Robert Hood’s uncompromising dedication to minimal techno is given a dash of house, disco, funk and gospel under his alias Floorplan, but Alias makes few concessions to those genres beyond adopted the elements into his own distinct style. It has taken Hood 17 years to produce a Floorplan LP, his Funky Souls EP released in 1996 would mark only the briefest encounter, but he has used the time to take aim at the dancefloor and following three EPs since 2010 he’s seen fit to bring his Floorplan work together.
Paradise is a rush to the system that doesn’t stop, but you won’t mind as it’s all done in the best possible techno taste.
Despite being an album built up over so long and carries Hood’s commitment to minimal techno, Paradise has a lot of character beneath the relentless beats. Hood finds his groove on “Let’s Ride” with a simple looping vocal drawing you into the Floorplan frame of mind – one which will have you dancing from start to finish. “Baby, Baby” ramps up the funk factor with cheeky percussion, the merest hint of a vocal and slight pauses met with a rousing synth. He goes deeper with “Change”, a softer side to the Hood we heard on Omega and its remixed follow up, then ups the pace on “Altered Ego” as his Floorplan approach becomes clear: get the listener’s body jacking.
The soft vocals and piano on “Never Grow Old” combine for funky feel while the uplifting piano on “Confess” is pure old school, and perhaps the titles alludes to Hood’s secret love for the rave of days gone by. Around “Confess” are the stripped back sounds we might expect from a full Robert Hood release, but there’s a feel about them that’s a lot more inviting to the uninitiated and by closing tune “Above the Clouds”, we’re all disciples of the Floorplan mentality. Paradise is a rush to the system that doesn’t stop, but you won’t mind as it’s all done in the best possible techno taste.