TNGHT – II EP (4 stars)

Tnght – Ii Ep

Hudson Mohawke and Lunice return, seven years after their much-loved debut EP

As the end of the decade approaches, it's a sobering wake-up call to note that a whole seven years have passed since TNGHT nudged the course of pop music in a new direction with their self-titled debut EP. Never particularly precocious self-publicists or scroungers for media attention, they simply got on with producing a particularly neon-soaked brand of future-trap which – particularly following their appearance on Kanye West's Yeezus the following year – other producers quietly took note of and let soak into the overground pop firmament.

Now, like a mood-altering algorithm which you don't even notice operating until it's blown up the entire political system, Hudson Mohawke (Glasgow's own Ross Birchard) and Lunice (Lunice Fermin Pierre II, of Montreal) have ghosted back into our lives with another relatively bite-size selection which suggests they have no intention of making work unless games might be changed along the way. Dropped by surprise back in September, the comeback track 'Serpent' was like nothing else around it, a yelping, pipe-rattling, full moon force of nature which bore heavy traces of gqom's beats, but played out upon the simulated alien landscapes which TNGHT make their own.

Like that advance track, the other six on this EP move to a sound all of their own; the broken, staccato trap groove of 'Dollaz', its title looping in insistent, repetitive tribute to/mockery of the preconceptions of hip-hop (the only other word in the track may or may not be 'bitches'); the horn-blowing, Arabic-flavoured 'First Body', like Omar Souleyman gone rave; the playful chip-pop turned icy ambient monster 'I'm In a Hole'; and the epic 'Gimme Summin', a return to the gqom influence, yet with a weird, unknowable machine edge. This is definitive 21st century pop music; effortlessly international in a world where technological connection ties every place together.

The II EP by TNGHT is out now on Warp/LuckyMe.