Oval Space, London | November 15th
Hudson Mohawke and Lunice are established heavyweights in the world of Electronic Music, 2012. While many may have foreseen their collaborative effort as a sign of where the world of music is headed, what this turbo trendy show in Bethnal Green showcased was less a glimpse of what’s to come than a total microcosm of exactly what is happening right now.
There was no support, and the pre-show lighting consisted mainly of TNGHT’s crescent moon logo being faintly projected onto the bare brickwork. When the duo eventually strolled onto the stage amidst a mass of smoke and anticipation, expectations could barely have been higher. The opening scratches and whirs took things to further echelons, and as soon as the Glasgow/Montreal double-act let loose, pairing a ballsy foghorn hook with an offbeat trap drum line, the sound was officially established: all the frenetic, wild energy of artists like Waka Flocka Flame and Hit-Boy perfectly compressed into one maximal blast.
Hudson Mohawke’s production on Kanye and Co’s Mercy paved the way for a frenzied rework of the track, its hook providing one of the show’s most anthemic moments. Various nods to contemporary rap reared their heads throughout, the finest example being the pair’s encore of Darq E Freaker feat. Danny Brown’s Blueberry, where the lyrics “Crazy. Psycho. Deranged.” became clear instructions for the crowd.
The side stage audience included Flying Lotus, this most revered of figures visibly fist pumping to the triumphant sound of Higher Ground, the drop of which was predictably enormous. While Mohawke sported a fully zipped up anorak, spending the show focusing fully, Lunice would jet round from behind the decks every other song, revelling in the extreme atmosphere he was co-creating. A feeling of victory and brash blatancy ruled, exemplified in EP cuts Goooo and Bugg’n, displaying that exaggerated aggression, a further realisation of this ramped-up take on rap music.
This duo have forge a pitch-perfect, vibrant summary of where electronic music is at; a sound born out of a relentless style of music, where lyrics and vision are sidelined and sheer velocity is the prime concern. As TNGHT leave the stage for the final time, the crowd may not be leaving the venue with an insight in to the future of dance music, but they leave safe in the knowledge that as it stands, we have ourselves a bona fide A-team.
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Words: Duncan Harrison