Two years after Robert Hood released his definitive 1994 album, Minimal Nation, the Detroit techno luminary initiated a side project called Monobox. 25 years and a sparse handful of EPs and albums later, he will revisit the alias with the Forwardbase Kodai EP on October 29th and an album titled Regenerate on November 26th – both via his M-Plant label.
As with previous Monobox releases, the EP affords Hood the opportunity to explore a more cinematic style than the loopy techno encapsulated in Minimal Nation (which he rereleased in August). Included is a remix of the title track by London producer Ø [Phase] with more traditionally repetitive elements, however. Rounding out the effort is a “Robert Hood Re-Plant” of said single as well as a more serene soundscape titled “Homestead.”
Robert Hood followed up the 1996 release of Realm with Monobox EPs like Downtown in 1997 and Population in 2001. 2003 marked the project’s debut studio-length album Molecule – also its first release on Logistic Records as opposed to M-Plant. After several remix packs via Logistic, Hood brought Monobox back to M-Plant with the 2014 two-tracker Film / Rectangle.
Hood, whose indelible work in Detroit techno extends back to his history as a co-founder of Underground Resistance, spoke about Monobox in a Red Bull Music Academy interview coinciding with the latter release. “Monobox was an alien project,” he said. “I read this book when I was probably around 13 or 14. It was this ominous black box that came from some other universe, and it was just sort of hovering over the planet, over a cornfield somewhere.”
“After maybe a few weeks it began to open up and objects and these creatures from another world began to emerge from this box,” he continued. “The whole thing about Monobox was that it was an alien life form. To approach minimalism from an alien futuristic perspective.”
The Forwardbase Kodai EP and Regenerate follow Mirror Man, a full-length album Robert Hood released via Rekids in November 2020.