Robert Hood Icee Hot In The Loft

Icee Hot and Public Works got at it again on the last day of June, Saturday the 30th. This time the entities have teamed up to put Detroit minimal techno innovator Robert Hood on the bill. The action will all be happening in the Oddjob Loft; come early as it will pack out. You can grab tickets here so you don’t miss out.

Hood, like Jeff Mills and ‘Mad’ Mike Banks, is a founder member of Underground Resistance and, like his cohorts, was instrumental in bringing Detroit techno into new phases and realms. UR had vacillated between crushing rave anthems, aquatic techno and tech-inflected garage, but when Hood and Mills set out on their solo routes they followed the calling to pare techno down to a post-industrial minimalism. They both excelled in this task and both are worthy of accolades for setting up the almost-twenty year old template that every techno release is, by now, built on.

Hood’s first major achievement was the Internal Empire album, which came out on Berlin label Tresor in 1994. In the early ’90s, UR and other Detroit producers had explored a banging and explosive variant of the early Detroit robo-sound that dovetailed with British rave euphoria and the blistering, metallic deluge of the machine music emanating from Frankfurt.  Repetitive and aggressive, this approach informed techno as the European love affairs with house and techno became more mature. Internal Empire marked a major departure. The tempo and drive of the earlier forms were in place, but the sound was crafted with a deeper, more resonant and sparser approach. Minimal techno had arrived, an atmospheric and heady creation that would rule dance floors all over the world for two decades.

The depth and texture of the minimal style would allow US, British and German producers to fuse garage and house inflections with techno to form tech-house in the mid-to-late ’90s. Minimal techno and tech-house would continue to cross-pollinate in the studio and in the air around two decks and a mixer right up until today. Hood’s involvement in this entire process is unmistakeable and vital.

This isn’t the first time the Icee Hot gang have featured Detroit pressure in line-ups that offer up everything from classic US, and contemporary UK, garage to cutting edge house and techno — Anthony Shakir’s set at Icee Hot was excellent — and once again Shawn Reynalo, Ghosts On Tape and Rollie Fingers are on hand to open things up in proper fashion. So please join us for this one, it will be colossal, perhaps imperial even, in a sonic sense.

Chris Orr