Robert Hood ‎– Underestimated

M-Plant ‎– M-P 313
Vinyl, 12", 33 ⅓ RPM


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February 20, 2017
edited over 2 years ago

"Sleep Is The Cousin Of Death" is one of the many Rob Hood masterstrokes, which are undeservably, well, underestimated. I was pretty disappointed when I saw that it will not be included on the M-Print 20 Years of M-Plant Music retrospective, meaning that a few generations will probably oversee this jewel of minial techno. As already mentioned, the lead is something to behold. Metallic, organic, scary, intense and nightmarish at the same time. It does sound like an organ, well sort of, as this is light years away from any kind of a formidable, conventional loop. Coupled with sparse, clinical layering, he successfully delivers a track that is as spine tingling as it is deadly effective. Sharp, focused and concise minimal philosophy aided by a discordant, elated synth stab that single handedly puts this, as far as I am concerned at least, right at the top of the Hood gems.

"Black Man's World" is more of a conventional Detroit track. Heavy emphasis on melody and harmony, with a mealancholic passage absolutely flooring it at around the two minute mark. Great use of claps during the tune's busier parts and a more laidback drive once the symphonic bits are through. Ace tune, no doubt.
If you are a follower or fan of his work, I cannot stress out enough the quality of the A2 track. It has literary been in my top ten of his since they day it came out, and few things came close, before or after.


February 15, 2007
edited over 12 years ago

Another prime example for Robert Hood's genius is his EP "Underestimated" on which he once again impressively demonstrates how very few musical elements can create an intense atmosphere, with "Sleep Is The Cousin Of Death" being the highlight, consisting of no more than a Hood-typical, crisp 4/4 beat, a sparse, delayed four-notes synth stab and the occasional sample. The first time I heard the track (and every time thereafter) stroke me as an experience that can only be described as shocking. The leading stab is one of those fantastic sounds in Techno that are just impossible to describe (think of a mixture of a horn and an organ and you might be getting there). Its powerful, morbid character and the occasional fragmented female voice in the background (a faint murmur, maybe a whisper? - that fades away before even getting clearly audible leaving you wondering if you actually ever perceived it) add up to a ghostly, otherworldly, almost nightmarish ambiance. A subtly violent and wicked track with a very fitting, brilliant title - totally out there, chills on your neck guaranteed.

The second treat on this record is "Black Man's World", a more melodic, romantic track of Robert Hood's with slow, beautiful strings accompanied by organ stabs - a bit less stripped down than many of his productions. Excellent music, quite simply...
"Underestimated"?? No way, Robert. This is one of your best records to date with A2 being one of my favourite Techno tracks!