Hiko Momoji is a 19-year-old producer living in New York who first caught my ear on “Late Nights,” a seriously spectacular collaboration with Awful Records rappers Father and Abra. The track is one of five off his brief Howl EP, which we’re premiering today. The EP comes at an interesting time in Momoji’s trajectory — before embracing the gauzy, tropical production style exemplified on most of Howl, he delved far deeper into the trappy, TNGHT-inspired sound that has gained momentum over the last few years. The EP’s two final tracks “Elk” and “Karamachi” are much closer to this jittery maximalism than the opening three, revealing the shifts in his range. Momoji cites Cashmere Cat as a huge impact on his music, and you can hear that softer sheen on marshmallowy opener “Mirage Island” or on the shimmering title track, that splits the difference between bass drops and lighter, airy synths.
But aside from making his own music, the teenager is interested in providing a space for all kinds of collaborations, which is why he founded the Midtown-based Black Wax studio and creative consulting company along with his friend and fellow artist After The Smoke. The entirety of Howl was recorded at the studio, along with plenty of other music for the Awful Records crew.
In the spirit of multimedia and interactive musical experiences, Hiko also created a video game to accompany the EP. The Hikomon game (yes, it’s inspired by Pokémon) is available here, and it’s entirely soundtracked by Howl. If you beat the game, a download link for the EP pops up, although it’s also available to download on SoundCloud. But since you’re already here, you can also stream entire EP below.