Both Hudson Mohawke and Lunice have been working hard to solidify their place in the music world. Mohawke has been in the studio with Kanye West, Lunice has worked with Diplo, and both have contributed their musical chops to rising star Azealia Banks. With track records like that, it’s easy to understand why a collaboration between the two would elicit high expectations. Luckily, Mohawke and Lunice do not disappoint on their TNGHT EP.
A combination of thumping bass and various samples seems to be the methodology behind each of the tracks on the EP, but that does not in any way mean the pair plays it safe or sounds formulaic. “Higher Ground” opens with static, laden hand claps and chopped-up, reverberating vocals, topped by a sparse drum beat. This combo is soon joined by blasting synths and an aggressive bassline. The moment the beat bursts through, the song is taken to a completely different level. Bare moments juxtaposed against beat explosions demonstrate the duo’s unique ability to create space, as well as expanse, in each track.
“Bugg’n” booms with a menacingly harsh beat drenched in echo, with the addition of a baby noise that I’m pretty sure was taken straight off of “Are You That Somebody” by Aaliyah. The result is a wacky fusion that only extreme attention to detail could pull off successfully. Sample-heavy “Easy Easy” features everything from breaking glass to a gun cocking, layered with a Super Mario-esque high pitched beat; pretty much the antithesis of what the name suggests. Each song fits together in the pair’s futuristic style but never without wisely placed, unexpected elements to keep you guessing.
A collaboration between two heavyweight producers could turn out rather messy. In this case, Mohawke and Lunice prove that you can strike a perfect balance between experimentation and restraint.