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11 Mar 10
Played by: John Karagiannis (Techhead), Concrete Djz, Detroit Grand Pubahs, Deepchild, Juno Download, Juno Recommends Techno, Wire Magazine, Resident Advisor, Koen Groeneveld
Review: Detroit techno favourite Robert Hood is set to release an intriguing concept album this summer. As a precursor to the release, his own M Plant imprint are releasing two of its tracks as a taster of the full length.
The forthcoming Omega is a concept album based on the 1971 classic science fiction film, The Omega Man starring Charlton Heston. The film itself derived from Richard Matheson's 1954 novel I Am Legend which incidentally has also seen a Hollywood film adaptation spring from it. Hood's Omega however, is not meant to be an exact soundtrack that runs alongside the 1971 film. Instead, it is Hood's musical take on the film. He watched the film growing up and now draws inspiration from the lessons that it teaches.
"Alpha" and "Omega (End Times)" hint at what we can expect from this summer's release. "Alpha" is a thick wad of driving techno. It is relentless to the last, with an epic feel created by sustained synthesisers and some stabbing basslines. Cranking breaks and quick percussion patterns add momentum and power to this breathless piece of classic Robert Hood techno. Next up is "Omega (End Times)" which assumes a darker, more ominous quality. Still one for the clubs, this track contains more of a moody and sinister atmosphere. The crunching basslines are still there and when the beat comes in it is as steady and as powerful as the A side. Its tempo shifts are more subtle too, making this an all together much more brooding affair.
From knowing the pretence of the forthcoming full length and by only hearing these two tracks, the wait for Omega will seem unbearable now. A tight release meant to wet our appetites has gone and done exactly what it was meant to.
11 Feb 11
Played by: Gus Brown, Elliott Dodge - Snapshot Records, Simone Barbieri Viale, Space Djz, Juno Recommends Techno, Glenn Keohane(Ng415/K), Detroit Grand Pubahs, Trebor, Enclave, Robert Hood
Review: After enjoying a superlative year in which his conceptual opus Omega was critically feted, Rush Hour introduced us to his rare disco leanings on the Funky Souls project and he teamed up with his daughter on a mind meltingly good remix of Boys Noize, Robert Hood is awarded with one of the highest honours a techno musician can get. A thumping locked groove reimagination from James Ruskin. The track in question, "Alpha", was one of many highlights on the aforementioned ode to 1971 film The Omega Man and in the hands of Ruskin it is twisted into a suitably heads down industrial workout that still retains the essence of the original. Further joy can be found in a new Hood production, "The Family" which finds the Detroit producer in vintage form as an unrelenting rhythmic thrust is complemented by a rather overwhelming bassline throb.
01 Apr 13
Played by: Joachim Spieth (Affin), Juno Recommends Techno, Slam, Enclave, Victor Martinez, Submerge, Resident Advisor
Review: One of the more driving cuts from Robert Hood's epic Motor: Nighttime World 3 from last year, "Drive (The Age Of Automation)" finds itself getting a welcome single release. The original is about as Detroit as you can get, where a moody motorik bassline gives way to suitably sci-fi synths, combining a musical take on Detroit's automotive history with a Blade Runner aesthetic. Token artist Phase obviously revels in the opportunity to provide two brilliant reworks of the track; the "Nocturnal Mix", which isolates the original's bass stabs and incorporates them into a rolling juggernaut rhythm tailor made for the warehouse, while the "C-Box Mix" opts to keep the melodic elements but pare them back with the producer's trademark sharpness.
24 Jan 08
15 Jun 09
17 Sep 12
Played by: Ennio Styles (Stylin Radio Show), Paul Mac, Paul Langley, Shadow Dancer, Juno Recommends Techno, Audision, Posthuman
Review: Robert Hood is techno's undisputed minimal master, but previous instalments of Nighttime World - especially the jazz-fuelled inaugural release in 1995 on Cheap - have afforded him the opportunity to go off script and indulge his conceptual whims. Will he do the same again on Motor? The answer is a resounding yes. Inspired by Julien Temple's 2010 documentary Requiem For Detroit?, which charts the fall and decline of America's former car manufacturing hub, the album is full of references to the effects of man's interaction with technology. If Kraftwerk's shimmering Man Machine was a testament to the benefits of humans harnessing technology, then Motor is the gloomy riposte, emerging from the rubble of a shattered metropolis to tell this sad but compelling tale and crucially, to offer some hope for the future.
24 Aug 09
14 Jun 10
20 Jun 11
Review: Given that most live techno performances consist of a guy in a hoody huddled over a laptop, the notion of releasing an album recorded in a club sounds redundant. That said, there aren't too many techno producers like Robert Hood and on the evidence of this hardware-based set, he sounds quite different in a live environment. The most noticeable aspect of Omega Alive is the drums; on "Alpha Alive", they sound tougher, even more robust than the recorded version, while on "Bells At Dusk", the addition of pile driving snares lend the track new weight. Omega Alive is also the perfect environment for Hood to rework some of his classics, and the coruscating riffs of his eternal "Minus" gets a new lease of life.
13 Sep 10
07 Dec 09
28 Sep 09
26 Sep 11
Review: On the evidence of his latest releases, it feels like Robert Hood is going through a reinvention process. The recent Floorplan gave vent to his gospel influences and now "The Greatest Dancer", under his own name provides an insight into Hood's love of disco. There's not much to the title track, yet this simplicity and clarity of sound is the same aesthetic that drove the original productions that it is indebted to. Over a rolling, housey groove, Hood adds in some sexy funk guitar, sprinkles it with sensuous strings and puts all of the ingredients into a filtered blender. On "Dancer", the approach is even more minimal and straightforward as a walking funk bass guitar is married to a series of claps. This combination runs the risk of sounding like a DFA release, but Hood isn't finished. He adds sassy brass samples and a sexy female vocal, resulting in an arrangement that offers all of the sensuality of disco and the unflinching precision of his minimal techno productions. Call it a reinvention, but it also offers the best of both worlds.