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New Electronica Adds: Robert Hood, Theo Parrish, Mr. Mitch

Robert Hood - M-Print: 20 Years of M-Plant MusicRobert Hood founding member of legendary Detroit collective Underground Resistance and a pioneer of minimal, soulful techno reflecting both (to use the most tired, hackneyed metaphor about techno) the crumbling industrial city around him, and later, his deep-seated Christian faith. Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend sitting down and listening to all 33 tracks on this 3-disc compilation in a row, lest you go mad from overexposure to 4/4 kick drum. But tracks like the dizzying, futuristic opener “The Grey Area” and the cold robot jazz of “The Rhythm of Vision” are timeless examples of techno in its purest and most deadly form. Elsewhere, gospel-sampling tracks such as “We Magnify His Name” and (ESPECIALLY) the gorgeous, ecstatic, timeless always and forever classic for a reason “Never Grow Old” are among the most heartfelt things to ever come out of an often emotionally-guarded genre. Seriously, if you’re not moved by “Never Grow Old”, I don’t know if we can ever be friends. Even if the words “minimal techno” make you want to vomit, try slipping it into your next radio show and see if it doesn’t sweep you up and take you to a higher, better, and more beautiful place. HENRY

RIYL: Techno, Jesus

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Theo Parrish - American Intelligence: It’s not really often that we get to write about more than one legendary Detroit techno producer in a week, but here we are with Theo Parrish’s controversial (re: horrendously expensive) LP. This is one of my favorites of 2014, each track filled with the purest soul and drum breaks, with the euphoric and climactic “I Enjoy Watching You,” not to mention Theo’s own (some jesting) vocals, like his grocery list and police encounter in “Welcome Back.” There actually aren’t very many direct samples in this album (with the exception of “Make No War”), instead preferring to go with guest vocals/choruses. And if you’re reading this unsure if you can take listening to this after all of Robert Hood’s compilation, here is the main difference: there’s much more robust drum instrumentation, sometimes frenzied and chaotic, interlud-y spoken/sung intros/outros; while this is still an unrelenting 15-track long album, many of which are upwards of 8-10 minutes long, it’s fairly easy to listen to as an album. CARRIE

RIYL: Moodymann, Feels Parties 

Recommended tracks: Footwork, I Enjoy Watching You, Life Spice, Drive

Mr. Mitch - Parallel Memories: Lovely, wandering, slow-motion music, good for chillouts and comedowns and drawing influences from grime, r&b, and video games. At once abstract and personal, it feels like wandering through a PlayStation 1 RPG in the bucolic town where you start (like in Pokemon) and also R. Kelly is there for some reason. Then you’re transported to the Ice level and R. Kelly is still there and you’re floating off on a glacier, encountering strange but friendly creatures and thinking about a romantic interest from your past. There’s a buch of things I could write about Grime in 2015 but tbh I shouldn’t need thinkpieces to enjoy music and you shouldn’t either. HENRY

RIYL: Tycho, Burial, MssingNo

Recommended tracks: 3, 6, 7