Floorplan :: Paradise (M-Plant)

The ever productive Robert Hood delivers first full length under his Floorplan moniker in follow up to 2012’s excellent Motor: Nighttime World 3.

Where Motor experimented with the more melodic end of Detroit techno, Hood’s Floorplan work stays true to the name—aimed squarely at the dance and a 5am darkened club with a pounding system. Banging club focused techno albums are, by their very nature, a bit of an awkward home listen. If you are looking for a cerebral headphone techno exploration then Paradise isn’t necessarily the one. It’s much rather an ongoing investigation of the industrial militaristic sound Hood originated with previous Minimal Nation releases.

The sound palette across the vast majority of the tracks is straightforward yet highly effective: 4/4 percussion, a repetitive synth line or stab, and occasional staccato vocal hooks. Hood also lets slip in a touch of soulful, gospel vocal and piano house. For the most, though, this is an album of proper straight up Hood techno. For the purists this is exactly the kind of stuff you want to hear deep in the mix, late at night, and accompanied by the stench of dry ice and a thousand fellow devotees bouncing on the dance floor.

Tracks such as “Baby Baby,” “Altered Ego” and “Higher” positively reek of driving peak time slammers which, carefully deployed at the right moment, are guaranteed to elicit fist pumps and a curled lip techno grimace. Classic production techniques are employed throughout—the pitch shifted ride cymbal on “Higher,” reverb on the claps, EQ on the kick before the big drop and sweep filtered drums on “Eclipse.” Overall Paradise stays true to that inimitable US production style of techno—essentially exploring driving, uplifting territories via the measured use of tension through percussive and melodic repetition.

It’s fair to say that Paradise feels like more of a club than home listen but, in relation to the former, Hood can do no wrong whatsoever.

Paradise is available on M-Plant.

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