Following Lyric Hood’s solo release in July, Robert Hood and Floorplan have returned to Hood’s M-Plant label with The Struggle / Save The Children. Combining house, techno, and powerful speeches from Tamika Mallory and Dick Gregory, this latest release is protest music, coming straight from Detroit.
Robert Hood’s solo track, “The Struggle,” opens things up with a stripped back, four-to-the-floor bassline and spiralling acid lines. As the acid fades, a stirring speech from Tamika Mallory addressing the murder of George Floyd is layered in. For those who watched Hood’s streaming from isolation Boiler Room, you might have caught this track at the end; it’s not an easy one to forget. Though there will always be someone arguing that dance music should be an escape, at its core everything about dance music is political. In times of such great unrest, this is the sort of music we should expect to be hearing — it’s all linked. As Mallory’s speech ends, “The Struggle” launches into powerful, minimal techno to draw things to a close.
With Robert and Lyric Hood joining forces for the remainder of the EP, “Save The Children” picks up that unmistakable Floorplan sound. It strays into more uplifting territory than “The Struggle,” without losing any of the power behind it. The original mix is compelling house music, sprinkling in blazing horns and passionate vocals to keep pushing the focal point of the EP; social change.
The "Detroit Mix" switches things up completely, opting for a bassier sound and losing the immensely optimistic feel of the original; it feels closer to the rough rawness of “The Struggle”. As with the prior tracks, the focal point of the "Detroit Mix" is the vocals. The poignant words of Dick Gregory are laid over a relentless bassline amongst other vocal samples to create a dynamic and potent track that never stops pushing its message. If you weren't already angry about the world, this is the EP to change your mind. Influential stuff from a Detroit legend.