Floorplan, Sanctified EP

[M-Plant]


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Rightly or wrongly, Robert Hood is mainly associated with that most abstract strain of minimalism. Maybe this is because Hood’s body of work from the 90’s had such a hugely profound effect on electronic dance music that emerged in Europe over the past decade; but framing his catalog and passions against this narrow framework does the Detroit producer a disservice. There are a myriad of other cultural reasons and explanations as to why Hood has been cast in the role as a minimal techno father figure: these include the ongoing narrative of Detroit as the birthplace of electronic dance music, an unspoken need for the wave of mnml that emanated from Europe over the past decade to validate itself though tacit alignment with a true innovator, and the less esoteric explanation that Hood’s releases are of the very highest quality and caliber, with records like Internal Empire and Minimal Nation responsible for pushing techno music to its creative zenith. If it is possible to temporarily put these achievements to one side, it should also be noted that Hood also explored the gray area between jazz and techno — a path once also mined by Ian O’Brien, Patrick Pulsinger, Mad Mike and Dave Angel — on the superlative Nighttime World album, and his current Floorplan release goes back to his gospel roots.

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It has long been known that Hood is a deeply religious person — according to pre-Internet techno lore, he used to ask the Lord for advice before accepting a DJ booking — but “We Magnify His Name” is his most explicit musical expression of this part of his life. Based on a rolling disco groove, it features a preacher man at the start, followed by samples of a gospel choir and a gloriously soulful male vocal accompaniment. Choice quotes include claims that “we are not worthy of his love.” It’s the kind of experiment that could go terribly wrong in a lesser producer’s hands, but Hood ensures, through the use of delectable disco strings and rave whistles, that it is a euphoric experience. “Baby Baby” is less of a stylistic shift and more in keeping with previous Floorplan material, with the stuttering vocal snippet that intones the track title welded to a tight claps and a juddering rhythm. Here too however, the perceived perception of Hood shatters as brassy stabs kick in and provide the track with great impetus. Finally, “Basic Principle” is a return of sorts to the Detroit producer’s more commonly known approach. Less visceral than recent M-Plant outings, the rasping percussion and insistent chord builds eventually give way to one his typically eerie organ riffs. Sanctified may end up in familiar territory, but of more importance is the fact that it reveals a new facet to one of electronic music’s most feted artists.

mrf  on September 1, 2011 at 11:05 AM

that baby baby tune has a sample from nas – get down!

Tom  on September 1, 2011 at 3:57 PM

James Brown sample. Not a record I would buy, but one I’m sure I’d enjoy on a big system.

brian  on September 2, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Sounds like you didn’t want to rock the Rob Hood boat, Richard!

IMO “Baby Baby” is an enjoyable club track, sounds great in the mix. “Basic Principle” is fine – for me, it falls into the same category as most of his recent output: not vintage material but certainly a cut above most of what’s out there.
I found “We Magnify His Name” a little OTT however. I reckon I’d give “the Maker” by Omar-S a spin if I was in the mood for some religious grooving.

Trackbacks

Little White Earbuds September Charts 2011 | Little White Earbuds  on October 7, 2011 at 10:05 AM

[…] “Mark Ernestus Meets BBC” [Honest Jon's] 02. Pangaea, “Hex” [Hemlock] 03. Floorplan, “Baby Baby” [M-Plant] 04. 2562, “Aquatic Love Affair” [When In Doubt] 05. Omar-S, “I Come […]

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