item that your friends and family will covet. (Or at least they'll wonder when you're gonna stop hoarding elaborately packaged boxsets?) Satisfy your basest archivist impulses!
Analog: A deluxe package consisting of six 180-gram records (and a bonus limited-edition poster!), this throwback edition of Arkives appeals to every nerd's sense of nostalgia. So, if you become aroused by the smell of polyvinyl chloride or the feel of new grooves on your fingertips, take the analog option. You won't regret it.
Digital: Sort of self-explanatory, right? Officially described as Arkives lite, it's the digital download version. Get this one if you hate owning actual objects.
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Collection: Finally, if you either can't make up your mind or you're manically driven by a deep, primal urge to possess everything in the known universe, then the Arkives Collection was made for you. You will get 11 CDS and a DVD, plus a 64-page book, plus digital downloads, PLUS special surprises! It's so freaking huge! Good luck finding someplace to put it.
Now what? Crippled by indecision? Thankfully, buying tickets for Hawtin's live show is way less complicated. Basically, you pay and he plays.
Richie Hawtin. Saturday, November 27. Mansion, 1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Doors open at 10 p.m. 305-695-8411; mansionmiami.com.