Pretty much the uncrowned king of saturation, Hudson Mohawke is infamous for his lush beats and the dirty drops released under TNGHT. His newest album takes him back from his adventures as a featured producer to a solo artist, inviting his friends to participate in his own project. Lantern will treat us to Hudson Mohawke’s own special tastes.
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My experience of Hudson Mohawke, or Ross Birchard, or HudMo as Robin and all the kwl kids are calling him, has been a loud one. He is and has always been a very full-on producer - I remember listening to him back when he was making his name during the whole future garage thing, but it was just too much. Zero restraint, all hi hats and bigroom synths.
It’s the hypey edge to his music that grates, his championing of the trap sound as half of TNGHT another incarnation of this. It’s bizarre that this is on Warp, sounding a bit more like something that you’d see someone singing really badly on The X Factor. Yes, Lantern spends the majority of its time in OTT mode, with David Guetta synths bumping and grinding with big beatz and some borderline JLS vocal contributions. This is a little unfair, as Birchard includes some sounds that require slightly more imagination to fit into a tune, but his constructions are somewhat 1-dimensional. Take ‘Ryderz’, something that is completely indebted to one 70s soul track, but how does it differ from the original? You guessed it, phat drums and loud synth.
There are a couple of tracks that deviate from this structure, and display rare glimpses of Hudson Mohawke’s production breadth, which is his sole positive influence on the charts realm that he has ascended to. The tiny electronic symphonies of ‘Kettles’ and ‘Lantern’ show eclecticism and nice control of digital sound, and hint at a kind of grand vision emerging from Mr. HudMo. But they’re probably 80% samples too.
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