It speaks to the openness of the electronic music community that no one turned against Robert Hood when a clear religious undercurrent entered his music. When a filmstar starts espousing their faith they instantly become a target of jokes and criticism, yet as Hood’s output as Floorplan took on decidedly Christian overtones the fans were listening to the music rather than the sectarian particulars.
Perhaps it’s not just the openness of the fans. It’s also what aspects of faith Hood communicates – joy and the abandonment of material urges, not a command to attend your local church. These are ideas that have long been embedded in club music, and everyone can get behind them. Another key value for Hood is family. He’s recently been touring with his daughter Lyric who DJs with him, and she shares production credits on his upcoming Floorplan album ‘Victorious’. It’s a winning story but before we start handing out Father of the Year awards, it’s worth checking the quality of the music they’ve produced.
Hood first used the Floorplan alias in the 90s to offer some respite from the minimal techno sound he pioneered after splitting from Underground Resistance. Floorplan tracks were funky and functional, but when the alias was resurrected for 2013’s ‘Paradise’ album, a dose of euphoria and spirituality were added to the mix. The Music 12” shows that he plans to continue in the same vein, collecting two tracks from his upcoming album.
Title cut Music still has a practical edge to it, the driving rhythm lying unchanged for the duration. There’s a heft to the kick and a clarity to the hi hats which preclude accusations of tediousness though – anyone would be happy to listen to this drumtrack for seven minutes. It’s topped by a tracky vocal loop and synths that shine with a muted glow, a bright one-note alarm occasionally riding on top.
Tell You No Lie is more of a surprise, taking an unusually full gospel sample with leaping strings and a joyous vocal line. The rhythm drives with the same pace, but the intensity is mitigated by the organic samples, particularly the winning piano shift after the breakdown. As a forecast for an upcoming album, Music is a very strong look. But Hood can rest assured, however his future productions turn out, we won’t judge.