PHOTOS: Hudson Mohawke @ Pop Montreal 2010

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Interview: Machinedrum

Check the album cover for perspective: Machinedrum has collected new faces, aliases, and styles on a pace with most KGB agents. Throughout his entire career, Machinedrum, né Travis Stewart and AKA too many other pseudonyms to count, has jumped from subgenre to subgenre whenever it suited him, systematically dismantling the barriers between each and pooling the remaining elements together to create his own distinct blend of production styling. His newest release is no different; its tracks are split down the middle between the deftly hyperactive beat fare one has come to expect from LuckyMe releases and an aggressively left field club sound that defies any real categorization other than, "Oh yeah, that's that new Machinedrum shit." One of Lookout's own recently got the chance to talk to the man himself, LuckyMe's first ever North American signing and a featured artist at the upcoming Lookout POP MTL showcase on Sept. 30 at the Belmont. Check it out...

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Your new album, The Many Faces of Machinedrum, is split right down the middle in terms of production styles and influences. What was your intention when you set out to make the record?

To be honest I wasn't really making a "record" when i wrote those tracks, I was more or less just writing tunes for the sake of writing them. After accumulating loads of them Lucky Me decided that instead of puttin together a genre specific record we'd focus on a more diverse record instead.  Writing in multiple styles has never been something new for me, it's how I've always approached music. I get bored writing the same style over and over.

It seems like your style is constantly evolving between releases. Where would you say your primary musical influences lie at the moment?

Like I said, I get bored doin the same style.  Right now I feel like I'm being heavily influenced by Juke and Footwork tracks from Chicago.  Other than that I've been listening to Carlo Gesualdo and lots of other choral music.  Been singing on a lot of new stuff too.

The recent Sepalcure mix on XLR8R was fantastic. What can you tell us about how Sepalcure started and what you guys have planned for the future?

Thank you.   Sepalcure started out of boredom and necessity to finally collaborate with my friend Praveen Sharma here in Brooklyn about a year ago.  We have an EP slated for release in December on Hotflush.

LuckyMe is one of our favorite young labels. How did you get linked up with them for this record?

I've been talking on and off with the LuckyMe crew for a while, and earlier this year I sent them a load of tunes and they picked their favorites for Many Faces

How was it working with Theophilus London on your various projects together? Are there any other artists you’d like to work with going forward?

Working with Theophilus was definitely a great experience.  We wrote a lot of songs together and he pushed for me to write hooks and brought me out of my instrumental electronic production shell.  I've also been working a lot with Jesse Boykins III, Azealia Banks and Melo-X and have some really great music we've made together, but at the moment I'm taking a break from producing vocalists apart from remix work.  I'd love to work with Autechre or James Blake on a tune or two.

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Hudson Mohawke & Machinedrum + guests

LOOKOUT x Pop Montreal showcase
Thu, Sep 30

HUDSON MOHAWKE (Warp Records)
http://myspace.com/hudsonmo

MACHINEDRUM
http://myspace.com/machinedrum

w/ Montreal LuckyMe Fam:

HOVATRON + LUNICE [Live Tag Team Set]

http://myspace.com/hovatron
http://myspace.com/lunice

ANGO [Live]
http://myspace.com/andrewgordon

SEB DIAMOND [DJ]

TICKETS/BILLETS

Etix: http://tinyurl.com/2774mrp
MOOG Audio - 3828 St-Laurent
Off The Hook - 1021a Ste-Catherine O
Atom Heart - 364 Sherbrooke E
Phonopolis - 5403A ave du Parc

http://lookoutpresents.com/
http://facebook.com/lookout
http://popmontreal.com/

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LOOKOUT is a promoter of good music and fun parties in Montreal (est. 2004). Our website & newsletter feature exclusive mixtapes, artist interviews, free music, events, photos, and handpicked culture. After having put on several big ticket shows this year such as Dam-Funk, YACHT, and helping curate club nights and concerts in and out-of-town, we're proud to announce the thrilling lineup for our Pop Montreal showcase this year, at Club Lambi on Thursday, September 30th.

We're pleased to say Hudson Mohawke, coasting off his debut LP "Butter" on Warp, will be returning to the city once more to take everyone on what can only be described as a falcon ride through an airbrushed fantasy land of heady beats, sparkly sunshine and glossy synthesizers.

New label mate Machinedrum will be in the house as well, riding off his stellar new releases on LuckyMe and on Hotflush as his new garage/future dubstep project Sepalcure. With a combination of the songwriting skills of Timbaland, the huge club sounds of Daft Punk and the crafty experimentation of Aphex Twin, Machinedrum will take us all on quite the musical ride.

Along for the journey will be the dancing, beatboxing, beatmaking and recent RBMA graduate Lunice, playing a tag-team set with fellow Montreal-based LuckyMe signee Hovatron, who has been bringing hybrid warehouse techno and new-school crunk to clubs worldwide.

Furthermore, Ango's "finely tuned, bass heavy set that is getting bodies jerking at all manner of angles" collides with Pop Montreal for the first time.

Live in every sense of the word, this is not one to be missed.

Come hang with the LuckyMe set, and LOOKOUT.

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Hudson Mohawke Live (LuckyMe Showcase) @ Belmont

HudMo

Fresh off the release of his first album, Butter, LuckyMe's own Hudson Mohawke comes through Montreal to turn your ears inside out again. His eclectic mix of 80's pop, glitch, and boom-bap is not to be missed.

Lunice

Lunice is Montreal’s proudest young son of the moment – A member of Glasgows’ LuckyMe Collective, and a participant in the Red Bull Music Academy 2010 in London, England. His Live PA (remixes and beats made on the spot) will set your booty shaking like jello in an earthquake.

Hovatron

Hovatron, a pioneer of the infamous Turbo Crunk nights is the renaissance man responsible for the impressive visuals at last years insane St. Jean Baptiste Bridge Burner party. Hes also got a new EP of technologic bass brrrapp blowing up the coaxil in your modem.

LuckyMe

Presale Tix: $15

New Lunice Tracks from the RBMA!

The RBMA graduate class of 2010

Check out these two new tracks from Lunice. It looks like these two new tracks from Lunice will be used in a compilation put together by upstart record label Jus Like Music, alongside tracks from many other RBMA students. Best of all, the whole thing will be available for free download soon! Check the RBMA site for details.

Lunice - Let It Ride

Lunice - Perpetual Leisure

Stay posted in the upcoming days for new music from the other recent RBMA graduates, including Poirier, Ango, and Amenta

Hudson Mohawke – Butter (Review)

The pessimistic view of electronic music holds that it too often entails faceless pseudonyms crafting derivative, sterile “beats” with the assistance of prohibitively expensive software. Whether or not that ugly caricature holds completely true, there is certainly a kernel of truth in the repetitious nature of the legions of electronic music produced damn near everyday. And then there is the young, evasive, and unassuming Hudson Mohawke. Hudmo, as his fans refer reverently to him as, feeds his manic creativity through relatively simple software (Frootyloops) and somehow comes out with epic, densely layered, and glitch-ridden proclamations of pure digital joy. Butter, his debut album off the prestigious Warp Records  shows a startling evolution in the fabric of Hudmo’s music. So startling, in fact, that any attempt to review the album is dependent on isolating the three stylistic identities connected by an interweaving eccentricity Hudmo seems to embrace at varying points in the album. From the top:

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The Golden Child Disciple of J Dilla and Flying Lotus

Though his discography is rather thin, Hudmo’s status as the rising golden child of the UK Warp/LuckyMe/Wireblock community has long been established. He was Scottish DMC Champion and UK finalist at age fourteen, and the few EPs and compilations that have escaped his bedroom studio met with enormous critical acclaim. His Polyfolk Dance EP and his work with Mike Slott as Heralds of Change solidified his position as the heir apparent to Dilla’s legacy of chopped, distorted sample-based hip hop and Flying Lotus’ ongoing digital reconstruction of abstract hip hop production. At times listening to Butter, Hudmo seems to triumphantly achieve that “promised one” rhetoric, crafting furious, kinetic beats that tear forward through warped electronic melodies. Hudson bombards the tracks with layers of alternately polished and buzz saw synth lines, pushing them forward and gridding off their melodies with chopped vocal creations. Especially during the middle passage of “3.30,” “Trykk,” “Fruit Touch,” and “Zoooooom,” Hudmo seems to embrace and faithfully execute the dogma of turbo-charged glitch hop. At other times in the album, however, he seems bored by the limitations of the genre and transforms his vision into that of…

The R&B acid revisionist

At certain points throughout his career, Hudmo has expressed an infatuation with the potent pathos of contemporary R&B. His bootleg bass remix of Tweet’s jam “Ooops” is widely considered to be the song that directly preceded his signing to Warp. In interviews past, he has mentioned the looming possibility of joining Erykah Badu or Chris Brown in the studio someday soon. On Butter, his collaborations with vocalists Olivier Daysoul and Dam Funk stand in stark contrast to his other tracks; they operate under an entirely different aesthetic. Tracks like “Joy Fantastic,” “Tell Me What You Want From Me,” and the extraordinary break up song “I Just Decided” tweak the butter-smooth (no pun intended), nu-soul efforts of 80’s R&B classics like Belle Biv DeVoe by throwing their earnest hooks over enormously busy and glossy backing tracks. Hudmo’s effects work well enough with the flamboyance and vitality of his guest vocalists to give classic R&B a neon/day-glo facelift.  Olivier Daysoul in particular comes off like Slick Rick’s New Jack twin in his star turns on “Joy Fantastic” and “I Just Decided.” The eclecticism of Hudmo’s surreal subjection of R&B to his own eccentric means is eclipsed only by his turns as…

The Triumphant Abstraction

Two of the tracks off Butter that attracted the greatest prerelease buzz were the massive cuts “Fuse” and “Rising 5,” neither of which fit neatly into the artistic modes of Hudmo described above. These two are the true gems of the album. Both songs seem to incorporate elements of live instrumentation jammed through powerful electronic filters in ways that amplify digitally yet preserve entirely their   organic melody and vitality. They are too sprawling, too awe-inspiring to be considered hip hop; there is not an MC alive who could take on these massive constructions and make them his own. “Fuse” sounds as if some one took a triumphant yet tinny 8-bit synth line from an old Zelda game, remastered it a bajillion times and crafted a goddamn anthem out of it. Though Butter as an album is most likely stronger than the sum of its components, “Fuse” and “Rising 5” are its most exciting contributions. If these tracks are indicative of his newest assumed artistic identity, then we can expect exciting things in the future from Hudson Mohawke.

Though this cut isn't on the album Butter, it still ranks as one of Hudmo's most popular and innovative to date. Check out Hudson Mohawke's bass remix of Timbaland's beat for Tweet!

Hudson Mohawke - Ooops

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Mike Slott – Lucky 9teen (Review)

slott

Mike Slott's newest album Lucky 9teen, released off the tight knit LuckyMe label collective, is indicative of the ongoing evolution of the off-kilter hip hop sound originally pioneered by J Dilla and later made electronic by Flying Lotus. Slott's sudden, unexpected deviation from the hip hop-centric origins of the sound is part of what makes his newest work so fascinating. Though originally a devotee of the Dilla and DJ Premier school of purist hip hop production, Slott has been gradually incorporating more eclecticism into his mixes. Compared to his earlier hip hop production work as half of Heralds of Change with Hudson Mohawke, the new album Lucky 9teen has evolved past the head-knock rhythmics and structured, gratifying beats characteristic of the Brainfeeder/LuckyMe sound. Scene architects like Flying Lotus and Mary Anne Hobbs have called the album "lush," beautiful," and "deeply innovative." While the album is certainly a step beyond the constraining labels of hip hop production, it still contains more than enough hooks and rhythms to keep the listener engaged. It would be disingenuous to claim that Slott has totally evolved past the trappings of hip hop production; what he's really done is incorporated an unprecedented amount of feeling and pathos into his digital compositions. In that sense, Lucky 9teen isn't a new take on hip hop; rather, it's the creation of Digital Soul.

Though this track was left off the album, it's still indicative of the show you can expect from Mike Slott at the RBMA 2010 celebration this friday!

Mike Slott - Knock Knock.

Adult Swim’s ATL RMX

ATL

This is the new best thing ever. Long story short, Timbaland is collaborating with Rockstar Games to put out a video game game/sequencer called Beaterator that lets you mix and remix tracks on your video game console. To prepare for the release, Timbo and Rockstar teamed up with Adult Swim to drop a free mixtape featuring some remixes of Atlanta rappers. Some one must owe Adult Swim some favors because the list of producers and rappers is absolutely ABSURD. Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke, SALEM, HEALTH, XXXChange, Prefuse 73, Memory Tapes, and El-P and more take a stab at everyone from Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy to Cee-lo. Needless to say, the tape's amazing. You can cop it for free all the way through December here.

Hudson Mohawke Mix for Fader

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Hudson Mohawke is one of the headliners at our upcoming mega-event, the RMBA 2010 Send-Off, and if you don't know what he's all about, or if you haven't checked out this exclusive mix that Hud Mo did for Fader in late October, then do yourself a favour and start your Saturday off right with some plain ol' good shit. Hud Mo loses himself in this fusion of 80s synth, hip hop, big bass, beatboxing, r&b vocals, techno, and rap, which makes for a maniacal listen. Words don't do Hud Mo justice, so check out the mix:

Hudson Mohawke Mix for Fader