INPUT | Hudson Mohawke, Kwes and Trippy Turtle with Mark E and Roy Dank in the Panther Room
74 Wythe Avenue
New York, NY, 11211
Ross Birchard is one of the most exciting record producers to come out of Scotland in the last ten years, seducing rap-heads and ravers alike with his neon-lit R&B and warehouse smashing low-end beats. Now, as the unlikely poster boy for a new generation of genre-mangling UK artists, he's touring his live festival & club shows across the globe & producing for chart- topping urban-pop names like Kanye West, Drake and Azealia Banks.
Hip Hop has always been at Birchardʼs beating heart. A champion DJ by 15 he emerged in his late teens as Hudson Mohawke, a founding member of the record label LuckyMe at the creative nexus of Glasgow's electronic scene - a neo-noir comic book character determined to redefine the 'super producer': a role where the underground is the mainstream and the rule book fits in 140 characters or less.
He is certainly on course. HudMo, as he is affectionately known, quickly became Glasgowʼs secret weapon; signing album deals from early demos with the gold standard of electronic music Warp Records. Among the ranks of Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Squarepusher, Flying Lotus and fellow LuckyMe cohort Rustie, he continues to perfect his sound: classic soul samples siphoned through bombastic air horns, heart-aching top line melody floating above rattling half-time tempos. A truly modern artist belonging to true-hip hopʼs lineage, but equally inspired by the pop/soul hybrids of Quincy Jones. The main room happy hardcore rave and the deep, dark roots of techno are all viscerally acknowledged in this music - even at it's most pop.
Hudson Mohawke has been a name present in hotlists since his first LP outting 'Butter' back in 2009, but it appears 2012 is his brightest yet. New credits seem to emerge daily from the highest ranks of the majors. He's tasted the US Billboard charts with one of the yearʼs best received EPs as TNGHT (alongside Montreal's Lunice). With recent love from Rolling Stone, Fader, NME, Spin, The Guardian, Dazed, The Independent, Vice, Notion, XLR8R, Fact & many more - Hudson Mohawke maintains that holy ground between cult DJ and arena-smashing producer. He packs out shows from Shoreditch to SXSW causing avid moshpits and roadblock queues to a young, smart and open minded audience. Who else today unites the affections of Kanye West to Bjork, Just Blaze to Battles, Drake to Fourtet. This is no longer the hot name we're waiting for the world to catch up on - from the ground up to the top down people know Hudson Mohawke is ready to change the game.
“Driving past a music instrument shop in my granddad’s car. Friday evenings at my grandparents with chip-shop food and toys to hand, watching Top Of The Pops…the two-tier Yamaha Electone organ at their house. The first toy keyboard my grandmother gave me for my 7th birthday and my radio and tape recorder with built-in microphone, which my parents gave me for my 10th birthday. Probably hearing Rick James’ writing/production on the Mary Jane Girls album whilst in primary school.”
A brief, nostalgic jaunt through a musical adolescence that probably feels quite familiar to many. Growing up in South London holds a special kind of cache´ at the moment, what with its proclivity for breeding forward-thinking electronic producers – however it was the precious humdrum of home that inspired Kwes’ approach to his craft. “As a kid, I watched television, I listened to the radio a lot, read magazines, listened to loads of vinyl, CDs, tapes, and I was a teenager when the internet became faster and online music outlets became more widespread. In short, I didn’t get out much.”
All that studious pop-culture intake wouldn’t take long to manifest itself as Kwes quickly excelled as a masterful musical multitasker, honing his approach to producing, songwriting, DJing and playing a handful of instruments. Soon came a precocious debut single for XL, “Hearts In Home/Tissues” was a startling combination of Kwes’ lilting melancholic vocals and unassumingly virtuosic leftfield production. Surveying the current musical landscape shows just how far ahead of its time the single would be. Next came Kwes’ production and remix work for a host of peers: Micachu, The xx, Elan Tamara, Hot Chip, Damon Albarn’s Monkey Opera and The Invisible to name but a few. Says Kwes on his production endeavors, “producing for another is essentially interpreting for a wider audience to grasp and experience. I suppose I do the same thing for myself. Another constant is putting my all and passion into anything I work on.”
All these studio hours plus time spent on the road playing live with Ebony Bones, Jack Penate and Leftfield meant that it would take some time for the next solo release from Kwes, but it was well worth the wait. Last year’s No Need To Run EP on Young Turks was an instrumental mini-epic drawing on moody ambient pop and hyper-melodic beat compositions and while showing yet another side to the young producer, shined the spotlight ever closer to Kwes’ own creations. “I feel my music fits around many heads of many sizes and mental dispositions. I make my own music for myself first and then of course for anyone who wants to listen to it.”
On the heels of the EP came a pair of exciting production projects with two of the most exciting young voices in UK hip-hop. Along with Joe Goddard of Hot Chip and Micachu, Kwes produced the lion’s share of breakout MC DELS’ full-length debut, a feat followed by producing Speech Debelle’s follow-up to the Mercury Prize winning Speech Therapy. Now, with his debut Warp release in the works, in addition to the genre-spanning second volume of he and Micachu’s “Kwesachu“ mixtape series and ever more production sessions, Kwes has another busy year lined up – albeit one that should see that spotlight squarely upon him.
From growing up in San Francisco, playing drums in school bands, to honing his craft as a teenager in New Orleans, and later moving to New York City, Jim-E Stack channels his world into a heartfelt sound, deeply rooted in house music. To listen to his music is to feel from his skin.
Heathered Pearls is the alias of Polish-born Jakub Alexander, music curator of the IS050 Blog, and founder of Moodgadget Records. Jakub has been DJing over a decade sharing residencies early on with globally recognized DJs Matthew Dear and Ryan Elliott in Ann Arbor, MI then moved on to Brooklyn to play along side slow motion disco duo Worst Friends.
Jakub is known to share that crowd-pleasing hypnotic end of rhythmic day time disco, synth induced melodic electronic and swell filled post
rock but always comes back to disco.
The Heathered Pearls project isn't only a DJ alias; in 2011, Ghostly International's Ghostly Music Service released Jakub's debut LP Polite Isle, which included 3 EP's done in 2011 along with a couple of singles combined into one release.
In recent years he's played at the MoMA in Manhattan, held an exciting weekly at Brooklyn Bowl called "Soon To Be Innocent Fun" and has shared the bill with many musicians at The Glasslands and Cameo Gallery.
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