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robert hood / Ø [phase] - Drive (The Age Of Automation) (Ø [Phase] Mixes)
The deadliest cut from Hood's Motor: Nighttime World 3 album gets a well-deserved, full-fat 12" pressing, backed with two strong remixes from Ashley Burchett aka Ø [phase]. It's easily one of the most fleshed-out and melodic tunes in the Hood catalogue, as rigorously minimal as you'd expect from the godfather but with a souped-up engine of retro synth arpeggiations and moody string-pads that simultaneously connect us with the founding mythology of Detroit techno and call to mind more recent visions of night-driving noir from Prurient and Symmetry/Johnny Jewel. So good. Hood rarely agrees to be remixed, but he's made an exception for Londoner Ø [phase], who turns out two funked-up, rubber-burning 4/4 versions. Both are excellent, but the C-box mix edges it - for the simple reason that it more fully engages with the trancey qualities of Hood's original production, accentuating those rain-slicked, neon-lit synth vamps to magical effect.