Hudson Mohawke didn’t want to give a tracklist for this exclusive FADER mix, perhaps because he didn’t want us to know the contents of the inside of his mind. Beatboxing, grime, new jack swing, glitchy stuff with big bass, futuristic R&B all make up parts of the mix, just like they do his music. Mohawke’s debut album Butter was just released and it’s a doozy, steady beat-based but completely manic with extra flairs zesting every track. The man has an eye for detail. If you haven’t yet checked out his music, download this killer primer he made of Butter and then check out his mix below. You should also check out his video game, Butterstar Galactica,” where you get to be a piece of butter. After the jump, we checked in with young Hudson about dream states, R&B hopes and weed.
Download: Hudson Mohawke FADER Mix
Can you describe the magical place one gets to by falling asleep with a mirror that is mentioned in an interlude on your album?
Yesss. Well you can basically see it on the cover of the record. we just wanted to try n put across a kind of psychedelic/childlike fantasy style vibe to set the scene before the “Joy Fantastic” track. Almost like half Return to Oz, half Never Ending Story, or like Imagination-land from Southpark, heh. It’s pure fun, but with a kind of twisted underbelly.
You have collaborations on your album with Olivier Daysoul and Dam-Funk. Who writes the lyrics for those songs? How do those collaborations work?
It’s different for each track, myself and Olivier have done some stuff in the past so we have a fairly good dynamic, sometimes I have a rough version of the track already, he always gets my ideas straight away as well, and he starts writing and we sort of go back ‘n forth, he does most of the writing and I do most of the production and we kind of advise each other along the way until we’ve built something we both think is hitting the spottt. With Dam, it was our first collab. We had been talking about doing it for a while and eventually got down to doing it, we are planning to do more tracks, and I think we might be doing a joint US tour next year.
You’ve also expressed an appreciation for En Vogue. Who else would you be interested in collaborating with in the future? Any R&B artists?
Yeah, I have been approached by a few people…but none of it is really set in stone yet, but there’s a possibility to do some stuff for Rihanna, I think I am gonna be doing production for some new Erykah Badu material, in the UK I am doing a bit of work with Kele from Bloc Party. I did some work for Ikey from Mars Volta, I like to do quite a wide range of collabs. Hopefully I’ll get to do something for President Carter at some point…
When you were a teenager, you were using Music and Music 2000 for Playstation to create beats. What do you think of something like DJ Hero?
I haven’t tried it yet actually, but I imagine its more kind of game oriented rather than just being an actual sequencer. I think cos Music and Music 2000 were around before there was this boom in musical games, there wasn’t a pressure for them to be constant fun, they could literally just make a music sequencer and leave it at that. I just tried Timbaland’s Beaterator on PSP, its a little like the old Music games but again the focus is more on the live button bashing ‘loop jamming’ elements rather than actually creating. I think it would be hard for another game to do the same today, cos Music/Music2000 definitely didn’t have any kind of instant “wow” factor (except for a video of David Morales in the intro, heh), you just had to sit down and work at it but that was the beauty of it.
Is your strategy for making mixes and DJing similar to how you create original music? Speaking of, how do you make your shit sound like that? Because it’s kind of wild.
I actually saw, when I got featured on the fader blog there was some quote about that I must be using some crazy technical software, etc but basically I do everything on FruityLoops. I think the way the album turned out, it is quite similar to how I structure a mixtape or a dj set, I think its rubbed off from the turntablist days, lots of short tracks and switching between different tempo’s and styles.
Do you ever get super high and listen to you own music and be like “Oh shit this sounds kind of crazy?”
Heh, yea I used to be all about that. Not so much these days cos I get a bit overwhelmed and start having panic attacks n stuff, hehe. I still listen really critically to everything I do though.