Limited 3LP+CD : White Vinyl
Robert Hood's Minimal Nation is justly revered as one of the most important and defining techno records ever made. His iconic 1994 masterpiece stripped dance music back to the barest of elements yet retained a loose and dirty funk that many so called 'minimal' records lack today. Having inspired 1000's of producers and DJs across the globe and starting a genre a decade before it was popularly recognized nothing before or since has sounded like it. We now welcome a re-mastered Special Edition of this classic release 15 years after it changed the face of techno. Featuring the unreleased 'SH-101' (made during the same sessions) and the very rare 'Self-Powered' (which only appeared on the Axis test press), Robert Hood's Minimal Nation gets its first full CD and digital release.
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."
To this day Minimal Nation remains the benchmark, the ground zero of 'minimal'. The first record to conceptually take the Pavlovian Dog's principle of less is more straight to the dancefloor with its insistent loops and surging funk patterns. As Robert himself concludes, "Minimal Nation is not just a collection of rhythm tracks, but a supernatural work of art realized. I felt a strong sense of urgency to create a body of work that identified with what was placed on my heart, as opposed to what was on my mind. Regardless, of it's diminutive nature, one should never underestimate the neural potency of minimalism."
A1 Robert Hood - One Touch
A2 Robert Hood - Museum
B1 Robert Hood - SH-101
B2 Robert Hood - Rhythm Of Vision
C1 Robert Hood - Unix
C2 Robert Hood - Ride
D1 Robert Hood - Station Rider E
D2 Robert Hood - Self Powered
E Robert Hood - Sleep Cycle
F Robert Hood - Rhythm Of Vision (Original)