Boomkat Product Review:
Robert Hood's first album under his Floorplan guise is an umitigated delight - after all, whenever the primary of the Minimal Nation decides to cut loose and get funky, he invariably leaves the competition in the dust. His Floorplan material is still Hood techno in tempo and drive but it draws deeper on his gospel, soul, house and disco influences - manifested in lots of smash-and-grab samples as well as suppler programming - to reach incredible heights of groove and celebratory energy. In fact this gear starts high, with the chipmunk vocal loops and hardcore drum fills of 'Let's Ride' - and just takes you higher, and higher (hell, there's even a track called 'Higher!'). A number of the best cuts have been previously released on 12" - the euphoric 'Baby, Baby', all pneumatic kicks, goading stabs and mischievous lifts from James Brown, for instance - but most of the material is new, from the soul-stirring 'Never Grow Old' to the steely sci-fi D-troit vistas described by the vocal-free 'Eclipse'. Old or new, every track is killer: from the classic, organ-powered ur-techno of 'Change' to the dub-scuffed, Basic Channel-meets-Larry Levan warehousegasm that is 'Altered Ego', the ectoplasmic synth-funk of 'Above The Clouds' or the testifyin', piano loop-driven 'Confess'. Paradise underlines Hood's godlike status and makes most other contemporary house and techno sound lifeless, lacklustre and, when it comes down to it, redundant. This shit is the real deal.