Who better to release a nine track LP other than techno legend Robert Hood? We’re in luck, because he just dropped The Paradygm Shift LP. The LP, released on Dekmantel Records, is a celebration of its tenth anniversary and its 50th release.
Courtesy of Mixmag
The Paradygm Shift LP is the zenith of a 3 EP series that began on Dekmantel last year. The Underground Resistance graduate used the LP as a chance to return to his minimal techno roots, giving a reason for any classic techno fan to rejoice. Robert Hood wanted to use this LP as an opportunity to revisit the sound that took techno to the place it is today.
“I felt it necessary to reiterate Robert Hood as an electronic music artist who is bringing minimalism back in the forefront, and not to get lost in the melody. I want to get back to the simple repetitive programming that I’m known for, and to me it was returning to that, and shifting the listeners’ focus.”
Right off the bat, we are given “Preface”, which is exactly what it is implied to be. It serves as a machine-ridden build up for the rest of the tracks to come. The two minute introduction sounds like a machine starting up in a Detroit warehouse. The main focus is the rapid-fire sequence. In the background, distant claps can be heard, perhaps serving as pistons, and other synth work that might serve as a preview of the rest of the album.
“Idea” starts out with a metallic groove over a kick and some white noise sweeps. Hood uses a very interesting channel panning over the white noise to phase the sound from the left and right speaker channels. The percussion on this track is also filthy and hard hitting. All throughout the track, the beat is constantly building itself up and breaking down, adding an unpredictable aspect to the minimalist nature of the genre. The track is so simple, yet so refreshing.
- I Am
This track utilizes a great rhythm intro that sonically resembles an industrial fire dance. Once the claps kick in, the lead starts to percolate into madness. Sounding like a war siren, the track explodes into a deep warehouse frenzy. Much like the last track, the lead sound is fleeting and quickly dissipates to keep things moving. Really love the intensity in these synths. Hood really shows what you can do with one synth sound, and appropriate automation to create the one note into a completely different sound.
- Solid Thought
This track is very attention-grabbing. The hypnotic main melody subtly hides behind the percussion from the very start of the track and reveals itself to be prominent suddenly, much like a subconscious thought. “Solid Thought” has a very thin synthesizer that accompanies the lead, giving it a very acidic sound that sounds like a sustained laser beam. The percussion also has a hint of white noise to make it sound more digitized and bright. The thought that went into this track is evident.
“Nephesh” is the brightest sounding track on this LP thus far. It has a classy lead in the forefront as well as a sexy bass line in the background of one section that is barely audible unless you have headphones. The track also has a rapid-fire succession of snare hits that peak toward the finale giving it a vintage techno sound.
This one begins with a plucking sound over a haunting echo. It reaches a section with beautiful classic chords that begin to breakdown and distort in a much darker tone over an energetic dance clap. The climax is striking, an almost religious experience. The contrasting tone in this track communicates a message; however, that message is open to interpretation.
- Pattern 8
Following the colorful chords of “Pneuma”, Pattern 8 immediately enters on a lost mutation of an infectious groove. The song sounds like a Detroit-ified rendition of a classic carnival theme. A synth note stabs at the beat with full force, allowing for a soft high hat pattern to bleed into the mix. One can just imagine the type of party this track can cater to.
- Thought Process
Reaching into our own cognitive functions, Hood tries to tackle our psyche again. This track is more laid-back compared to the first half of the LP. With a care-free main theme, it carries you over machine-laden percussion and hits, before attacking you with a heavy kick.
“Lockers” was originally released on the first volume of his Paradygm Shift EP series, but was given an extended mix on this LP. This tune has a really nice classic sounding high-hat that really sounds like a 90’s sample fine-tuned to fit in a modern day mix. It also features a dream-like arpeggio sequence that makes “Lockers” the most melody-driven track on the LP. As the LP comes to a close on this track, an authoritative alarm goes off in the form of a dark oscillation, as if to grab the dreamer by the leg and pull them back to earth.
The Paradgym Shift is a strong release off of Dekmantel. Hood manages to capture the vintage minimalistic sound while keeping the change constant. This LP managed to keep my attention through the entire running time of 50 minutes. While some of the themes and elements may have overlapped in some songs, Hood managed to do what he set out to do, and that is to create a phenomenal return to his minimal roots.
The LP is available on Beatport; however, you can also purchase the LP vinyl edition found here. Robert Hood is currently gearing up for his festival tour, including shows under his Floorplan project with his daughter, Lyric. For more info, check out the links below: