The surprise comeback record you didn't know you wanted.
A lot has happened since TNGHT's first EP came out in 2012. For one, in 2013 Kanye West released Yeezus, one the decade's most-discussed albums. The TNGHT-produced track "Blood On The Leaves" marked the moment that Hudson Mohawke and Lunice became mainstream production A-listers, if "Higher Ground" from that first EP hadn't already secured them a spot.
What TNGHT created got too big for their own liking, and they put the project on hold shortly after. Their music seemed to trigger the explosion of EDM trap, a fusion of rattling beats and in-your-face drops. As HudMo explained to Dazed, "We felt like the genre that stuff became wasn't really in line with us as people. It got into the same scenario as dubstep, where it became very bro-ish."
They reunite for TNGHT II six years later. The production tricks—chopped vocals, crunching bass and big drops—remain, but it's not pure throwback. On "First Body," they apply their sound to a reggaeton-esque dembow. (In today's post-"Despacito" world, reggaeton rivals trap as one of pop music's most ubiquitous sounds.) "What_it_is" is more laid-back and danceable than anything they released last time round, with something incredibly satisfying about the way they chopped its vocal sample.
"Serpent," "Dollaz" and "Gimme Summn" come closest to the massive, hollowed out hip-hop beats of "Higher Ground" or "Bugg'n." In these tracks, each element—the bass, percussion, vocal chops—sounds finely tuned and sharply defined against the rest of the arrangement, stripped back for impact. The ability to keep it spacious, even when things get raucous, was always what separated TNGHT from "bro-ish" EDM imitators.
As they declared themselves, "This is a side project, and it's fun, and we want to keep it fun." Had TNGHT done what was expected of them six years ago, and carried on churning out bigger, brasher tunes, it's easy to see how it might have got old quickly. Instead, they retain the casual approach that made things fun last time. TNGHT II is the surprise comeback record I didn't know I wanted.
A3 First Body
A4 Club Finger
B3 Im In A Hole
B4 Gimme Summn