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 why he’s able to transition from dance music to to hip hop and vice versa, seamlessly. Surprisingly, HudMo’s dad’s short rap career wasn’t the starting point for his love of hip hop, but rather it can be attributed to his early days rummaging through happy hardcore record samples. At the time, the genre was called bouncy tech and included fast-paced drum breaks, rap songs, and platinum-selling DJ Scratch. Then, when Birchard got into turntablism himself, he started aligning himself with East Coast hip hop. “I really love DJ Premier and Pete Rock and all that stuff. It was just like my favorite fucking shit.
Similar to how up-and-coming rappers will distribute their mixtapes on the bustling streets of Times Square, as a preteen, Brichard put together cheerful hardcore mixes and sold them around his local playgrounds. He even made the cover by hand, cutting out excerpts from various magazines, photocopying them, and pasting them onto the front of the strips.
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Although he has 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 physically engage with a work of art in your hand. I think you are engaging a different part of your mind, subconsciously. You just have a different reaction when you physically hold something. At a time when the world has lived in isolation for nearly two years and the music and live events industry has gone digital-only, it has become clear that we take the physical experience for granted. HudMo recalls a conversation he had in Glasgow a month ago with people who were having their first club night and had 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 get the feeling, like, it exists in real life.”
“Cry Sugar” takes us on a 62-minute hallucinogenic journey into our deepest emotions through frantically introspective and catchy tunes. It not only honors the inner work each has done in solitude, but also celebrates the reopening of our real-life experiences – in a time when everyone just wants to dance again and finally can.
Hudson Mohawke ‘Cry Sugar’ is available now, get it here
Arielle Lana LeJarde is a freelance writer, follow her on Twitter