Robert Hood/Various Fabric 39

Growing up in Motown, Hood’s coming-of-age happened amongst the highest ranks of Detroit’s techno scene: the Underground Resistance crew. Since then, he’s stayed true to his devotion of exploring the far reaches of minimalism in techno, a project fully realised on Fabric’s latest mix CD. Fabric 39 showcases 32 deep techno tracks Hood has mixed as fast and as furious as Richie Hawtin’s Decks, EFX, 909. The album begins on a psychedelic note with Monobox’s "Silicone Fingers” but transitions without hesitation into some heavy-handed deep techno, six a.m.-style. Some tracks are full of polyrhythmic melodies played on keys reminiscent of Jeff Mills with dubbed-out synth sounds splattered on top, like in Hood’s "Who Taught You Math?” Actually, Hood produced one-third of the tracks on the album but other techno heavyweights also make appearances: Joris Voorn, Pacou and John Thomas. Marco Lenzi’s "Taboo” has a bit of a warmer quality, with traces of bossanova in the bass line, syncopated cowbell percussion and a drawn out, drowned-out trumpet. Fab G’s "Bust the Vibe” brings the funk for a few seconds with some wah-wah guitar sounds, breathy vocals and filtered house breakdowns. Although the track-to-track mix is smooth, generally the music is mostly composed of abrasive samples and relentless beats. By the end, it retreats from its glacial heights with UK Gold’s "Agent Wood,” which is full of vocal loops and organic percussion like shakers, hi-hats and yes, more cowbell. (Fabric)