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Randi Hernandez
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We Got the Beat: Hudson Mohawke

Hudswon Mohawke

Hudswon Mohawke

Considering how fantastic a producer J. Dilla was, it must be very daunting for 22-year old newcomer Hudson Mohawke to be labeled as the next “Disciple of Dilla.” (XLR8R Magazine, April 2007) But Hudson, who also goes by Hudson Mo or simply Hud Mo, has had an impressive resume so far and at the rate he’s going, he may just live up to this moniker.

Hud Mo started his hip-hop career working as a producer, focusing specifically on instrumentals and beats. At age 15, he became the youngest UK DMC Finalist ever and is currently the Scottish ITF Champion. In order to pique the public’s interest in the Hip-Hop of Glasgow, Scotland, Hud Mo literally scoured the local clubs and the Glasgow School of Art to find like-minded individuals on the same quest to promote unique music and artwork. A collective of movers and shakers called LuckyMe (LuckyMe) was formed, and soon the crew started releasing music under a label of the same name.

After numerous EP releases on LuckyMe, including one as part of the group Surface Emp with Dom Sum and a few as part of the group Heralds of Change with Mike Slott, Hudson Mohawke was signed to label Warp Records in 2007 and released the EP PolyFolk Dance in 2009.

So, what does this cat really sound like? Although the musicians of LuckyMe do not seem to like categorizations (their blog notes that “people are letting genre names fall out the side of their mouth like the crumbs on Cookie Monster”), others are claiming that the music deserves its own genre, one that is called “Wonky.” The word wonky implies an unevenness: something in the beat is slightly off, and this creates a listening experience unlike that of one you would normally have with a typical pop song. It is for this reason why I think he is most often compared to Jay Dee, because his beats are somewhat avant-garde. Additionally, both Hud Mo and Jay Dee often incorporate human voice/vocalists in the background of their songs.

Hudson Mohawke

Hudson Mohawke

Wonky is considered to have some of the same stylistic origins as Crunk, Dubstep, Electro, Downtempo, Techno, and Grime, amongst others. The wonky sound, which has also been dubbed “aquacrunk”, (Pitchfork) usually consists of “unstable mid-range synths” made with a music sequencer (Wikipedia). Hud Mo’s beats have all that AND a bag of bass for your face. Standout tracks include “Overnight”, “Polkadot Blues”, and the Dilla-esque “Monde”.

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