Review: The ePM agency, label and distributor celebrates 20 years with a series of split EPs focused on techno, electro and house. First up is the techno release, with ePM attracting a stellar line-up to contribute. Robert Hood drops the eerie "Shadows", where menacing organs and steely percussion come together for a mesmerising slice of minimal techno. Ben Sims conjures up dense, tribal drums, interspersed with haunting wind chimes on "Xotnuc", while James Ruskin delivers the tough, steely rhythm of "There Was A Time". Remaining at the tougher end of the spectrum, the always consistent Mark Broom brings this part of ePM's celebrations to a close with the cavernous, pounding groove of "The Three Swords".
Review: Perhaps Robert Hood did indeed feel that his work was 'underestimated' when he released this record back in 1998, but this can hardly be the case anymore. The snaking, metallic rhythm and dramatic strings of "Black Man's World" still sound fresh, despite the passage of a quarter-century. Meanwhile, on "Sleep Is The Cousin Of Death", Hood showcases his ability to deliver deep, driving dance floor techno - the combination of pumping bass drum with dissected vocal sample here is particularly powerful. "Hard To Kill" is a darker affair, and its repetitive stabs combined with insistent rhythm shows that when it comes to tough but crafty techno, Hood has few peers.
Review: Robert Hood follows his recent Nothing Stops Detroit debut on Rekids with a full-length artist album. It shows that when it comes to delivering linear dance floor techno Hood has few peers. This talent is audible on lean tracks like "Fear Not" and the pounding kicks and soaring chords of "Falling Apart". But Mirror Man also shows that within an album format. Hood is not afraid to cast a wide creative gaze. "Through A Looking Glass Darkly' and "A Shattered Image" are chilling electronic soundtracks, while on "System of Mirrors", the Detroit veteran drops a hypnotic slice of techno that resounds to a throbbing bass and waves of frazzled percussion.
Review: Ahead of a new album, which is due out at the end of 2020, Robert Hood delivers this blistering debut for Rekids. The title track revolves around a heavy, rolling bass and dubbed out drums, the perfect opening track for this dance floor EP. "7 Mile Dog" sees Hood up the pace and intensity levels, as a looped chord is fused with pounding kicks and a frazzled bass to create an intense peak-time track. "Ignite A War" resounds to a steely rhythm and a pulsating bass, with the veteran Detroit producer lacing the arrangement with insistent stabs for maximum impact, while on "The Cure", Hood drops a pile-driving track that centres on pounding kicks.
Review: Demonstrating again that techno is a deeply political art form, the latest release from Robert Hood was produced against the backdrop of recent events in the US. On "The Struggle", which Hood has put out under his own name, the Detroit artist fuses a searing acid backing track with a sample of a speech from activist Tamika Mallory about police brutality, which was given in the days following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Shifting to his Floorplan alias, Hood continues to focus on politics; sampling a speech by comedian and activist Dick Gregory, "Save The Children" is realised in its original format as a disco-charged stomper, while there is also a chord-heavy Detroit take included.
Review: The idea that music should stay away from politics is flawed, and Break The Silence is one of the most convincing counter-arguments against this notion. Featuring unreleased tracks donated by a stellar cast of underground electronic music artists, the compilation seeks to raise funds for Campaign Zero, an initiative that campaigns against police violence in the US. With artists like Rob Hood, 4 Hero and Luke Slater all contributing to Break The Silence, the listener really is spoilt for choice while also supporting a great cause. However, the standouts come from Eddie Fowlkes and Jon Dixon, who both drop superb jazz-influenced house tracks.
Plastikman & The Persuader & Van Bonn & Arnold Tempo & Donnacha Costello & Deepchord - "Consumed/Pinnharan/Abroad/Quarion Was Digging For Water/Grape A/DC14 (A1)" - (3:57) 125 BPM
Siopis & Joris Voorn & Lau Frank & Audio Werner & Jichael Mackson & Roland Klinkenberg - "Listen To The Whispers/Where Have You Gone? (Part 1)/7am (D" (feat Mr Brean - Jody Hannan remix) - (3:35) 125 BPM
Howling & Christian Fennesz & Julien Aubert & Martin Aquino & Christian Fennesz & John Tejada & Glac - "Signs (Matom Remix)/Kae/Feelmar (Gaspard De La Montagne Remix)/Red Pavement (Halo & Alex Fuent" - (4:36) 125 BPM
Joris Voorn & Giash - "Fall (Nobody Home Dream Interpretation Mix) / Space Odyssey" - (4:55) 125 BPM
Cobblestone Jazz - "Drawn From The Side Of Crime" - (2:45) 125 BPM
Sounds Like Us & Donnacha Costello & Sagat & Roland Klinkenberg - "Little Helper 163-4/Backache/Body/Departures" - (3:50) 125 BPM
Monobox & Tadeo & Robert Hood & Reggy Van Oers - "Realm/Deep Space/AM Track/Mavie" - (5:53) 125 BPM
Nasty Habits & Anton Pieete & Tom Day & Monsoonsiren & Tom Day & Monsoonsiren & Joris Voorn - "Shadow Boxing/Next Year (Mosca's Skaep Niwt Version)/Love Is Rare/Dreams/Left (Roland Klinke" - (2:48) 125 BPM
Wolfgang Voigt & Rekord 61 - "Empathie/Sverh" (Radio Slave FYM remix 2) - (3:58) 125 BPM
Joran Van Pol & Speedy J - "Exist/Fill 17" - (4:05) 125 BPM
Review: 2019 is proving to be a very creative time for Robert Hood. Already this year, the seminal producer has put out a split EP with Mark Broom and now follows it with this solo two-tracker. "Reflector" is a dark, chord-heavy affair that builds and drops tantalisingly, with an undercurrent of menace as it progresses. Although it's a big-room track, it brings with it a subtlety that most such material in that category lacks. On the flip side, "Rotate" is a very different proposition. Deeper and slower, it sees the Detroit artist show a far more reflective and atmospheric side to his style.
Review: It's hard to believe that Internal Empire is a quarter of a century old. To mark this anniversary - and presumably to bring it to a new generation - Tresor has decided to re-release it. Combining an ability to distill electronic music down to its barest, most hypnotic form, Hood delivers wiry, receptive grooves like "Master Builder" and "Parade", the latter sounding similar to being trapped inside an assembly plant as the machines career out of control. Despite this mechanical precision, Internal Empire is also a masterclass in electronic funk. The glassy percussive bursts on "Within" and the layer-upon-layer tones of "Minus" show that when it comes to futuristic techno few works, past or present, can match it.
Review: Dekmantel rounds off a hugely successful year with a compilation that reflects the organisation's multi-faceted approach. At one end of the spectrum there's the dubbed out groove and spacey vocals of Peaking Light's "Blind Corner" and tropical act Bruxas' left of centre beats, while at the other end Robert Hood delivers the blistering techno of "Red Machine". In between these extremes, there are Dekmantel-supported artists such as Betonkust & Palmbomen II - impressing here with the Legowelt-esque "Renaat Egypte" - and zeitgeist-defining names like Lena Willikens and Matrixxman. Add in some Dutch scene veterans such as Tom Trago, on fine form with the epic but understated "Working Machines", and it's not hard to see why 2018 was a great year for the Dutch collective.
Review: The last commercial mix that Robert Hood did back in 2008 for Fabric re-ignited his career. Appearing at the tail end of minimalism, its hard-edged sounds provided a welcome relief to the prevailing sound. A decade on, the 66th DJ Kicks finds the Detroit artist once again in firing form. "Focus" signals his intent with its massive siren riff and pounding drums, while "Clocks", which builds and builds to electronic bee swarms, shows that he has lost none of his minimal techno firepower. Sure, there are other fine contributions, like Truncate's sheet metal banger "Terminal 5" and the shadowy riffs of Marcel Fengler's "Thwack" - itself a paean to Dr Motte's "Der Klang Der Familie" - but like the Fabric selection, this instalment of DJ Kicks is all about Robert Hood.
Review: The Motor City's godfather of minimal techno returns, doing what he does best on his revered M-Plant imprint, following up a tremendous LP as Floorplan and the well received Paradygm Shift series on Dekmantel. This furious three tracker features "Clocks", a mental and hypnotic onslaught featuring whirry synth textures with steely, hissy percussion throughout. It is undoubtedly the EP's most dynamic cut, but "Low Life" is classic Hood all the way with its repeating bell melody and good ol' claps on the kick showcasing his timeless cyclical style. Finally the moody "Go" is perfect to take listeners into the late night, with its near tribal rhythm and tunnelling/strobe-lit vibe that's absolutely geared for some 'heads-down' moments on the dancefloor.
Review: The third and final series in Rob Hood's Paradygm Shift series for Dekmantel sees the Detroit producer in uncompromising form. "Red Machine" is a relentless peak-time number that resounds to frazzled, droning riffs, dramatic filters and tough tribal drums. Its approach is the opposite to Hood?s seminal minimal releases - the arrangement is "maximal" in the way that its spectrum seems densely populated - but there is no doubting its efficacy. On "Transform", Hood takes down the intensity levels a few notches, and lays down a rolling house groove, but its drums are tough-edged and the looped chords lend it a menace that is alien to his Floorplan releases.
Review: It's hard to believe that Soma has reached its 500th release. Slam started the label to provide a platform for the earliest house and techno strains coming from Glasgow during the early 90s. In the intervening years it has helped launch a number of careers - including a French duo called Daft Punk - and has become one of the great and most consistent underground labels. So what does its 500th release sound like? Unsurprisingly, it is still guided by the same principles that inspired the label's foundation. Slam take on Rob Hood's "The Bond We Formed" and deliver two versions. The former is a killer big room workout, while the "S25 Retro Fit" rework is reminiscent of the pair's earlier work, a jacking rhythm propelling a dark, filtered organ riff into oblivion. There is also a Slam rework of Carl Craig's classic remix of Gavin Russom and Delia Gonzalez' "Relevee", with the Soma bosses adding some steely drum muscle to the original interpretation. Here's to 500 more releases.
Review: Detroit innovator Rob Hood is the latest name to release on Dekmantel. The Dutch label and party organisers have put out work by an impressive array of artists, but persuading the Minimal Nation author is a true masterstroke. Shift, which arrives in time for the festival season, starts with the eerie "Preface" before Hood launches into the abrasive, metallic rhythm of "Idea" and "I Am", a clap-heavy groove whose central riff just keeps on building and building. There are echoes of Hood's minimal past on the loopy "Solid Thought" and the wiry funk of "Nephesh", but Shift captures Hood in big room mode and is the spiritual heir to the locked-on, peak time techno of the Detroit producer's Omega long player.
Review: Two heroes of the new breed kick off a new mix series for Jamie Jones' esteemed Hot Creations imprint. Jones began Paradise at DC10 (Ibiza) five years ago and it's gone on to be a huge success, inviting the biggest names in the business to come play alongside his crew of residents. The first mix is courtesy of Toronto's Nathan Barato, a frequent collaborator with local heroes such as Carlo Lio and The Junkies and whose career has been on the rise with releases on Cajual, Saved, Circus and Defected. Highlights include the Derrick Carter classic "Where Ya At?" (Mix Originale), Makam's brooding "Loleatta" and Jared Wilson's rusty acid odyssey "Girl, I'm Waitin". UK talent Patrick Topping this year completed his third summer as resident at DC10 in Ibiza for Paradise. Here Topping showcases the sound and style of his sets with high energy from the word go. His mix features several of his own productions guaranteed for maximum dancefloor impact, as well as Metaboman's lo-slung and exotic "Next Please" through to Dave Clarke's massive remix of Jark Prongo's "Movin Thru Your System".
Review: Hot on the heels of Detroit legend Robert Hood's first EP for Dekmantel, Paradygm Shift, comes this second volume of typically forthright techno cuts. Opener "Master Jack" is hypnotic and heavy, with spacey synth loops and starburst electronics riding a thumping bassline and relentless rhythm track (think fizzing cymbals, snappy drum machine handclaps, colossal kick drums etc). "Magnet" is altogether deeper affair, but no less devastating. Hood is a master at wringing maximum dancefloor effectiveness out of the least number of intertwined elements, and here works wonders with little more than stomping drums, metallic electronics, and some well-placed special effects.
Review: The recruitment of Robert Hood is a sign of Dekmantel's growing stature as a label. The Detroit legend has agreed to release a trio of EPs and an album under the Paradigm Shift banner, a project title designed to reflect the producer's desire to see great change within dance music. This first EP is classic Hood, with A-side "Form" - all effects-laden drums, looped-up textures, hissing cymbals and cacophonous kick-drums - sounding like no-one else. Flipside "Lockers" follows a similar script, though there's a little more house-influenced funk to the relentless beats, while Hood's use of starburst riffs and classic Motor City electronics adds a sense of far-sighted adventure..
Review: This triple-album collection is something of a treat for Prins Thomas fans. Released as an accompaniment to his epic, three-disc Paradise Goulash mix, it's entirely made up of previously unreleased re-edits from the Norwegian maestro. Musically, it's as cosmic and varied as you'd expect, variously touching on ambient (Claude Speed), Balearic jazz (Gabor Szabo), Middle Eastern oddness (Cat Trance), synth-samba (Richard Schneider Jnr), modern classical (a Johanna Billings cover of Arthur Russell's "This Is How We Walk On The Moon"), and all manner of hazy, sun-kissed grooves. There's little slamming dancefloor fare, but plenty of unique versions of overlooked, little known or forgotten musical gems. For that alone, it should be an essential purchase.
Review: British techno veterans Jonas Stone and Oliver Way have pulled off something of a coup here, not only by persuading Robert Hood to appear on their EPM Music imprint, but also by including a track from the Detroit legend's Floorplan alias (amazingly, Hood has previously kept the two projects entirely separate). Naturally, both tracks hit home hard. "Shaker" is prime Hood - an intoxicating, no-holds-barred techno looper built around a killer groove, foreboding chords and occasional vocal samples. On the Floorplan side, Hood reaches for the gospel organs, filtering and looping them up over a thunderous kick drum and typically relentless ride cymbals. As usual with Hood Floorplan material, there's enough soul in the machines to impress even the pickiest techno buyer.
Review: Thirty three seminal Robert Hood productions all in the one download: The M-Plant Mother lode has landed. Even if you're well up to date on the Detroit legend's storied career there's no stopping the joy at what material has been included here - including - the best minimal techno production of all time: Monobox's "Realm". For something funkier there's the "The Pace", "The Greatest Dancer", the all praising "We Magnify His Name" and "Monkey". But wait: there's more! "Alpha" and "The Family" from his Omega Man LP makes the cut as do the epic James Brown and Aretha Franklin samples from newer school Floorplan material "Baby Baby" and "Never Grow Old". There's also the legendary stuff like "Who Taught You Math" and "Minus" to "Protein Valve" and much, much more. Dig in.
Review: If one variation of confused blips and synth gurgles underpinned by a rock-solid 909 beat by Robert Hood isn't enough than indulge yourself in two. For this first chapter of the Moveable Parts EP series, Hood's work here will please those after some more Monobox action as both "Untitled 1" and "Untitled 4" are discombobulated versions of each other. If you're after a mutant version of the latter for the packed dancefloor however, Hood's got you covered with "Untitled Sketch". Does Hood ever disappoint? Never!
Review: M Plant's 20 Year anniversary celebrations are set to end on a high with a triple CD compilation featuring a wealth of new, remastered and unreleased material alongside some classics from the Robert Hood canon. Before then, the latest in an ongoing series of celebratory 12" releases sees Hood look to the classic Protein Valve, which was the first 12" issued on M Plant back in 1994. The title track has already been subject to some edits as part of this M Plant 20 series, but it's nice to see three tracks from that original 12" reissued here as a reminder how Hood's pioneering minimal approach first took shape. Look out for new Hood production "Analog Track (Ghost)" wedged in amongst the protein too!
Review: One of Europe's biggest electronic music parties sets out an impressive taster for this year's event. Mixed by French DJ/producer Brodinski, it moves from the deranged, siren-led "Slope" by Joe, through the swinging techno of Randomer's "Bring" and the chord-heavy groove of Brendon Moeller's take on Appleblim & Peverelist's "Over Here" before moving into more raw forms. This is articulated by the rough analogue jack of Marquis Hawkes' "Outta This Hood" and the firing, lean techno of Robert Hood's "Protein Valve (Edit 1). Brodinski also deserves kudos for dropping the grainy, surging bass and crisp drums of Claro Intelecto's rumbling electro killer, "Tone"
Review: The Floorplan project show-cased Robert Hood's love of gospel-tinged house, but as this, his latest release demonstrates, he remains a techno artist through and through. The Protein Valve record originally appeared on M Plant 20 years ago and like Hood's Internal Empire and Minimal Nation releases, became a blueprint for minimal techno. On the "Re-Plant" and "Edit 1" versions, nagging, insistent percussion and an eerie organ sound create a sense of drama. However, the old approach proves to be the most effective and the second edit remains closer to the original sound, with jittery hats, unsettling organ riffs and the wind whooshing past in the background.
Review: Some things never go out of fashion and this is especially true of Robert Hood's '90s minimalism. For those who didn't buy the releases first time round, these edits by Mark Broom provide the perfect opportunity to play catch up. The edit of "Untitled 1" from 1995's Moveable Parts Chapter 1 is the more abrasive track, its warped, jarring rhythm moving up and down the intensity scale with all the precision of a military drone. The UK producer's take on "One Touch", from the harder to track down Minimal Nation - the vinyl release sells for over €30 on Discogs - is less visceral but its repetitive filtering and sleek rhythm make it a must for any self-respecting techno DJ.
Review: The last time Robert Hood referenced the number 11 was the beatless track "The Age Of Eleven", appearing towards the end of his Wire To Wire album released ten years ago on the all encompassing Peacefrog Records. That, however, is where the similarities to this EP, Eleven, on Hood's own M-Plant, end. The chimes of "Alarm" sound similar to Luke Slater's "Bell Blocker", and a lot of what else can be heard that legendary album The Messenger. But again it's the title track that provides another production where the city of Detroit literally resonates within the music, painting visual imagery of factories and assembly lines done in a way that instantly make you think: Robert Hood.
Review: Hood has been focusing his efforts of late on the Floorplan project, but on Technician, he provides listeners with a glimpse of his techno past. A stripped back, streamlined rhythm is at the heart of the title track. Augmented by squelchy acid lines, breathy synths and the jazzy flourishes of Nighttime World, it is one of the best recent examples of Hood's ability to balance dance floor functionality with atmospheric musicality. The remix by Mad Mike sees another Detroit icon enjoying a return to form. Dramatic strings and a pitched down vocal provide the intro, while a niggly acid line recalls the heights of UR's Final Frontier.
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.
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.
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.