When first released as a vinyl double-pack ‘Minimal Nation’ not only sounded unlike any other record but also looked like no other, with each track finishing in a locked groove that forced the listener to flick the needle to the next track. Each groove was built from harsh angular elements that when combined created an alien funk not bereft of warmth or soul. A sound so unique that its single spark echoed around the world and took electronic music into new uncharted territory. As Rob Nash noted in The Sunday Times (December 2008) “minimal’s roots go further back, it was invented in 1994, not 2004, and in Detroit, not Berlin. Its inventor was Robert Hood. His 1994 album, Minimal Nation marked the birth of minimal techno.”
Robert Hood had in fact been experimenting with the sound that was to define his life since he left Underground Resistance. “Around 1992”, he recalls, “I was fooling around with the Juno 2 keyboard and I came across this chord sound; once I had that chord sound and a particular pattern I realized I didn’t need anything else. In order to maximise the feeling of the music, sometimes we have to subtract.”

In an article conducted late last year with .Cent magazine, Andrew Weatherall (himself one of techno’s most iconic and maverick figureheads) made the connection with ‘minimalism’ that many have failed to spot and put it to Robert that Minimal Nation was in fact a protest record. “That’s exactly what it was!” exclaimed Rob. “Nobody seems to get that. Techno was becoming one huge sample and the raves were becoming all about drugs.” Weatherall then raised the issue as to whether originality is more important than authenticity, or vice versa? “You have to be both,” replied Rob. “When you put the needle down on a James Brown record you immediately know it’s James Brown. It’s the same with Prince. But I aint Prince…I’m Robert Hood.” In a world full of generic and similar sounding records, Robert Hood’s music jumps straight out of a DJ’s set. His unmistakable sound has spawned a genre that somehow his own music fits yet is equally at odds with. Whilst many more have joined the cause or jumped on the bandwagon, for Robert ‘minimalism’ remains just as much a way of life as a musical artform. “People are treating this as a trend and as a fad,” he told Rob Nash. “That’s fine, but minimalism is not going to stop, because it’s a direct reflection of the way the world is going. We’re stripping down and realizing that we need to focus on what’s essential in our lives.”

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