Some of the most important albums in the history of Warp have in reality been co-productions with other labels: Jamie Lidell’s first album has the Spymania logo stamped on the back of it and Boards Of Canada’s also bore the Skam logo, remember. This 12” - which can pass for the best Warp title of 2012, as long as we agree that Squarepusher has also put out a monster of an LP - is, appropriately, a 50% deal with LuckyMe. The Scottish platform has been a quarry of new talent for Warp lately, one that Warp has mined with criteria and appreciation, starting with Hudson Mohawke and ending, for now, with Rustie. TNGHT is the collaborative project of HudMo (the Warp part) and Canadian Lunice, who is holding up the LuckyMe banner - although, who knows, he might feel like a change of scenery one day. And speaking of a change, we have the sound of “TNGHT EP”, a collection of bouncy bangers with a Southern heritage that puts ultra-digital hip hop back on the map of present club music, making it important again.
It seems that in order to come together in TNGHT, Hudson and Lunice both had to give up some of their own aesthetic features to find a common ground. For example, there is none of that twisted boogie-disco that characterises the Scot’s sound, or that elastic funk-pop that we found in “Butter”; Lunice, in turn, sacrifices house beats and his tendency to practice dance music with orthodox moments, European-style. The meeting point, however, doesn’t take any identity away from either of them. They’ve got five memorably fat beats that take the club hip hop of The Neptunes to Manieri-like extremes. “Bugg’n”, for example, is the typical bass that Pharrell and Hugo would have served up to Clipse, but more anabolic, rounder, with a fuller sound, yet equally minimalistic and thudding. They then form sound figures that suggest ideas of partying and madness: break-out moments during a club night, that entry of a violent bass or an intense break that makes the body react as if it had been injected with steroids. This is where the clear allusion to night in the project’s name, TNGHT comes from, a celebration of the here and now.
“Top Floor” has those same ingredients: a bass that’s more resounding than an echo in the Himalayas, a broken bass appropriate for rap from Houston or Atlanta, and vocal samples that could have come from a terror soundtrack, as if they represented the final moments before you slip into an overwhelming lethargy caused by the effects of codeine. “Goooo” has its roots in hardcore-techno, so that a dark, dramatic chord flies over another demented crunk beat and a bass that simulates the noise of shots or of the slamming of a door, while the melody develops in a terrible spiral. “Higher Ground” plays straightforwardly with grime; a female voice (but one that sounds like a gremlin), fanfares, a nervous box and an invasive beat, Terror Danjah-style. And to finish it off, there is “Easy Easy”, which sums up a moment closer to the B-more sound, which is like saying that Pharrell sound of the beginning, taken to a chaos of epic proportions. These are five songs that are real bangers, which wreak more havoc - short-circuited neurons, weakness of the knees - when they are listened to at a properly high volume. TNGHT can’t stop here: they should put out more EPs, think of an album, become a common-law couple, or something.