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: 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: 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.
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: 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: 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.
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.
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.
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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.