Hudson Mohawke: “The TNGHT Record Spawned Kind Of A Parody Genre”

In a recent interview with Pitchfork, Hudson Mohawke was fairly candid about his feelings regarding TNGHT, the production duo he formed with Lunice and then later disbanded. Their duo was widely regarded as almost revolutionary in its approach to beat-making and electronic production, but from Mohawke’s perspective, staying “cutting edge” wasn’t on his mind:

It’s not something I think about at all. It wasn’t something I thought about when doing the TNGHT stuff, either. When myself and Lunice did the TNGHT project, it was not even intended for release. That’s basically why we decided to put it on hiatus for a while, because we felt like — without wanting to sound too arrogant — what that record spawned became kind of a parody genre. We just wanted to make some instrumental beats and put them out, we weren’t expecting it to be this crazy EDM festival shit. So while the crowds and fees and festival stages are getting bigger, in some sense the open-mindedness of the audiences that are attending those shows is becoming slightly narrower. I could never had played something like “Kettles” at a show like that. That’s why we wanted to refocus on our own projects. So we haven’t quit the project, but there won’t be anymore TNGHT music until both of our solo records are released.

Honestly, he’s kind of right about the parody genre thing. TNGHT’s cartoonish maximalism only worked because Lunice and Hudson Mohawke always knew precisely when to fine-tune and hone it back to an elegant point. In less capable hands it did devolve into a caricature.

Mohawke also discussed the idea of taking on a more executive producer role for his new album Lantern, a concept he credits to none other than Kanye West:

It’s something I’ve learned from Kanye: You have a core idea, and someone else might have an opinion or input that you would never necessarily think of yourself. To have people’s opinions who I really respect—such as Mark Ronson or Zane Lowe—involved in the process is a totally different way of working compared to my last solo record, which was entirely done in my mom’s basement with me hunched over my computer—which harkened back to my turntablist days where I’d be home from school and hunched over turntables for like 10 hours. So this album marks a totally different way for producing for me, because it’s more like conducting a project rather than it being just myself doing stuff and sending files over the Internet.

The one regret for the record? No Andre 3000. Though it wasn’t able to come together, he said he really wanted a feature from the legendary Outkast rapper:

We really wanted to get André 3000. He said he wanted to do it but he was working on a movie at the time. But even that would have been more in a singing capacity rather than a rap capacity.

The whole interview is excellent, and you can read the full thing here. And while you’re thinking about HudMo, check out his latest release and my favorite song of his to date, “Ryderz.”

Lantern is out 6/16 on Warp.