Heavy duty techno with a funky edge...
'Victorious'

In layman’s terms, here are the bio-mechanics of Floorplan (starring Robert Hood as techno’s equivalent of a line and length bowler): loop chord and drum metronomes unto infinity. Steadily filter said chords, then slip in vocal passages - the more evangelical the better. Substitute for effects, swap back for vocals and so on. Switch between environments of the cramped techno bolthole that Hood has had a long-standing timeshare in, and the fresh air of festival season. As an added bonus, make it a bring-your-daughter-to-work day, as ‘Victorious’ has Lyric Hood joining the realm of one of the scene’s greatest ever.

Less one-eyed compared to, say ‘Omega: Alive’, far less experimental than the last ‘Nighttime World’, ‘Victorious’ still leaves open the interchangeable nature of where Robert Hood starts and Floorplan ends. It remains a surprise when the game face slips and he sings a disco rainbow. The ramped up Todd Terry/Lisa Marie Experience standard ‘Sun In The Sky’, and ‘Tell You No Lie’ that has strings and diva sass for days, are shamelessly happy and glorious. The romantic notion would be that Lyric’s recruitment has softened the old man up a bit, but to be fair he’s always had such a sunnier disposition in his locker.

This mid-’90s glam is an extension of the funkiness that the likes of ‘Music’ has to offer - house that holds a robust groove, if not in the same postcode as the front-and-centre toughness of ‘Ha Ya’ and ‘They Can Tell’. The classic Detroit engineering of ‘Mmm Hmm Hmm’, a model citizen in grimacing, one-note stab-jackers, hypnotically turns a ‘French Kiss’ into a Glasgow one.

Given its specialist subject is the power of the loop, only ‘He Can Save You’ is a little aimless: at over ten minutes long, it’s almost as if Hood has kept his eye on the ball for too long. Otherwise, as if it was in any doubt, the upkeep of the mind body and soul continuum is in safe hands here.

8/10

Words: Matt Oliver

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