Posts Tagged 'm-plant'

Review: Floorplan – Sanctified EP

Label: M-Plant
Catalog#: M.PM13

Tracklist:

A: We Magnify His Name

B1: Baby, Baby

B2: Basic Principle

Buy here

Recommended!

Light, dark, hopeful and exact—Robert Hood’s new release as Floorplan goes in a lot of parallel directions. The ‘Sanctified EP’ feels as a very personal release from Hood, as a religious theme is center in this release. The aim with Floorplan is to give output to the tracks that Hood believes is in between his usual styles and inspiration—much like an artistic playground of high quality.

With ‘We Magnify His Name’, Floorplan delivers a fresh and interesting take on gospel in general, and house in specifics. A very well made foundation with straight jacked beats, companied with excellent hats and moods, the track floats perfectly and gives a new and special angle of Hood’s sound.

The B1 gives into a jacking and dramatic swing, as the track title is repeated into suspense, release and groove. A very simple but powerful track that does a lot with very little elements. Where ‘Baby, Baby’ gives the lightness of the release a bit more strength, total darkness falls over ‘Basic Principle’. Here, Hood goes straight into a significant amount of depth, where super tight beats fits perfectly beneath a organ driven melody—one of the best Floorplan tracks to date.

Advertisements

Review: Robert Hood – Omega: Alive

Label: M-Plant
Catalog#: M.PM12

Tracklist:

1. Bells At Dusk
2. Run
3. Alpha: Alive
4. Omega: Alive
5. Minimal, Minimal
6. Who Taught You Math?: Alive
7. Unix: Alive
8. Side Effect: Alive
9. Minus: Alive

Bonus Tracks:

10. Alpha – James Ruskin Remix
11. The Family
12. Atomic

Recommended!

With the ‘Omega’ album from last year, Robert Hood took charge of techno once again. By going for his own interpretation of ‘The Omega Man’ movie from 1971, Hood showcased a side of his music that would fit in a new context, filling up the atmosphere with a more experimental mindset—but not at the cost of his forward headed and driving tracks from the early days.

At the time of the release of ‘Omega’, the very structured sound could at times feel that it was lacking something more. ‘Omega’ came on and off by delivering structures that was firm but at the same time Hood-like, which was forgiving. Although. almost a year has passed since ‘Omega’, where the sound has grown steadily, especially when it comes to Robert Hood’s own dj and live sets from last year, where his material from the album made perfect sense in the way he played it.

‘Omega: Alive’ is almost an hour long showcase of how the previous album could sound when Hood performs it, where the sound architecture fits perfectly and creates a killer mix CD.

Combining old and new material into new shapes, Hood starts out with the tripping ‘Bells at Dusk’, which completely engages and forges the rest of the album in a special way. Continued along the track ‘Run’, which draws a lot of the more classic Hood tracks, with steady and static arrangement.

The mood is transformed a lot throughout the mix, where Hood blends both the calm and wild aspects of his tracks, shining special light over ‘Alpha: Alive’, a new version of ‘Alpha’ from the ‘Alpha / Omega (End Times)’ EP from last year. This time, the sound of this track is more down to the earth and less penetrating, as a new atmosphere follows in line with new melodies—a perfect reworking into a new state of mind.

Straight from the mind of the master; ‘Minimal, Minimal’ is an anthem of crazyness. Working perfectly as a bridge for the live set, it is interesting and good that Hood includes the briding tracks too, as they are needed to continue on when playing live. Even though it might seem as a strange track, it makes perfect sense in a live set, especially from the man himself.

A dangerous move, but a very good one in this case, is the reworked classic material from Hood’s extensive back catalogue. He manages to rework them so they fit the atmosphere of the ‘Omega’ live set and pushes them into a new territory. The reduction both limited to the style of his, but also by the probable equipment used at that time has made the tracks into the special ones that they are today. Interestingly, Hood has elevated the sound of them into a different one, not being able to compare them (there’s really no point), but gives a feeling of refreshment and excitement.

For the bonus tracks, Robert Hood included the James Ruskin remix of ‘Alpha’, as well as the previously released ‘The Family’ and the new track ‘Atomic’. ‘Atomic’ is more experimental in a way that was introduced in ‘Omega’—just as with the album from last year, it will probably grow a lot within time.

‘Omega: Alive’ is released on CD and digitally the 20th of June.

My favorite tracks:

Minus: Alive

Alpha: Alive

Bells at Dusk

Minimal, Minimal

Thanks to Jonas at EPM and Robert Hood for this release.

Review: Robert Hood – Alpha (James Ruskin Remix) / The Family

Label: M-Plant
Catalog#: M.PM11

Tracklist:

A: Alpha (James Ruskin Remix)

B: The Family

Both M-Plant and Blueprint has been revived in appreciation to both dj’s and fans, taking their traditional sounds and talent into the state of today. When it comes to the production, they invite new acts for remixes as well as releasing new material which is a perfect combination with labels held in such high regards.

For this release, Hood has invited James Ruskin to remix one of the best tracks from the ‘Alpha’ album-releases, in which Ruskin shakes the track up a little bit by transforming it’s hard and reduced state into a more fully edged techno track – though not so similar to his previous work, but similar enough to combine his and Hood’s sounds into a remix that feels rightly placed and will probably work many floors.

The gold is on the B-side though, where Hood’s new production ‘The Family’ brings hints from the early M-Plant releases, though sounding fresh enough to be placed amongst the excellent ‘Master to Prophet / Clash’ release as well as the ‘Superman / Range’ release (two of his best records in a really long time). ‘The Family’ showcases a very reduced but powerful enough production to contest into one of the best tracks this year.

M.PM11 is out 14th February.

Thanks to Addy and Robert Hood for this release.

Review: Robert Hood – Omega

Label: M-Plant
Catalog#: M.PM8

Tracklist:

1. Alpha (The Beginning)
2. The Plague (Cleansing Maneuvers)
3. Towns That Disappeared Completely
4. Alpha
5. Think Fast
6. The Workers of Iniquity
7. Are You God?
8. The Family Watches
9. War in the Streets
10. Saved By The Fire
11. The Wheels of Escape
12. Omega (End Times)

Buy here

When being able to create a conceptual album, it often feels as the old traditions in the artist’s sound disappears in benefit for just that concept.

Robert Hood re-issued his ‘Minimal Nation’ last year, where his early and classic sound was made available again. The timelessness of ‘Minimal Nation’ was still tangiable and it felt natural for it to be available again in new copies, but it was also time for a new album.

Even though there’s clear references to ‘The Omega Man’ movie, the album is not meant to run along it as a soundtrack, but rather to be considered as a techno interpretation of the film. The result is an atmospheric and very steady LP, where Hood reveals a side of his music that is less tied to the dancefloor as such, but rather focusing on this inspiration.

Even though the album feels true to his music, there’s a feeling of that something is missing out. For me, that feeling is the uncompromising core which has driven his M-Plant as well as ‘The Vision’ alias towards the timelessness of his hypnotic grooves.

When listening through the album, that missing feeling is replaced by a sense of calmness. Even in its most pounding moments, the sound remains steady as within a relaxed atmosphere. Valuable enough, that feeling alone makes up for the missing aspects, and also gives ‘Omega’ a place of being essential in a different way.

Following up on the single ‘Alpha / Omega (End Times)’, the rest of the album has a different sound going off from that single – especially in the highlight sound of ‘The Wheels of Escape’ and ‘The Family Watches’. Here, Hood is able to use sparse elements in a way that, subjectively, feels as previously untouched areas of his sound. The rhythm always feels as it’s going somewhere, reaching deep within the heart as well as keeping his original idea for ‘Omega’ intact.

‘Omega’ is appreciated, but in a different way from Hood’s previous material – being the judge of that, it’s hard being totally certain of it’s essentialities comparing to the previous material. This special piece of work is one that needs to be decided from personal factos, rather than being suited for the DJ or dancefloor.

My favorite tracks:

The Wheels of Escape

The Plauge (Cleansing Maneuvers)

The Family Watches

Review: Robert Hood – Alpha / Omega (End Times)

Label: M-Plant
Catalog#: M.PM6

A: Alpha

B: Omega (End Times)

Buy here

With the M-Plant rising from the dead with represses of its past, Robert Hood manages to fuse in his new inspiration into the label, with a sound that does not fully represent the old M-Plant in a way that one could expect, but in a way that the dance floor demands.

The excellent ‘Superman / Range’ release from last year gave me so much hope for the resurrection of M-Plant, a release that felt as one I’d been looking for a long time. This first release from the upcoming album, leaves what to expect from the rest of it in a even more gray area, where ‘Alpha’ leans toward a sound even more focused on keeping an atmosphere intact and direct.

‘Omega (End Times)’ feels a bit strange at first; it’s one of those tracks that has so much confidence it feels a bit threatening – the inspiration from ‘The Omega Man’ feels clear with this track, as the feeling of an endless progression towards something dark is more tangible than ‘Alpha’, or in my opinion a lot of Hood’s earlier releases. What is different with this release is also very positive, a forward thinking groove with elements not put in for keeping a groove intact, but to actually display an idea or thought in a very visual way.

One of the most direct releases this year.