Hudson Mohawke - B.B.H.E.

  • A grab bag of unreleased goodies spanning the Scottish producer's career.
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  • Finding Hudson Mohawke's music can be like following a trail of crumbs. There are countless tracks that exist only as radio rips or in mixes, seemingly lost to time as new material overshadows old favourites. Sometimes these goodies appear seemingly out of nowhere, like when the Scottish producer quietly put the long sought-after anthem "Scud Books" on his second album, Lantern. B.B.H.E. aims to address the problem, at least partially. It's part of an effort to officially release older material that Mohawke rediscovered around the start of the coronavirus lockdown. Presented in mixtape form, B.B.H.E. is a refreshingly casual and occasionally brilliant look at the work of a producer who could probably make anthemic hip-hop beats blindfolded with one hand tied behind his back. This mixtape is not the momentous holy grail that some fans might hope for—"Zebrass," for example, is nowhere to be found—but its gleefully scattershot focus retains the humour and irreverence of Mohawke's music, which can be lost on his grandiose album efforts. Jumping between short sketches and fleshed-out songs, you get the kind of horn-driven, triumphant beats he was making for Pusha T and Lil Wayne circa 2013 ("Brooklyn"), as well as the IDM-adjacent glitchy mania of his earliest work ("Animo," "Mandarania"). Though some tracks run less than a minute, they're overflowing with ideas, hectic sounds that influenced legions of followers like Flume to get weird and wacky within the boom-bap framework. The biggest attractions on B.B.H.E. are the songs that give you exactly what you want. The closer "Monte Fisto" is like "Scud Books" redux, with massive drums and tender piano underlining Mohawke's orchestral side, while "100Hm" has a pipe organ that swirls and layers into a massive wall of sound. Then there's the pretty, almost delicate "Tar," a HudMo ballad of sorts. "Tar" is the greatest treasure on B.B.H.E., with gorgeous plucked strings and psychedelic speedy percussion, jumping through about ten different discrete passages loaded with effects and twee instrumentation. It sounds like an outpouring of feelings that can't quite be controlled. If there was ever one track that summed up the day-glo, off-kilter funk of HudMo's music, "Tar" might just be it.
  • Tracklist
      01. Brooklyn 02. Mandarania 03. Spruce Illest Bumper 04. Animo 05. Beyond 06. Tar 07. 100HM 08. Wellpark 09. Rosado 10. Macanudo 11. Herberts 12. Pushin The Levels 13. Liquid Heat 14. Monte Fisto