Boomkat Product Review:
The holy spirit of deep, minimal techno returns with a powerful, introspective new album - his best since 2010’s ‘Omega’ - reflecting on his beliefs and how the meaning of techno has been distorted in translation over the years.
A leading Afro-futurist since his emergence as part of UR at the turn of the ‘90s, Robert Hood has laid out a seminal blueprint for techno at its most concentrated, minimal and mysterious. On ‘Mirror Man’ he presents the latest refinement of his ideas, rendered in some of his sleekest engineered rhythms and sparing synth contours that betray, for those able to decode them, hidden messages of how to do techno properly, imbuing each cut with devil-in-the-detail soul that makes his music so effortlessly effective and influential on the Detroit sound, and by extension, a whole class of European acolytes ranging from the Brum squad to Tresor and Berghain types, to reams of business techno operators who’ve too often thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
Across the album Hood reprises the sort of deeply furrowed philosophy from his modern classic ‘Omega’ (2010), applying fine-tuned rhythm instincts and a patented, patient reserve to a drivingly narrative based album, vacillating passages of panoramic synths with lip-bitingly tight drum work in a journey between the haunted, Heinrich Mueller-like introspection of ‘Through A Looking Glass Darkly’ and ‘Freeze,’ to the toned 16th note EBM-techno muscle and Detroit soul of ‘Fear Not’, and thru furtive, strolling slow techno beauties such as ‘Black Mirror,’ to sublime club gear in ‘A System Of Mirrors’, and a return to militant early ‘90s UR-styles in ‘Ignite A War’ and the nagging attacks of ‘7 Mile Dog’ and ‘The Cure,’ the latter of which is a stone cold Hood classic, filtered for heaviest warehouse gratification.