Hudson Mohawke on Lunice collaboration TNGHT - interview
The new project will air at LuckyMe's Festival party
‘The whole thing was never meant to be a big project,’ says Ross Birchard, aka Hudson Mohawke, on the line from his place in London. The ‘thing’ he’s referring to is TNGHT, one of many projects he’s got on the go at the moment, this one being a collaboration with friend and like-minded soul Lunice Fermin Pierre II, or just Lunice for short. It was in its infancy when The List chatted with Birchard earlier, but the whole thing was very much set up to be a potential ‘big project’ even then, with early dates at SXSW, Sonar and a UK debut at London’s Village Underground ahead of the first EP on Warp already out of the way.
The tracks premiered at the time betrayed many of the usual HudMo staples, the cut-up chipmunk vocal samples and a glitching, hyperactive beat, which has the effect of a jumping CD or a television being rapidly scrolled through, but this time the Glaswegian producer’s sound is balanced by a new sense of grime-influenced darkness and drama.
‘We first met around 2007 or 2008,’ recalls Birchard. ‘About the same time our mini-scene [the futuristic hip hop style he and latterly Rustie spearheaded in Glasgow amidst seminal club collectives like LuckyMe and Numbers] was forming, the same thing was taking place in Montreal with Lunice and his friends. It was around the tail end of the MySpace phenomenon, when it was really easy to discover new people making music, so we hooked up that way and went out to play there. We’d talked about doing something ever since, but we’ve both worked with other people before and didn’t want to compromise our own process.’
So if they’d planned it, it never would have happened. In the event, Lunice – who’s also recorded for LuckyMe – crashed at Birchard’s flat while touring Europe, and the pair decided to play about in the studio. ‘There was no pressure for it to be a record we could release,’ says Birchard. ‘It was just an experiment and I think that’s why we got such a good result. For the most part we both prefer to just sit on our own working, and often when you’re placed with someone else the chemistry isn’t there.’
Having recorded an EP’s worth with a few extra bits left over, the original plan was to promote this record as much as need be and then return to their solo careers. ‘It’s taken off a bit since then, though,’ says Birchard, ‘so we might end up doing it for more than six months or whatever. We’ve had a few festival offers and things like that, plus it’s a good outlet. We’re releasing the kind of club tunes we would never release on our own, stripped-down but full of energy.’
Both solo careers are still running in parallel, although TNGHT has pushed back the planned late 2012/early 2013 release of the second HudMo album. ‘I’ve said before that I don’t want my next record to be a club one,’ says Birchard. ‘I want to make a record which will still stand on its own in ten years.’ There’s also the small matter of a link-up with Kanye West to consider. ‘I can’t really tell you much about that,’ he says, ‘but we’ve done some things together, and I hope it’s something I can carry on in future.’
LuckyMe at the Liquid Room, 225 2564, 11 Aug,11pm–5am, £10