No vowels, no features, no frills, no nonsense — and for six years, no music, either. Nobody could accuse TNGHT of overdoing it. Their second EP, ‘TNGHT II’, dropped this week to the same raucous reception as their self-titled debut did in 2012.
The duo — sorry, side-project (more on that later) — are Hudson Mohawke and Lunice, two electronically-minded solo artists who share a fondness for rap and an impish sense of humour. Hudson Mohawke is a multi-talented producer on the cusp of the A-list. He’s soundtracked video games and Apple adverts, spun quasi-legendary hip-hop sets, and received production credits on avant-pop records by FKA twigs and Anohni. He answers questions in fluent Glaswegian, swearing prolifically and laughing often.
Lunice, who produces under his real first name and comes from Montreal, met his cohort after his local party crew Turbo Crunk linked up with Scottish label LuckyMe through MySpace. He appeared in Azealia Banks’s smash-hit ‘212’ video, has collaborated with Denzel Curry, Rick Ross, and Diplo, and once supported Madonna on tour. “I’ve never seen something like that,” Madonna told him after his set. His hyper live energy (as seen in his 2014 Boiler Room) shines in conversation, his ebullient responses spoken through a grin that’s obvious even over the phone.
Together, Hudson Mohawke and Lunice make dizzy, loud dance music that’s been variously classified as trap, hip-hop, and EDM. Their first release, ‘Higher Ground,’ was included in Pitchfork’s recent Top 200 Songs of the Decade list, a once ubiquitous club track that rudely hacked apart Julie McKnight’s 2002 house tune ‘Home’ and added a thunderous brass bassline. Its success outstripped anything either of them had done before, becoming a sports stadium anthem in the States and even being ripped off by a Mountain Dew advertisment.
When it arrived, the ‘TNGHT’ EP sounded unlike anything else around. Now there’s lots of stuff that sounds like it, from ‘Harlem Shake’ to the Rick James-sampling second half of Kendrick Lamar’s ‘DNA.’ Their new record, ‘TNGHT II’, somehow repeats the trick, this time referencing trance and hardcore alongside trap and hip-hop while comfortably avoiding any simple categorisation.