His reverence for the rich history of hip-hop and dance music has not only helped him become one of music’s greatest innovators, but it’s also the reason why he can seamlessly transition from dance music to hip-hop and back. Surprisingly, HudMo’s father’s short-lived rap career wasn’t the starting point for his love of hip-hop, but it can instead be attributed to his early days delving into the samples of upbeat hardcore records. At the time, the genre was called bouncy tech and consisted of accelerated drum breaks, rap songs and DJ Scratch records with turntables. When Birchard himself got into turntablism, he began to tune in to East Coast hip-hop. “I really like DJ Premier and Pete Rock and all that stuff. That was like my favorite damn shit.”
Just as up-and-coming rappers will hand out their mixtapes on the bustling streets of Times Square, as a preteen, Brichard composed upbeat hardcore mixes and sold them around his local playgrounds. He even made the cover illustrations by hand, cutting excerpts from various magazines, copying them and pasting them on the front cover of the covers.
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Although he made his presence known online with sites like MySpace and SoundCloud, the producer recognizes the value of physical art. “It’s a different experience to be physically engaged with a work of art in your hand. I think you are unconsciously addressing another part of your mind. You just react differently when you physically hold something.” At a time when the world has been isolated for nearly two years and the music and live event industry has moved to digital only, it became clear that we take the physical experience for granted. HudMo recalls a conversation he had in Glasgow a month ago with people who had their first club night and had cassette tapes made for it. “The feeling when you first hold a tape or CD or vinyl, or the first time you throw a party… you have a feeling of, like, this exists in real life.”
‘Cry Sugar’ takes us on a 62-minute hallucinogenic trip to our deepest emotions through frantic introspective, groove-coaxing tunes. It not only honors the inner work that everyone has done in solitude, but also celebrates the reopening of our real experiences – in an era when everyone just wants to dance again, and finally can.
Hudson Mohawke ‘Cry Sugar’ is out now, download it here
Arielle Lana LeJarde is a freelance writer, follow her Twitter