V/A - Fabric 39: Robert Hood

Album Review by Liam Arnold | 23 Apr 2008
Album title: Fabric 39: Robert Hood
Artist: Various
Label: Fabric Records
Release date: Out Now

Coming from the man who coined the term 'minimal' on his 1994 EP Minimal Nation (back when Richie Hawtin was still in short trousers and Konrad Black was going through that 'difficult' stage), Robert Hood's long-overdue Fabric mix is pretty much everything you'd expect. It's an unrelenting, hard-nosed techno assault over 70 minutes that hammers out metallic percussive blasts and will have you crawling the wall all the way. This is minimal in the old-school sense; not a lazy series of bleeps, but a remorselessly repetitive assault akin to being beaten up by an angry robot. Occasionally, Hood threatens to break into something resembling a tune, or demonstrate his undeniable mixing talent but, for the most part, the records are chopped and changed as roughly as possible, slapping the listener about the face with wild pitch shifts locked perfectly to the beat. The usual suspects, Jeff Mills, Robert Hood and Adam Beyer are all featured, but there's a number of lesser known acts, mostly culled from Music Man/ N.E.W.S., a label Hood's long been involved with. It's quite functional work; a face-chewers paradise designed to wreck heads and freak out the squares, and this simplicity can be rather limiting. But to unfashionably flail around someone's flat at stupid o' clock - it's unbeatable. [Liam Arnold]