Sunday, 29 July 2012

TNGHT - TNGHT (EP) added to 2012 Recommended Albums

I first became properly acquainted with the music of Hudson Mohawke last year, when his Satin Panthers EP was making waves. When it made the top of my EP's of 2011 list I described Satin Panthers as bringing "a near-continuum of high after high" and thought a partnership with Rustie would make a "dream collaboration".

With the TNGHT EP HudMo has continued one out of those two ideas. Not that I'm complaining. In Lunice he has found a partner to draw out the underlying hip-hop paterns within his production, which was probably the biggest influence in Satin Panthers and his debut album Butter. Despite both producers' previous work being filled to the brim with "maximalist" touches (tons of samples, additional electronic beats and blasts which leap from the tracks' basic frames in such a way it becomes hard to tell what's necessary), it may be surprising to consider how minimalist the EP can be. Lead single "Bugg'n", despite its opening sampled squeal rides a sluggish BPM, and perhaps most importantly for TNGHT leaves plenty of space for an MC, something which neither member of the group were interested in creating before. The beat has already been used by XV on his recent Popular Culture mixtape, and the duo have expressed a clear intention for the purpose of the EP, to take it to the American major labels, for major rappers to rap over. In a sense this has been happening already: TNGHT were comissioned to officially remix Waka Flocka Flame's "Rooster In My Rari", and Kanye West's "Mercy" has a Hudson Mohawke credit.

Despite this intention however, the four tracks that aren't "Bugg'n" might send all except the most adventurous rappers running. HudMo and Lunice have indeed sent their creativities off in a new direction, and have (just about) left space in the five tracks on the EP for lyricists, but their overall sound is still indebted to a maximal production style we've heard previously from the pair. So cluttered are these tracks from a hip-hop or even trap perspective, on the other hand as dance music (the world where many of their listeners come from) they function exceptionally well. From the exstatic vocal sample which colours "Higher Ground" to the part in "Easy Easy" where my subwoofer turns into a washing machine, there isn't a moment to think about listening to it sitting still, or grinning ridiculously. It's ridiculous-sounding music, but works so well, it's tough to think why any DJ wouldn't be carrying these tracks along with them for a while to come.

The shortness of the TNGHT EP serves it well, as it's such an exhausting experience, and you'll want to go back to find more sounds and patterns hidden in its compact stretch. Any longer may also have found the style to be too gimmicky, although arguably if another track or two had the finesse of these five it wouldn't matter as much. I'd also like to hear what the hip-hop community choose to do with these tracks/ producers (rumour is the enigmatic Danny Brown has shared studio space with them, which by this stage is hardly surprising). I hope something good comes out of this, because it's so addictive, and I think we need more.

See what other great albums caught my attention this year on the 2012 Recommended Albums page. Was my review of TNGHT (EP) any good?

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