Thursday, August 11, 2011
Hudson Mohawke - Satin Panthers
2. Thunder Bay
4. All Your Love
5. Thank You
Hudson Mohawke's recent output-- a bonkers remix of Wiley's "Electric Boogaloo", a handful of decent edits on his Soundcloud-- has been enough to catch relatively high-profile ears. Not long ago, the Glasgow producer (real name: Ross Birchard) received a ridiculously glowing Twitter shout-out from hip-hop head-knocker Just Blaze, and Chris Brown jumped on an old HudMo track. Still, in a way it's surprising Mohawke has received any level of popularity beyond beat freaks and Warp roster-checkers. His 2009 debut LP, Butter, didn't exactly flow like the melted yellow stuff; it was an unfocused mix of future-R&B pastiche and jumbled funk experimentation.
Good thing for second chances. Mohawke's new Satin Panthers EP shows the kind of improvement that a couple of years in the lab will do for you. His music is still jumbled-sounding, but rather than being sneakily complicated, this record is obviously so; the fact it all works so well is the sneaky part. Mohawke packs in oodles of genre- and artist-specific tics: the hard-hitting repetition of Chicago juke, the sharp melodic tang of Bristol's "purple" scene, the sticky swarm of Los Angeles-era Flying Lotus, the light-cycle chaos of hip-hop producer Lex Luger, and the galloping rhythms of UK funky. Which might sound like the recipe for a total mess, except HudMo combines every ingredient expertly.
One complaint: The EP's 17-minute run time feels too brief. Luckily, Satin Panthers offers more than enough to tide listeners over until a potential follow-up album, whether the double-octave bass line on "Thunder Bay" or the building synth spirals on "Octan". The closing track, a burst of marching-band mania, is called "Thank You", but when all's said and done, there's a lot of gratitude to go around here...www.pitchfork.com