HUDSON MOHAWKE - CRY SUGAR
Format: Compact Disc
01. Ingle Nook
07. Dance Forever
09. Is It Supposed
10. Lonely Days
12. Rain Shadow
14. 3 Sheets To The Wind
15. Some Buzz
17. Nork 69
18. Come A Little Closer
19. Ingle Nook Slumber
Hudson Mohawke officially returns to announce his forthcoming album, Cry Sugar due August 12th. With the announcement arriving alongside a new pair of singles in "Cry Sugar (Megamix)" and "Bicstan" plus an accompanying kingcon2k11-directed Megamix visualizer, in 2022, Hudson Mohawke cries sugar. On "Cry Sugar (Megamix)" Hudson takes various parts from the full album to offer a window into the projects full sonic palette ahead of release, while "Bicstan" dabs elements of Roland TB-303 flecked acid and driving gabber alongside floating, effervescent vocals and Kerri Chandler-esque house chords.
His third album, Cry Sugar, deepens his practice of producing motivational music for club goers-uplifting the debauchery and inspiring many through his own brand of anthemic maximalism. Trading in his lineage in dark UK back-alleys filled with Glaswegian antipathy for studio sessions with blazed Pavarotti-inspired tenors and drunk string quartets, Mohawke has dialed in an ongoing fascination with melding high and low culture. After all, he is indeed the architect for the high peaks of high-definition trap production that became embellished in the 2010s-a style that has been appropriated in everything from beer can littered college parties to Arbys commercials. American decadence, then, becomes a stage for his music to thrive-where the DJ booth becomes a composers podium for him to conduct the tense drama between debauchery and apocalypse, the "mise-en-scene" of club culture in 2022.
Recently, a day in the life of Hudson Mohawke often involves a 7am grill out session in an abandoned lot across the street from the club-coals blazing as the skeletal sound of cavernous bass echoes out from empty warehouses in morning twilight. These early dawn cookouts have become crucial post-rave rituals for Mohawke to stave off exhaustion and ennui. Mohawke has been "focusing on his health," taking cues from his new home in LA by trying out juice cleanses, meditation sessions, and stationary bike exercises. While smoke rises from the western Californian horizon, Mohawke flips grillables and offers sustenance to the last early morning ravers and revelers-a way to prioritize health and "give back" to sloshed club goers who made it far enough to see the morning light. Recently, he has also been participating in a series of Bob Ross-style still life and landscape painting classes for producers-where club producers and DJs meet up, paint together, and use the medium as a way of informing their own musical approach. Together electronic music enthusiasts paint everything from the busted Teslas parked outside the studio to trash heaps, scenes of the LA Observatory on fire, or the Santa Monica Pier sinking into the surf. Finding solace in such hobbyist activities imbues his recent work with a kind of optimism. Therein lies the possibility that we can continue finding meaning in our daily lives despite the multiple crises that 2022 leaves in its wake.
In this jack-of-all-trades spirit, Mohawke has also been conducting his own "anti-irony" clinics since before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, pioneering a motivational 12-step program that attempts to audit how culture juxtaposes traditionally highbrow or "serious" styles of music with uncool or overtly commercial tropes. The result has been a production style able to integrate elements of jazz fusion, prog rock, happy hardcore, chiptune, and more with formal educations in rave, hip-hop, soul, IDM, and glitch. The broad and complex nuance of all these genres and more has become the palette of the Hudson Mohawke sound.
Cry Sugar, serves as Hudson Mohawkes first work deeply informed by apocalyptic film scores and soundtracks by everyone from the late Vangelis to the goofy major-chord pomp of 90s John Williams. Cry Sugar also serves as Mohawkes own demented OST to score the twilight of our cultural meltdown. As the albums artwork (by Wayne horse Willehad Eilers) depicts-we are arm-in-arm with the Ghostbusters marshmallow man, returning home while swinging a bottle of Jack only to gaze out at the gray tempest of a coming catastrophe.
Despite the apocalyptic undercurrent, Mohawke foregrounds the iridescent vibrattos of gospel choirs, soul samples, and scat-sampling throughout Cry Sugar-scaling our bright human drama in the tumult. Known for his deft uses of fragmentation and deconstruction, Mohawke presents our fraught cultural moment as set against the quintessential backdrop of late capitalism-a tightrope walking between chaos and the unashamedly euphoric, between the erratic and the bold, the noisy and anthemic, the saccharine with the devastating. Cry Sugar becomes a testament of its namesake. In our most intimate, melancholic moments, something sweet and twisted emerges. A wry smile beneath the malice. In 2022, we cry sugar.