Ross Birchard, better known as Hudson Mohawke, Hudson Mo, or simply HudMo, has been consistently delivering sharp stabs of genre-bending splendour since releasing Ooops! in 2008. His debut LP, Butter, awarded him critical accalim as he displayed his talents for a multitude of different methods. This venture also firmly established him as one of Warp Records’ rising stars. As Butter’s 18 tracks have been left to melt in the hands of fans for the past two years, everyone’s itching to see what kind of vicious playground electronica Birchard is going to serve up next. The solution comes in the form of Satin Panthers, a five-track EP that’s bursting with dirt and glitter.
One thing to note about Hudson Mohawke is his unwillingness to be tied down to one genre. A brief look at any of his releases will reveal a huge variance in style and technique. Satin Panthers takes this a step further, as each individual track contains a host of different forms. ‘Thunder Bay’, for example, has elements of glitch-hop, R&B, UK garage, dubstep, and ’80s synth-pop embedded within its cheeky walls – pretty impressive for a song that lasts just over three minutes. In somewhat of a similar manner lies ‘All Your Love’; similar in the sense that both tracks dabble in a number of genres, but they differ greatly in quality – the latter being the much stronger of the two. As with many of HudMo’s tracks there’s a slight obstacle to climb in the form of vocals. They tend to lean towards the cheesy side, which can be a bit off-putting. Yet with this tune they seem so fitting that it’s hard to imagine them anywhere else. These vocals, along with the innocent synth loops and washy background drum patterns make the whole thing delightfully tacky.
In true HudMo style, Satin Panthers is covered with a thick layer of candy floss. Despite its darker electronic undertones it is still overtly a poppy recording. For many, this will be a stickler and will probably prevent them from ever truly getting HudMo. As for the people who’ve already accepted this outlandishly kitsch approach, you’ll eat this up.