"...a grandiose first step"
Hudson Mohawke- Butter

Riding a tidal wave of hype, Hudson Mohawke’s debut album comes splashing at our shore.

However while the Glasgow hip hop boffin intrigues on his first full length effort he never quite nails the kaleidoscope of ideas that filter through his mind. Running to some eighteen tracks ‘Butter’ can hardly be accused of short changing fans – especially when coming on the back of the acclaimed ‘Polyfolk Dance EP’.

Yet there is always the nagging sense of decisions not being made, as if Hudson Mohawke is almost hedging his bets by refusing to focus on one idea. When ‘Butter’ comes together though the juxtaposition of slick R&B and skittering beats results in some of the most forward thinking productions in Britain today. Tracks such as ‘No One Could Ever’ erupt with the sort of nonchalance only a producer barely out of his teens could muster, while ‘FUSE’ sounds like a dose of Glaswegian rain falling on a perfect Californian beach.

Contributions from LuckyMe associates such as Nadsroic allow Hudson Mohawke to channel his ideas, however Olivier Daysoul’s input is best avoided. Honed in the clubs of Glasgow, ‘Butter’ is a bizarre idealised version of America gone wrong that seems to collapse with the introduction of a genuine bona fide Yank. Continually shifting between styles, using various eras as points of reference the album is capable of producing some startling moments. ‘Star Crackout’ sounds – whisper it – like a lost folktronica track, which is perhaps unsurprising given Four Tet’s love of classic hip hop.

Stuttering to a halt after some fifty minutes of pulsating production, ‘Butter’ seems like a grandiose first step rather than a definitive statement – which is perhaps just as well, given the media bombast that surrounds him. Hudson Mohawke might not be the messiah, but he is a very naughty boy.

7/10

Words by Robin Murray
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