Like many musicians in 2006, Scottish producer and DJ Ross Birchard uploaded a mixtape to some obscure forums and a now-defunct social media platform. But among the bathers of this online primordial soup, HUDSON’S HEETERS VOL. 1 stood out for its creator’s singular talent, a monumental force detonating the dividing wall between instrumental hip-hop and electronica, poised to instate a new movement free from either genre’s confines. Plastered across the glitched-out mania was Birchard’s audio tag: Hudson Mohawke. Warp couldn’t help but take notice, and signed him without hesitation.
HudMo has since become a go-to for hip-hop abstractions, and HUDSON’S HEETERS VOL. 1 is where it all started. But if the tape shows anything, it’s that his vision was always fully-formed; clipped sampled drums and swaggering synth brass blows flit in and out of measure, bringing to mind the off-grid approach of J Dilla if he’d briefly had a stint as a dubstep producer. The bombast is unparalleled, but the melodious wit in the chiming and glittering high-end textures is the ribbon that ties HUDSON’S HEETERS VOL. 1 together; truly, it’s the full package.