Review: Hot on the heels of the recent Forwardbase Kodai EP, his first Monobox release in seven years, Rob Hood now delivers a new artist album under that guise. Echoes of the project's previous focus run deep on tracks like the minimalist house of "Rise" and the mutant funk bass of "Exoplanet", but there is also a focus on more traditional Detroit house and techno tropes. In places, like on the rolling drums and soulful synths of "Blackwater Canal", the influence of Floorplan is audible, while the acid-tinged sweeps of "Drydock" marks out new territory - both for Monobox and the singular producer behind the project.
Review: This release is the first Monobox material from Robert Hood in seven years and marks a change of direction. Like his Floorplan work, the title track is direct and impactful: revolving around a rolling bass and ominous, steely chords, it's the clubbiest material that this Hood project has yielded. The remixes follow a similar path: Phase ups the tempo with a jittery rhythm that acts as the backdrop for muffled vocal samples, while Hood's own reshape teases those steely chords into filtered intensity over a pounding groove. The only concession to Monobox's stripped back, nuanced past comes on "Homestead", where a more subtle rhythm underpins chiming melodies.
Review: The flair for producing killer electronic music r runs in the Hood family, as this release from Lyric demonstrates. Like her father's Floorplan project, which she is now part of, this two-tracker draws on Detroit house and techno to create a mesmerising hybrid. "Not Enough" is built on dense, steely drums and a snaking bass, with Lyric deploying a repetitive vocal sample to devastating effect. On "Praise Up", Lyric draws inspiration from another Hood family tradition: faith. With its driving rhythm, ominous synth stabs and a snippet of a gospel singer on a loop, it makes an inspired dance floor ode to a higher power.
Review: Originally released back in 2001, Floorplan's On The Case hasn't lost any of its primal energy. One of the first releases by Robert Hood as Floorplan, it also set the tone and approach for the rest of the project. "On The Case" teems with snappy percussion and doubled up claps supported by an insistent bass drum, with these elements providing the backdrop for what has become the signature Floorplan dramatic chord sweep. "The Deal" represents a darker take on this style; again, propulsive percussion and hard but funky drums provide the basis, but on this occasion, it's all about the intense stabs, looped to infinity.
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: 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: Lyric Hood follows last year's Nineteen debut on M Plant with this superb two-tracker. "Everything" features a woozy filter, hypnotic vocals and a series of subtle break downs and builds, with all of these elements supported by a sleek, linear groove. Meanwhile "Social Distance" sees Lyric address a universal facet of contemporary life; it's reflected in the track's mood, with nightmarish synths looped over a driving rhythm and snares that fire with machine-gun intensity. She may be the younger member of the Floorplan project, but clearly Lyric has got the same intuitive feeling for crafting techno as her pioneering father.
Review: On this occasion, Nineteen shows that the proverb about the apple not falling too far from the tree is correct. The daughter of label owner Robert Hood, Lyric has collaborated with her father on the Floorplan project for the past few years. However, this solo release shows that she has developed a distinctive sound. The title track is a driving, stomping affair that sees Hood junior take inspiration from her father as she deploys insistent filtered stabs. On "11:11", Lyric opts for a tougher approach: the kicks are tougher, the rhythm at a higher pace and the percussive stabs will destroy any dance floor.
Review: Proving conclusively that the devil does not own the exclusive rights to all the best tunes, Floorplan deliver another stormer in the shape of So Glad/I Feel Him Moving. "So Glad" is an example of Robert Hood's project at its finest, with joyous gospel vocals unfolding over a pumping house track. Hitting spiritual as well as dance floor highs, it's a classic slice of feel-good Floorplan music. On "I Feel Him Moving", the Detroit producer opts for a somewhat more melancholic approach. Haunting organs and a driving rhythm led by crashing snares come together to support a preacher man vocal sample that fits perfectly with the musical accompaniment.
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: 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: Robert Hood has just put out an artist album under his own name for Dutch label Dekmantel. However, that release doesn't seem to have put paid to his Floorplan schedule, and he returns with this religiously themed release. The title track follows the same approach as usual for Floorplan, with the Detroit producer laying down a bumping, tracky rhythm and a screeching gospel diva vocal. On "Made Up in My Mind' and on a new 'Lyric' remix of 'Never Grow Old', a similar aesthetic applies, with uplifting piano keys and bouncy grooves providing the backing for euphoric vocals. The only exception is the jarring, grinding "'He Can Save You", but in general, this is a deeply spiritual affair.
Review: Robert Hood's second album as Floorplan sees him hone in on disco, gospel and house influences to create a proper big room collection. As the driving, disco-loop heavy "Spin" and the ridiculously catchy "Music" demonstrate, the Detroit producer has stripped Floorplan of its techno influences. However, this does't mean he has simplified his message; accompanying the religious vocals on "The Heavens & The Earth" is a hypnotic organ riff, the slightly less pious "Good Thang" is a riotous siren-heavy jacker in the Reese tradition, and "He Can Save You", with its dense primal rhythm is reminiscent of Green Velvet as his madcap best. Hood may have chosen God, gospel and disco over the minimal nation, but he still knows how to lead his people onto the dancefloor.
Review: A taster for Robert Hood's second Floorplan album, this EP puts a spotlight on the radical nature of his musical transformation. On "Music", the visceral rhythms of techno minimalism are gone; in their place is a rolling, tracky groove that boasts a repetitive vocal loop and which has shades of classic Relief /Derrick Carter. "Tell You No Lie" is even more impressive. It sees Hood use a gospel vocal over a stomping, funk guitar-sampling disco house workout. There is an audibly religious dimension to "Tell You No Lie," but Hood's knack for writing a great tune means that it sounds celebratory rather than self-indulgent or preachy.
Review: Apart from the odd appearance by like-minded producers like Sterac, M-Plant is primarily a vehicle for Robert Hood's own productions. Therefore, this release by Mark Broom is tacit recognition of the UK veteran's huge contribution to the sound over the years. Fittingly, Stunned is in a similar vein to Hood's own Floorplan style. "Stunned (97 Mix)" is a tough, rolling peak time affair, its heavy drums underpinning insistent, powerful filter sweeps. "Decay" comes across like a more nocturnal version of the Floorplan sound; an acid-soaked organ riff gnaws away incessantly as a sharp riff that sounds like a recycled take on The Bells constantly jabs at the listener's eardrum.
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: This is something of a treat for techno fans: a rare appearance from Robert Hood's sci-fi inspired Monobox project. Amazingly, the last original material Hood released under the pseudonym was way back in 2003. This brand new two-tracker sees him in fine form, layering exotic, alien melodies over typically jacking, stripped-back techno rhythms. "Film" opens proceedings. With darting electronics and melodic synths riding a hypnotic, clap-heavy groove, it's as hypnotic and engaging as you'd expect, with a more picturesque feel than many of Hood's productions. "Rectangle" is a touch dubbier with more than a hint of acid within the chaotic electronic squiggles and relentless kick drums, while grandiose cymbals give the track a sweaty, energetic feel.
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: Robert Hood's Floorplan project was one of the most inspired musical reinventions of recent times, and it showed that the Detroit producer does driving house just as well as visceral, minimal techno. On this new version of "Never Grow Old", Hood picks up the pace and fuses the original's gospel vocals with eerie organ keys. "Phobia" is much tougher and is like a halfway house between Hood's harder techno and this side project's lighter side. Dense, tough drums provide the backing for chugging, searing riffs. It could be the sound of a ghost train leaving the platform and leading the listener to another imaginary world that Hood has created.
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: M-Plant boss Robert Hood rounds out another prolific year with one final Floorplan single featuring two tracks that seem to represent the project's nascent beginnings and where it's at now. "Phobia" could almost be an offcut from Paradise, the album Hood released as Floorplan earlier this year, featuring many of the sonic hallmarks that made it so memorable. Meanwhile "Glory B" jackhammers along with a sampled preacher for company in a fashion similar to early Floorplan gem "Funky Souls" though admittedly the production values are a lot more refined. Sandwiched in-between is a typically booming Ben Sims remix of Paradise album cut "Higher!" which is set to feature on the producer's forthcoming mix CD for Fabric.
Review: Given his phenomenal track record and no-nonsense approach, the arrival of a new Robert Hood album - albeit under his alternative Floorplan alias - should send a tingle of excitement down the spine of any self-respecting techno connoisseur. Paradise, his first album as Floorplan, largely eschews the intergalactic flavours of 2012's Motor: Nighttime World 3 (we say largely, as the hypnotic "Change" is undeniably Detroitian in outlook), in favour of tracks that take his rolling, stripped-back aesthetic in a variety of different directions. So, we get the funk-sampling "Baby, Baby", the soulful shuffle of "Never Grow Old" (deep house techno, anyone?), and the rush-inducing, piano-laden blast of "Confess". Impeccable... as usual.
Review: It sounds like Rob Hood could be a victim of his own success. Floorplan, which started off as a side-project, is starting to sound as vital as the searing minimal techno he releases under his own name. The title track is a perfect example of Hood's tough approach to house music; over an insistent groove a building chord sweeps in, taking with it a repetitive vocal sample. But it's the nagging, relentless filtering of these elements, coupled with the deep resonance of the backing rhythm that make "Ego" so memorable. "Confess" is an entirely different proposition; the groove chugs along and the percussion is dry and steely but the keys are positively uplifting and wide-eyed, like they were borrowed from a long-lost rave track and reapplied to Hood's functional take on house.
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: This much anticipated EP on his own M Plant label sees Detroit legend Robert Hood continue to develop to his Floorplan alias after the recent Living It Up single. "We Magnify His Name" is a peak time piano driven anthem which is as religious an experience to listen to as its name suggests, complete with uplifting gospel vocals carrying the whole thing into the heavens. Up next, Hood explores his darker techno tendencies over two tracks. "Baby Baby" relies more on a cut up vocal sample and a slightly wobbling Motor City leaning bassline and a Model 500 style funk swing to it, provided in no small part by a particularly great guitar lick, while tension and release is offered in spades by a well placed horn sample. "Basic Priciple" meanwhile is a druggier affair, propelled by its murky sub bass and techno stabs, the only melody coming from a particularly sinister two note organ line.
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: 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: 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.