Available on: Warp EP
In a recent interview with The Fader, Hudson Mohawke described Satin Panthers as more of a dancefloor project (less “quote-unquote headphone music”) than Butter, his 2009 album for Warp.
There’s definitely truth in that: more than most of Hud Mo’s past material, these tracks are based around big drops and big basslines, most obviously in the one-finger brutalism of lead single ‘Thunder Bay’. But there’s also so much going on that this description seems to sell them short: as with Butter, there’s a remarkable amount of detail and shine to this record – in its trebly arpeggios, chipmunked voices and glistening effects – but crucially, that shine is now more finely balanced against substantial bottom-end and smarter structuring. There were points when Butter seemed to endlessly spiral and shine without real foundation or end goal; Satin Panthers is more taut and punchy in comparison.
Some of Satin Panthers does pass me by: ‘Cbat’ sounds like it was made with a vocalist in mind, and like Chris Brown’s recent Diplo-produced ‘Look At Me’, in its instrumental form there’s not enough variety to keep things interesting. At the EP’s best moments though (‘All My Love’, ‘Thank You’), it represents some of Hud Mo’s most powerful work yet, and bodes incredibly well for album number two.