- After first crippling structural boundaries with his promo-only Hudson's Heeters mixtape, some of which evolved into the Polyfolk Dance EP which dropped on Warp earlier this year, Hudson Mohawke, AKA Ross Birchard, has maintained his stance as an excitable producer with a child-like, frontier-less outlook and a healthy penchant for mutilating vocals into helium powered chops. His unquenchable enthusiasm for painting his beats with harsh strokes of squashed pitch glitches and unquantizable drum programming has given him the opportunity to constantly experiment, enabling him to simultaneously sit next to the battered lean of Rustie, the enveloping apocalypse of Flying Lotus and the future soul of Dam Funk.
His debut album, Butter, opens with a suitably sexed-up Sesame Street introduction, as Birchard welcomes us into his head, walking us through his thoughts, propelling us purposefully with vibrant chords and pompous guitar solos before opener proper, "Gluetooth," which skips from the lovable splash of the opening piano into cut-up glory and kick drum thump mania, before he strips back the colourful instrumentation and lets the power of the bolshy bassline propel the track.
It's the perfect example of Birchard's hyperactivity and constant merging of styles, a trait that is Butter's most endearing aspect. He runs through many styles throughout the 18 tracks—stylophone scales on "Rising 5," computer torture and trumpets on "ZOo00OOm," panpipe hysterics on "FUSE," drum rolls and string stabs on "No One Could Ever"—and eloquently stamps them all with his own uniquely manic drum work and, incredibly, manages to make them all sound uniquely different but intrinsically him.
Butter isn't the most cohesive of albums—though the vocal spots courtesy of Olivier Saysoul ("Joy Fantastic" and "Just Decided") convey a kind of skittish Bootsy Collins oddball vibe perfectly. It's erratic, often as purposefully stupid as it is sexy. But that brazen "I-don't-give-a-fuck-yo-I'll-do-what-gets-ME-off" attitude—the type of approach that has always made his music so different, so vibrant and so truly special—is thankfully omnipresent, marking Butter as an album that could have only been made by Hudson Mohawke.
01. Shower Melody
03. Joy Fantastic feat. Daysoul
06. Fruit Touch
08. Acoustic Lady
09. Rising 5
10. Twistclip Loop
11. Just Decided feat. Oliver Daysoul
12. No One Could Ever
13. Velvet Peel
14. Tell Me What You Want From Me feat. Dam Funk
16. Star Crackout
17. Allhot feat. Nadsroic
18. Black N Red