Robert Hood discusses his Detroit departure

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“The techno scene was birthed out of a yearning to move beyond what we saw [around us]. A lot of producers really didn’t realise what we were doing. But over the last four or five years its all really started to become [clear] just what was going on.”

At a time when America’s love of dance culture is finally moving beyond the traditional heartlands of San Francisco, New York and the Motor City itself, it’s fitting that attention is also turning back to where the culture first found its roots several decades ago.

Speaking to Data Transmission this week, in prelude to the release of the Nighttime World Volume 3 compilation that comes nearly 20 years after the original volume’s release, pioneer Robert Hood talked of his decision to depart Detroit, and to look for inspiration elsewhere across his country. The compilation itself conceptually tackles the Motor City’s mythology, and was inspired by the famous 2010 documentary Requiem For Detroit?, which examined the city’s infamous industrial decline. However, Hood had earlier decided it was time to move on.

“God told me that he needed me to move out of my comfort zone, so that was really what it was about,” Hood told Data Transmission, of his decision to relocate to the rural surrounds of Alabama just over five years ago. “I miss Detroit, I love Detroit. I still have family there, [but] we love it down here. Where we live, it’s so wide open and quiet, it has had a surreal effect on my thinking and how I produce music, and how I view the world and how I view people.”

Hood claims it was his departure to Detroit that allowed him to refocus his creative output, as he entered his third decade of making music. “The comfortable and familiar surroundings of Detroit had me in a rut, where I didn’t know what I wanted to say. [Now] as I’m producing music I look out the window and just see cornfields and dirt roads, and it’s had a peculiar kind of effect on the way I approach music now. So I’m focusing more on what it is I want to say.”

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