Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Hudson Mohawke @XOYO
If you were to put the majority of the fresh new players in contemporary electronic squelches together in a line up, you’d be hard pressed to distinguish one from the other. Baseball caps, hoods, buttoned up shirt, skinny pantaloons, Vans, attitude - stand to attention.
So props to Glaswegian Hudson Mohawke for doing his bit for the less immaculately turned out - he’s a big fella with lumps and bumps a plenty but somewhere within that frame is an ever burgeoning electronic hero on the brink of exploding. His biggest headline gig to date in the smoke showed just why the great and good of US r’n’b are getting their expensive knickers in a twist over his sonics - and why everyone else should be soggy with anticipation for his new album - the man has skillzzzzz.
After dining extravagantly at the nearby Wetherspoons (the Masque Haunt - the verdict? Great. What else?), and being greeted by an erstwhile blogger at the door looking for a spare ticket (Key ‘modest’ quote; ‘It’s pretty successful’) we entered XOYO’s interiors. And what did we find? Surprisingly, a ginger haired dude ripping up some serious funk on keys and a talk box to about 3 punters, one with a terrible tache doing his best to throw some serious dad-shaped moves. But bibbles aside, Redinho was the name of the man reeling around the stage, and one of the much feted new breed doing his business for the Numbers staple. Numbers has been one of the key platforms to elevate the likes of Hudmo and fellow Scots Rustie and Jackmaster to the big league. And although the talk box may be Redinho’s one trick, it’s definitely one worth keeping your ears peeled for.
Canadian producer and DJ Jacques Greene was up next with a sound closer to the r’n’b proffered by Hudmo - his latest mix for Allez Allez is a good indication of where this 20 year’s old musical head is at - somewhere between the syrupy chart hop of Drake and the heads down tech of Martyn. Although his mixing skills were, in some ways, refreshingly awry, his tune selection was bang on the money and had the now full room moving with him.
Jacques Greene Allez Allez Mix by DummyMag
So to the finale and Hudmo’s many layered, purple take on all things thunderous and electronic - He's definitely not one for much for visual pea cocking. With the exception of a light show and big screen featuring a raging Incredible Hulk, he spent the gig swaying behind his control panels but his music packs a powerful and seering punch.
Beginning with a swirling take on Bjork’s Crystalline, Hudmo spent the next hour or so conjuring up a bass heavy storm from his numerous knobs and buttons. Imagine a white Timbaland for a new generation which, in both physical shape and sound, the Scot bares more than a little resemblance to. Satin Panthers, the name of his latest EP, is a neat encapsulation of the electronica he’s pushing, it's heavy enough to feel it in your guts but with enough delicacy and decency to rely on more than just brute force. He led us by the hand through a set of mostly new materials before coming to a juddering climax with his first release, the bootleg of Tweet’s Oops. Rustie’s debut record may have just dropped to much acclaim but Hudmo is a few steps ahead. This maverick playa’s got plenty of play left him in. Play on…