I gather there are rappers you have in mind for the tracks. Is that something you can talk about yet?
Lunice: “It’s still something we’re keeping under wraps, because it’s rappers, right? You’ve got to wait until they actually record something! [Laughs] You can’t go running your mouth, saying “Yeah I’m working with this, this, this, and that” – and then you look like a fool.”
And your Meek Mill impression isn’t good enough to sub in?
Lunice: [Laughs] “Maybe I’ll just do a Meek Mill impression if he doesn’t rap.”
It seems to me that a crucial part of the DNA of the TNGHT material – and also Lex Luger, Southside, etc. – is the rattlesnake hi-hat. It seems to me to be the central germ (in the same way that bass wobble is in dubstep, for example) of your sound. Is that something you see as a crucial ingredient, and why if so?
Lunice: “The hi-hat is what keeps the rhythm going, really.”
Hudson Mohawke: “The main track being pushed at the moment is the ‘Bugg’n’ track, I don’t think it even has a hi-hat.”
Lunice: “No – it doesn’t even have a hi-hat!” [Laughs]
Hudson Mohawke: “But there are a couple of tracks that have the triplet hats.”
Lunice: “If I put on a hi-hat, what I like about it is that we don’t want it to come off as a trap kind of rhythm. We definitely appreciate the whole style of it, because we love it, but we don’t do that. We just want to get the best out of it. So there’s been a thing lately in terms of hi-hats: more than doing [makes scattershot hat sound] I’d be like [does cantering syncopated rhythm]. It’s a totally different thing. Not many trap dudes are doing that kind of thing! Obviously it’s not like a revolutionary hi-hat, it’s just not everybody’s doing it.” [Laughs]
“So, that’s something I definitely like about he project is that everything in it is totally different from all the producers and what they’re doing, so it definitely stands us out. And snares are just as important. There’s a certain type of snare for a certain type of track. Obviously there’s the 808s. But what I love, love, love about our project is we don’t use that many 808s. I love minimizing on it. I like to challenge myself and be like “Aight, I’m just going to use one 808 kit and see how I go”. Or just two. And try to make it just as effective or more than a Lex Luger beat or some shit.”
“It’s more like a jam than two ‘electronic producers’.” - Hudson Mohawke
What have you both got coming up soon?
Lunice: “I’m working on my first full-length album, and I’m planning to release it by the end of the year. After I’m done with that album, forthcoming on LuckyMe, I’ll be working on an EP, and afterwards early next year I’ll be starting work on a new EP for Mad Decent, a five/six track EP maybe. That’s all out in the open. On my album, it’s also my goal this year to really reach out to rappers, reach out to vocalists. I’m really trying to build a list of singers or rappers that I can hit up who are always down to work. I feel like the TNGHT project will really help bring our work to those rappers and vocalists to make them see, “Right, these guys are legit, they don’t fuck around””.
Hudson Mohawke: “The TNGHT stuff’s going to be our focus for the next month or two – we’ve got a load of festival shows for that coming up. I’ve got a load of my own festival dates coming up over the summer. I’ve got another album that’s nearing being finished, but I’m taking my time. I’m not going to try and rush it out. It’s been two and a bit years since the last one, so I’m not in a rush with it. I’d like to have it out sort of end of the year, early next year – but I’m not forcing it. For the moment, this project is the focus for the next little while. And like Lunice was saying: working with more vocalists, working with more MCs, doing more sessions with different MCs.”
Lunice: “I notice there’s a huge difference between a beatmaker and a producer. I didn’t’ realise that as much until I started working in studios like this, when I realised producers really take charge of a lot of things. They actually talk to the artists, saying “I want it to sound like this and that on my track. Can you do it like that?”. I was never like that. I was always like “Do what you want to do”. Now, I’ve been really focused on being more assertive. Like, “Hey, I want it to sound like that”. So that’s what I’ve been trying to really push lately.”
Hudson Mohawke: “We’ve got our Waka remix coming out.”
Lunice: “We’ve got the official Waka Flocka remix [of ‘Rooster In My Rari’] coming out soon It’s going to be pretty interesting, because I don’t think anybody remixed the whole instrumental of a Waka song before, officially. Usually, it’s like “Remix!” but there’s just 3 other rappers added on the same beat. It’s just him, but added on another beat, which is cool. At least that’s one rapper we can say!
“Oh! And one word for all the producers out there. Next shit: motherfucking scratch drum loops, that’s what I fuck with! [Laughs] That’s what you’ll notice a lot on the record. A lot of drum loops that I put on are all from thinking about scratch lops from the early 2000s when turntablism was the shit. Yo, I love that shit. So I’ve been fully into it. Everybody’s on their trap shit – ain’t nobody fucking with that scratch shit! And I’ve been fucking with that hard. Shout out to to all the producers who feel the same. You’re on the right path!”
TNGHT will be performing at Poland’s Tauron Nowa Muzyka Festival in October. More information and tickets here.