Hudson Mohawke Hudson MohawkeSatin Panthers
WARP (WAP313, 12” + CD + digital)
According to the legend, the Gods created cats so that man could be close to tigers and panthers without having to fear being devoured. Much the same way, Hudson Mohawke created “Satin Panthers” so that we can feel the sexual excitement of funk - and the thickness of its sounds - without having to be exposed directly to the extra fat and aggressive models he's inspired by. We can enjoy the exaggerated bass and neon synths coming right at us with their claws wide open; understating they will not harm us in any way. In short, the Scot's satin panthers are like cats, scaled models that have all the features of a brutal sound but can be enjoyed without the risk of any bodily harm. A sonic beast condensed to 16 minutes of swollen breaks and high-pitched noise.
When Hudson Mohawke released his debut album “Butter” (Warp, 2009), some people didn't think he lived up to the hype: there was talk of the record being unfocussed, of the artist wanting to do too many things and only excelling at a few. You could argue that, certainly, but it's definitely not the case on “Satin Panthers”. The five tracks are made using the same raw material and sound palette - whilst “Butter” might suffer from loss of focus at times - the man is always spot on now. “Octan” sets the shining tone with a devastating arpeggio and solemn notes, as if he wanted to compose a funk symphony, whilst “Thunder Bay” features HudMo's toughest ever beats – furious drums wrapped in a cacophony of children's voices, booty incisions and cosmic synths inherited from the rave tradition. Those are the two extremes the rhythm moves between: sex and fury. “Cbat” sounds like a beat by Pharrell Williams in a mad house, while “All Your Love” could be the wonky version of The-Dream's R&B and “Thank You” is like Flying Lotus after a year of hard training and frantic raving. If HudMo manages to make his upcoming album sound consistently like this, believe us, there will be a baby boom nine months later.