Amongst the prolific and varied lineups we’ve been given by Nightvision this term, however popular or eclectic they may seem, there has always been one that seemed especially exciting ever since this series was announced. Whilst House and Techno fans have been treated to more than the odd smack of stellar underground bookings here and there – Neil Landstrumm, Rebekah, Lil’ Louis, to name a few– rarely has a single date’s lineup seemed so irresistibly tasteful than the one on the 10th of December. With Robert Hood, DJ Deep and the UK’s Stephen Brown soundtracking the evening, a healthily-packed out Liquid Rooms was given a tour de force of Detroit techno. Nightvision’s attempts to combine contemporary, A-List club bookings with more historic names such as these is a testament to their ability to curate something for everyone yet still keep more underground sounds at the forefront of Edinburgh’s nightlife.
Robert Hood has been synonymous with soulful electronic music for decades, his name adding legitimacy to any venue or festival that books him. One of the original founders of the infamous Underground Resistance in the early ‘90s, alongside ‘Mad Mike’ Banks and Jeff Mills, he went on to produce under Mills’ ‘Axis’ Records and later his own M-Plant imprint, making him one of the foremost figures in the history of Techno music. Himself an ordained pastor, whose recent productions under his softer alias ‘Floorplan,’ have included vocal samples from Aretha Franklin and even a Detroit gospel choir, Hood combines the deeply political message of Techno with the soulful transcendence of his Baptist faith – a personification of Detroit, and the machine-soul of its heritage.
Hood’s set switched between the relentless minimal techno for which he is most known, and the more soulful melodies of his Floorplan alias. Essentially, he managed to bridge the gap between the two genres with confidence, reflecting how his two projects have recently began to merge in terms of style. With a heavy emphasis on his own production, particularly tracks from his latest ‘Victorious’ release, Hood brought his set to a peak with tracks such as ‘We Magnify His Name’ and ‘Never Grow Old (Re-Plant),’ much to the delight of the eager crowd. The driving energy of such techno tracks was complemented by the selection of certain classic Italo disco tracks, including Glenn Underground’s remix of Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love.’ Bringing such relevant and respected artists to one of Edinburgh’s most prominent venues, Nightvision have delivered a highlight to their fifth series of events.