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Fabric 39

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 13, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Fabric 39 stars the visionary Robert Hood, one of the founding fathers of Detroit's incomparable Underground Resistance and the innovator behind hypnotic minimal techno. Robert Hood makes minimal Detroit techno with an emphasis on soul and experimentation over flash and popularity. Hood was a founding member, along with Jeff Mills and Mike Banks, of the Underground Resistance label, whose influential releases throughout the early and mid '90s helped change the face of modern Detroit techno and sparked a creative renaissance. Infusing elements of acid and industrial into a potent blend of Chicago house and Detroit techno.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Silicone Fingers - Robert Hood / Monobox
  2. Element 9 - Robert Hood
  3. Who Taught You Math - Robert Hood
  4. X-Factor - Pacou
  5. Strobe Light - Robert Hood
  6. Taboo - Marco Lenzi
  7. Fever (Rephrased) - Joris Voorn
  8. Bust the Vibes (Real Disco) - Fab G.
  9. Sandune - Dan March
  10. Element 3 - Robert Hood
  11. Mind Detergent (Robert Hood) - Diego / Diego
  12. Skin Deep - Jeff Mills
  13. School - Robert Hood
  14. Element 23 - Robert Hood
  15. Mr. Funk - John Thomas
  16. Informant - DJ Skull
  17. One Side - Scorp
  18. All It Takes - Pacou
  19. Mass - Phase
  20. Agent Wood (Adam Beyer) - UK Gold
  21. Legalize - Solid Decay
  22. Element 7 - Robert Hood
  23. Side Effect - Robert Hood
  24. Drop the Filter - Mion
  25. New Energy - Scorp
  26. Agent Wood (Original) - UK Gold
  27. Still Here (Los Hermanos) - Robert Hood
  28. Pulp Funktion 2 - John Thomas
  29. The Greatest Dancer - Robert Hood
  30. Exclamation - Low Life
  31. And Then We Planned Our Escape - Robert Hood
  32. Element 12 - Robert Hood


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 13, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fabric
  • ASIN: B00114XR9U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #381,550 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By David Wood on October 18, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Fabric 39 showcases Robert Hood's take on minimal techno. As a crucial and greatly esteemed figure in techno's history, and undeniably one of its pioneers, this set is an interesting 79-minute journey through stripped-back four-on-the-floor rhythms. There is very little to offend the listener, as all tracks have been stripped of irritating hooks and vocals, or anything else superfluous to rhythm. It is perhaps unsurprising then that the set's most memorable moments arrive with tracks that contain just a little bit more melodic and harmonic content. Hood's own `Who Taught You Math' is practically a symphony compared to the spartan tracks surrounding it, and is one of the highlights. Jeff Mills' `Skin Deep' sounds like the intro from a tech-trance track circa 2001, with the listener expecting a chord change at some point but never receiving one. Fab G's `Bust the Vibes (Real Disco Mix)' and Hood's `The Greatest Dancer' bring some classic disco samples to the mix, sounding strange in this context but irresistible nonetheless. Fabric 39 is a dry listen for much of its running time, but it is in the context of the mix that minimal techno gains much of its quality. If minimal techno isn't your bag, listen to the album first and buy the highlights on their own. If, on the other hand, you love Robert Hood's distinctive brand of techno, you will not be disappointed with the thirty-two tracks on this CD. But then again, you probably own this already.
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Format: Audio CD
Proper techno is not my preferred genre and during my days at Fabric I spent much more time in room 1 (minimal, tech house) than room 2 (harder techno). I was all the more surprised that I really enjoyed this mix and still come back to it so often. Robert Hood takes an old-school approach to mixing and this is one of the rare mix CDs that you can tell was actually mixed in one take, on vinyl turntables, nonetheless. That means there are some rough moments, but surprisingly few, and the live nature of the mix gives it a certain life that perfectly synced laptop mixing simply can't replicate.

The other great thing about this mix is the risk taking and bows to other styles. Within the first 20 minutes, in addition to some bangin', syncopated techno, there is a snatch of a Latin track and an amazing build up with an old school disco tune. This sort of approach makes this mix far more palatable to non-techno purists like me, who will listen to anything Fabric puts out.

The positive part of this mix is also its drawback. For those who are used to minimal or progressive house DJ mixes that build up over 40 minutes before releasing the tension in one big climactic moment, this mix may jar your sensibilities. It has 2 speeds, fast and faster. The improvisation and live feel means sometimes the mix runs into dead-ends, it almost feels like Hood never plans more than 3 records ahead. It's like when you and your mate would just buy a bunch of new vinyl that you liked and try to fit it together through trial and error.

There are far more hits than misses in this mix, however, and it makes those of us who are old enough wish that more DJs took this type of invigorating, risk-taking approach that used to be standard in the mix tape era of electronic music.
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Format: Audio CD
Hailing from the gritty city of New York, and with a disproportionately strong taste for minimal techno, Robert Hood is one unsung hero whose name should have become household as early as 1992. Masterminding the M-Plant (and, by extension, Drama and Duet) labels has given him the experience necessary to mix an album such as Fabric 39. In Hood's words, "A set from Fabric is the only way I want to go. This mix has to be about the club... any project I do, I like to read like a book... It has to have continuity to take you on a ride. It should have a concept and be able to translate and read as such."

But to truly understand Robert Hood is to understand an emphatic and influential journey back in time to the early `90s, beginning with Jeff Mills, Mike Banks and the Underground Resistance Label, whose early to mid-90's releases would go on to change the shape of Detroit techno and Chicago house. A principle creator and sculptor of most things minimal today, Hood spins Fabric 39 seamlessly and with complete conceptualization. Given Hood's extensive background in shaping modern house music, it should come as no surprise that his latest work not only hits the ground running, it also retains its momentum throughout its sixty-nine minute duration. It is, as such, the perfect minimal clubbing album - which, as a Fabric release, lends a bit of novelty to the mix in particular. It is truly difficult to comprehend this mix finding shelter within a family of notoriously "minimal" electronic house given the fat, squelching sounds of tracks like `School,' `Mr. Funk,' `Legalize!' and `The Greatest Dancer.' There is too much to hear, too much to "see," to accept this album under the mere guise of "minimal.
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