Hudson Mohawke you may not necessarily heard of, but his work you will definitely have done. Starting off under the collaborative name TNGHT with fellow producer Lunice, Hudson Mohawke’s name can be found in the production credits of an array of highbrow projects. Yeezus, Drake’s Nothing Was The Same, Bjork’s Bastards and of course being part of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music empire, he was in integral part of Cruel Summer also. With so much speculation and hype, the Scottish producer has continued to keep fans’ interests alive with various remixes and guest production, and now we are blessed with his first solo studio album since 2009’s Butter. It’s finally here- Hudson Mohawke’s Lantern.
Much like Jamie xx, I often find myself in a difficult situation when categorising Hudmo. On the one hand his tracks fall into hard-hitting,, bass-brimming spleen-splitting onslaughts of noise, yet on the same album sultry soulful singers stop by to help out with the execution. Lantern shows an entirely new side to Hudson Mohawke; his music has a really shy delicacy and perfection to it. Take mid-point Indian Steps for example, reminiscent to Hudmo’s other work on Kanye West and R Kelly’s To The World, the song floats along yet instills mystery and a hardened aesthetic.
Yet on the same project, you’ll find, as Mowhawke himself puts it ‘[track] 13 System. club time. late night. the record ends in clubs.’ Lasers manically fire back and forth, synths weave in and out, and drums kick and put up a fuss, all building to a cascade of deranged instruments. As prior mentioned, the tracks with guest vocalists are strangely contrapuntal, yet at the same time, acutely relevant. R&B stars like Jhene Aiko and Miguel may seem like particularly strange choices to appear on such a dark artists’ album, but while I’m not sure how, it does certainly work.
Lantern is a complicated piece of music. After a lot of examining, replaying and savouring, I think the layering and precision of the project is something that may often be overlooked. A dangerously inventive project blends such oppositional traits from the world of electronica, that results in something that really took me by surprise. Lantern is certainly not for everyone, first impressions and from the outset; it’s abrasive, unforgiving and direct. However, I assure you to keep at it, give it a fair few listens and it really does evolve into something quite remarkable.
Verdict – WWWV