Robert Hood

Nighttime World, Vol. 1

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Compared to the minimalist lock-step of Internal Empire, Hood's second album Nighttime World is practically a soul album -- even the cover looks more like What's Going On than X-101. On the first track, "Behind This Door," he conjures a few string flourishes and a surprisingly chunky bassline to evoke the nightlife, while the title track, "Electric Nigger" and "The Color of Skin" all trade in Hood-style minimalism for a bit more focus on fleshed-out productions, including even acoustic pianos. Of course, there's still a trademark glazed-eye trance workout ("Untitled"). Unlike Internal Empire, this one functions as more than just a collection of great tracks. And it's great to see Hood's growth as a producer not posing a threat to his sound. Nighttime World is still one of the most inventive full-lengths to come out of Detroit.

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