Detroit master and founding member of Underground Resistance alongside Mike Banks and Jeff Mills, Robert Hood returns to the fray with ‘Mirror Man’, an LP of top-of-the-range techno innovations. The second track on ‘Mirror Man’ is entitled ‘Nothing Stops Detroit’, and both the sound and the title of this tune can be read as a manifesto for the record as a whole. An unwavering four-four stomper full of stabbing chords and some thrillingly edgy synth atmospherics, ‘Nothing Stops Detroit’ is the sort of sharp Midwestern techno jolt which the Robert Hood name has become synonymous with down the years. Tracks in the same vein as ‘Nothing Stops Detroit’ form the spine of ‘Mirror Man’, their booming kick drums pushing the album onwards.
However, while techno remains Hood’s signature, ‘Mirror Man’ is an album that is just as notable for its trips away from the dancefloor. There are a fair few entries here which leave the driving 4/4 rhythms behind for eerie, impressionistic electronic sound design. Influences from kosmische music and synth-driven film composition can be parsed throughout the record, with Hood pushing into bold new territory on entries like ‘A Shattered Image’. Mind you, whether he’s in club mode or not, there’s a tangible brooding feel to the production here bringing the work together.
Robert Hood’s ‘Mirror Man’ LP serves as a reminder that, while Hood’s unparalleled brand of techno may have spawned many imitators, there’s really no substitute for the real thing.