Nostalgia is an illness, or at least that’s what doctors once believed.
Today, it’s less a communicable virus than a kind of collective mania. In times of uncertainty, frustration and personal and economic dislocation, people seek safety in the past, in stories they already know by heart. If you’re worried about where you’ll be tomorrow, there’s some power in controlling how you feel right now. Just read the label on the bottle of pills, the proof on the bottle of booze or the liner notes of a record that made your teenage heart sing.
There are plenty of people in dance music riding off their laurels from 30 years ago, and this nostalgic era certainly has rewards for them. But fresh off a three CD retrospective, Robert Hood keeps grinding, this time with a new two track release split between two aliases. “Shaker” is a relentless drill aimed straight for the planetary core – a frenzied whirlwind of percussion and a “melody” of a vocal sample only half intelligible amidst all the fury. “Ritual” (under Robert Hood’s Floorplan alias) smooths it all over with an irresistible hook and trademark bounce just a touch too fast. Without borrowing a note (or really invoking it at all), “Ritual” takes you on a ride like a purified and sanctified “French Kiss.” I can’t place why, but the similarities are there.
I love the low-fi insurgents who are skinning the back off the the beautiful people and getting a lot of credit for it right now, but I can’t figure out why Floorplan isn’t also foremost on everyone’s mind. I’ve written a lot about Robert Hood’s last few records, and sometimes it’s to assure myself of what I’m hearing. Rarely is an established artist able to drop the bucket in the well and pull out anything palatable, as Hood does – much less new material which is refreshing.