Rob Hood has always been a leader in music, reacting to the current situation of sound and offering solutions in the form of his many musical projects and record labels. From hard techno to pure minimalism to tech-house, Hood is an innovator. In the early ’90s, he got his start as a rapper, a talent that led to his work in the early legendary Underground Resistance shows with Mike Banks and Jeff Mills, touring Europe and eventually appearing on the Riot EP. But it was his musical production that the world came to know best, recording as The Vision (while DJing as Rob Noise). Eventually Hood joined UR in production via the X-101 project, for a very special era of Underground Resistance featuring a trio of the most important techno producers of the ’90s.
As all good things come to an end, Hood went with Jeff Mills as he formed his Axis label, releasing a few very important 12-inchers through Axis, largely in collaboration with Mills. When Axis released the milestone double-12-inch “Minimal Nation” in 1994, the world saw what Hood could really do as a solo producer. With this recording the sound of techno forever changed. It would be impossible for a techno purist to overstate the importance of this work. Along with Dan Bell and Robert Armani, Hood pioneered the sound of minimalism that came to rule techno for most of the ’90s and in new clicky house forms in the year 2000. With the power of the record raising Hood to such a high stature, his own label, M Plant, started to really take off, releasing such other minimal classics as the timeless blueprint of Moveable Parts. Overseas interest in his productions really boomed, bringing about high-profile releases for Tresor (Internal Empire) and Austria’s Cheap (Nighttime World) and endless DJ touring. Hood has continued to release sophisticated records, opting for a change in instrumentation from analog techno sounds to more warm jazz and house-inspired sounds combining with his ever-introspective chords, clean sounds and rhythms. His label, M Plant, is still going strong and releasing new records with frequency, as well as reissuing (with one bonus cut) Minimal Nation last year, and he continues his steady output through Drama focusing more on the dance floor.
You can catch this techno hero at Motor this Saturday where he will be both DJing and performing live. Detroit hasn’t seen a Rob Hood live show since the legendary Planet E-Seventh City-M Plant show at the Sardine Bar in 1996 — this is truly something special. Check him out as part of “Departure” with Liz Copeland and Clark Warner, Saturday Dec. 9 at Motor, 3515 Caniff, Hamtramck — call 313-369- 0090 or see www.motordetroit.com.
Radio revolution (without the dial)
When I was growing up, listening to the Mojo move around the dial, trying to find the Wizard or Derrick May, or Mike Halloran’s late-night shows, I never thought I’d find good radio without an actual radio. With the current commercial radio climate in Detroit, that’s what you have to do: Bypass the radio altogether and go straight to the source, through the Internet. From my never-ending search for amazing sounds, here are some of the most interesting ones I’ve found.
www.paxahau.com — now broadcasting ambient and electronic music 24-7. Also featuring archived shows from some of the top DJs in their fields.
Real radio shows with archives:
Halifax’s Andrew Duke is one of North America’s stingiest electronic music supporters. Check out his archives at Cognition.
Live radio streams:
wcbn.org — live free-form radio broadcast, features “Expansions” (electronic music history and interview format show) and “Crush Collision” (techno, house, etc. mix show) every Thursday starting at 10 p.m.
wdet.org — listen to Liz Copeland or Chuck Horn online.Pitch’d is MT’s biweekly column devoted to Detroit’s BPM musiculture. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org