Floorplan Sanctified EP
Though generally more thought of as the pioneering godfather behind minimal techno, Detroit's Robert Hood also has another side. Complementing the lean machine funk of classic albums like Internal Empire and Minimal Nation, Hood released a whole string of minimal-influenced house records under the name of Floorplan. Exposing the funky roots at the heart of the Hood sound, Floorplan—for the most part—eschewed the synthetic in favor of a more organic, sample-based sound. Yet, while the Floorplan side-project was well received, Hood seemingly abandoned the alias in 2002.
Then in 2010, Hood's side-project popped back up on the radar thanks to the high-profile reissue of 1996's classic "Funky Souls." Following that release came the techno-hued single "Move It" on last year's EPM 10 compilation, and now, finally, Floorplan's first EP since 2002, Sanctified. Featuring three tracks, Sanctified contains all the hallmarks of previous Floorplan releases but also manages to touch on territory that Hood had previously left alone. This is immediately apparent on standout opening track "We Magnify His Name," which takes the driving minimal skeleton of Hood's work and builds on it to create an epic, maximalist gospel-house anthem. It's the obvious highlight from the release, and will undoubtedly find its way into many DJs' peak-time sets—we can only imagine what this would do to a Shelter dancefloor.
Joining "We Magnify His Name" are the more sparse b-sides. Of the two, "Baby Baby" takes pride of place with its bizarre, hyperactive disco- and jit-influenced sound. Riding a hectic 138-bpm rhythm, "Baby Baby" combines the spastic tempo of jit with an infectious orchestral part, creating a unique sound that might lend itself well as a DJ tool, albeit one that might require some pitch-control work. Less stellar, though not by much, is "Basic Principle," which loses its footing and regresses into repetitive and moody, organ-led house. It's not terrible, just not nearly as surprising or as interesting as the rest of the EP.
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