With all the creative force that remains in Detroit, it was perhaps inevitable that sooner or later an album would emerge dealing with the city's slide in to disrepair. Happily the last year has provided signs that a recovery is possible, and that notion comes across powerfully in this exceptional techno album. Levels of musical excellence in Detroit have barely ever dipped, but even for Robert Hood this is a record that could end up defining the very best of his solo output. There are many special individual moments, such as the intricate piano loop that takes the darkly coloured 'Better Life' to another level, the ice cool string pads that come to the front of 'Learning' or the inventive use of percussion that Hood achieves on 'Assembly' and 'A Time To Rebuild', whose titles tell their own story. The individual moments combine to make a whole that runs almost as one long piece of instrumental techno, with light and shade, energy and repose, big bass beats or small, intricate ones. Throughout there is a strong sense that this music is tapping in to the living, breathing heart of Detroit - and that the heart itself is responding well to treatment. With this sense of progression and optimism, Robert Hood, then, provides another album to add to the long list of defining electronic albums to emerge from the Motor City. It won't be the last!
Reviewed By Ben Hogwood
5 out of 5