Robert Hood - Omega Album Tour
For many people speaking the name Robert Hood, could make them weak at the knees… We are extraordinarily lucky to have him play for us in such intimate surroundings. This man has made some very important releases, and most probably change countless lives with them.
I’d rather not prattle on in the normal gloating way, so I’m going to let you read some parts of a great review i read with Robert just before the release of his mix for the 39th Fabric CD…..
**words by Robert Hood**….
I started to produce a bit more and I started recording some demo tapes – I’d got a drum machine and a Roland TR505 from a pawn shop that I started making beats with. I was going to a studio where I paid $15 an hour to make a demo. I met a guy called Mike Clark through my girlfriend at the time – and he knew everybody! He knew Mike Banks, Jeff Mills, in fact all the DJs and producers in Detroit. He introduced me to Mike Banks and I let him hear a demo tape. I think it was a Public Enemy horn sound that I ripped off and made a beat, and Mike was interested. I think what caught his interest was the drum programming. So he wanted to hear some more…and they happened to be starting work on a compilation. So I came along and did two tracks on the album as an MC! Not a producer, an MC. You know, I was interested in hip house at the time – I didn’t really want to be an MC but I couldn’t find anyone else that was willing to do it. I wanted to find an MC that was sort of a cross between Chuck D and Q-Tip for some kind of political abstract MCing. But I couldn’t find anybody so I decided to go ahead and do it myself. So yeah, we wrote two tracks with me as an MC and they produced the beats and we went from there. This was happening in about 1991.
When I recorded those tracks, UR wasn’t even up and running yet. It was just an idea, something that was coming alive as a production unit between Mike Banks and Jeff Mills. I just happened to meet them just before it started. Slowly it evolved to the stage where I was a more active member of the group, especially with the live shows and the label Hardwax. They helped me start that and helped me develop as an artist.
Pretty much after we did the X102 project, Jeff and I kind of branched off and started Axis. It was more of a housey, abstract sound that was different from the experimental techno from UR, and that was different from the Detroit Metroplex and Transmat/KMS sound. It was more of a grounded sound.
M-Plant started in ’94. It kind of borrowed from the sound I was using from Axis and really expanded on that sound. I had developed this “grey area” sound – what I mean by that is that in Detroit, even when the sun is out, there’s something in the atmosphere. I don’t know if its pollution or whatever, but the sky has that grey haze over it. It’s got to be something from the industrial factories there. I’d never really heard a sound like that before and it came from a Roland Juno – it was a chord sound that really went along with my depiction of what Detroit was at that time. A lot of buildings were abandoned and there was a lot of lifelessness in the city, especially downtown. The M-Plant, in minimalism, kind of reflected that. I remember thinking of Detroit like a museum. You know, like a work of art standing still, suspended in time. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity going on.
These days I am focussed purely on minimalism and really embracing minimalism, because it’s taken on a life of its own. It’s now a music style separate from techno. I would never have imagined that it would take this direction. I didn’t see that one coming! I saw minimalism in life becoming more and more evident – in furniture, in electronics, in art, in automobiles, appliances – you know I could see that coming. But, as far as music itself being thought of now as an art form? Back then, I think people looked on at it as a trend but they didn’t realise that minimalism is an art form. I did not realise it would take on this characteristic as it has now. So, where I’m at right now is embracing minimalism and seeing how far I can push it – in my interpretation of what simplicity and the music is all about. I am really representing it as an art form and not a trend. As the future evolves, we’re going to get more and more minimal……