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  • Filed under: Review
  • 07/26/2012

TNGHT TNGHT EP

On their first EP together as TNGHT, Hudson Mohawke and Lunice deliver a concise collection of lean, instrumental bangers, one that is filled to the brim with big-beat bravado.

With its five tracks clocking in just shy of the 15-minute mark, TNGHT is an efficiently packed EP with very little time spent on frills and subtleties. The opening track, "Top Floor," is the quickest to make its point; beginning in a bit of warped new-age territory, the tune takes a sharp turn into a more bass-laden landscape, working a pattern of almost Arabic-sounding vocal samples around huge, tuned kicks and rolling snares and hats. This sets the stage for the rest of the EP, as the focus remains on bombastic, sub-rattling drums above all else. Accented only by sparse arrangements, the bulbous kicks and precisely sequenced snares, hats, and claps (along with the occasional sprinkling of percussion) are given the most space within the sonic spectrum, rendering them punchy and forceful within the mix. Nevertheless, each tune takes a slightly different path to dress up the beats, with "Bugg'n" and "Easy Easy" employing repeating atonal phrases and a number of FX (water drops, gunshots, vocal snapshots, etc.) to fill in the empty spaces, while "Goooo" unleashes an army of glowing, trance-like synths to dance around the halftime beat, and "Higher Ground" warps its steady claps and tuned 808s with a chopped R&B vocal and syncopated trombone stabs reminiscent of Southern hip-hop.

For better or worse, TNGHT's objective for its debut EP is straightforward: to craft big beats. Sadly, this leaves Mohawke's noted penchant for sonic adventure really nowhere to be found. Instead, Lunice's proficiency for big-system bangers seems to be the driving force, and while TNGHT does offer tunes that are surely bound to prove useful to DJs operating in the more booming regions of 140-plus-bpm fare (although the closing "Easy Easy" does dip a little lower than that), the five tracks here result in little more than the requisite head nod for the rest of us.

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