Meanwhile in Montreal, self-professed backpack-rap fiend Lunice Fermin Pierre II was cooking up similarly crunk synth-powered bangers on FruityLoops and communicating with HudMo and his LuckyMe cohorts, initially as a fan, via Myspace and iChat.
Several years later, Hudson Mohawke and Lunice have finally released their much-heralded TNGHT EP, and paradoxically managed to catch the attention of hip-hop's elite, with the former providing "additional instrumentation" to Kanye West's "Mercy" and Chris Brown recently singing over his stellar 2009 synth track "Rising 5."Lunice, meanwhile, is working in some nebulous capacity with Diplo.
Watch "Introducing... TNGHT"
Kanye and Diplo collaborations notwithstanding, the pair still use FruityLoops to crank out their bombastic, crushing productions, and judging by the overwhelmingly positive reception their EP is receiving, their partnership is long overdue.
"We always knew that we had similar tastes, but we just never bothered to ... " HudMo trails off, likely attempting to reformulate a phrase he's had to repeat relentlessly throughout the press day.
"It's just one of those things that a lot of producers say to other producers, sort of idly, you know? 'We should collaborate on something, we should work together,' but it doesn't happen that often, and when it does happen, it's 50/50 whether it's successful, so we just never got around to doing it," he continues, gathering steam. "Then last summer we had a couple of days where we were both in London. We didn't intend to make a record, we just experimented and had some drinks and see what we came up with."
"We both bring in our own little style into the project," Lunice chimes in over the phone, ostensibly from the London studio where the two produced the majority of their collaborative EP. "You can totally hear my style, you can totally hear his style, and you put the two together, it creates a third element, which is the TNGHT."
With the hip-hop world currently playing catchup, attempting last-minute Skrillex collaborations, appearing vaguely miffed at deadmau5's "button pushing" ramblings and rampant David Guetta-baiting, it appears that rappers are finally beginning to take notice to the vibrant electronic music scene around them. Hip-hop is, after all, a game ruled by kings, and when Kanye attaches himself to a sound, the industry follows suit.
"I think they're just starting to get it," HudMo concedes. "They'll be super into a couple tracks and not some other stuff. Things that I would think are very simple and straightforward, they'll be like 'No, it's too left field.' A lot of people are just looking for something that sounds like whatever the last hit was. Difficult to break through that, but I feel like we're getting there."
"Until the record comes out, that's when we can really see the whole situation," Lunice adds. "Right now its starting to bubble. A lot of rappers are showing interest, but until the record release, that's when we can get a clear idea of where we are in the whole rap game."
Watch TNGHT "Higher Ground" Video
Having professed an interest in producing for Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, and name-checking everyone from Meek Mill and Vado to Joey Badass, A$AP Rocky and Earl Sweatshirt as artists of interest, the duo's hardcore hip-hop roots reveal themselves only at the end of our conversation, when asked to pick an artist they'd most like to work with, in ideal world.
"If we're talking rap-centric, probably like D.I.T.C.," HudMo muses, naming the respected crew that once claimed Fat Joe, Big L and Lord Finesse among its ranks.
"Damn," Lunice ponders for a second. "If I would make like, a dope-ass beat track I'd probably get Redman or somebody like that, on some 'Tonight's da Night' joint, you know what I mean? On some hard shit like that. Something that makes me feel good. I've always been a huge Redman fan since I was a kid. Something good for my soul."
- Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tennessee on June 7-10
- North by Northeast in Toronto, Ontario on June 11-17
- Montreal International Jazz Festival in Montreal, Quebec on June 28 - July 7
- Pitchfork Festival in Chicago, Illinois on July 13-15
- Full Flex Express Tour, various cities, July 13-22
- Edgefest in Toronto, Ontario on July 14
- IDentity Festival, various cities, July 19 - August 19
- Lollapalooza in Chicago, Illinois on August 3-5
- Veld Music Festival in Toronto, Ontario on August 4-5
- World Electronic Music Festival in South Algonquin, Ontario on August 17-19
- Osheaga Music and Arts Festival in Montreal, Quebec on August 3-5
- Pop Montreal in Montreal, Quebec on September 19-23
- Voodoo Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 26-28
Listen to 'TNGHT' Songs | Buy 'TNGHT' Albums