Hudson Mohawke Lantern Warp
It can sometimes be hard to know exactly how much fun we are supposed to be having. Favouring a shroud of irony over sincerity, expressions of open enjoyment leave us vulnerable, looking over our shoulders, second-guessing whether or not anyone else is going to join in. It is this climate that makes what Hudson Mohawke has achieved with his second solo album actually quite remarkable. From start to finish, its intent is to encourage serious, aggressive, uninhibited joy. This is euphornography.
The idiosyncrasies of his first record Butter, the maximalism of his work for GOOD Music and the fervour of TNGHT are all present in Lantern. And after years of contributing and collaborating, this is Hudson Mohawke’s time to take centre stage. Even the tracks with features from the likes of Miguel, Antony Hegarty, and Jhené Aiko, can’t distract from the confidence of identity expressed by their conductor. In fact, the record stretches in a number of directions, playfully darting between orchestral arrangements and RnB jams; the opulent scale of Kettles offset by the poignant delicacy of Indian Steps.
Yes there are “big tunes”, and you can expect to hear Ryderz at basically every single festival you go to this summer. It could easily be levelled that Hudson Mohawke’s sound is all about scale, and the album does sound huge both in instrumentation and ambition. Yet to only hear the size of it all is to miss the album’s key theme: to make music that sincerely sounds of happiness. Just as it is easier to send a thousand flirty, sarcastic texts than to say, “I love you”, Lantern takes the step to actually sound as big as we can all feel. With this foundation, the floor-filling drops he has made his name with are endowed with more purpose than ever. Lantern will challenge you not to start enjoying yourself, and it will always win.