Despite his outstanding music cred and reputation, Hudson Mohawke still stays true to his roots. When the trap producer/DJ - who has worked on albums for Drake, Pusha-T and Kanye West - came to the Big Apple to perform last week (December 5), he could’ve had his pick of the Manhattan hotspots, from Santos Party House to Pacha, but loyal fans found the Scotland native at Brooklyn’s Output.
The venue choice was a wise and calculated one on HudMo’s part since the underground club sports one of the best sound and acoustic systems in the tri-state area. Also, Brooklyn has become one of the last places to observe the sacredness of music with a majority of its venues nixing the ‘red-velvet rope’ and ‘bottle service’ policies that have become the norm in Manhattan. Output will even give you a full can of Red Bull with your vodka – no joke.
Going back to the music, though Hudson wasn’t scheduled for the decks till 1:30 a.m. that night, patrons were still greeted with a talented array of opening acts that would play everything and anything under the sun (except any mainstream BS). From modern day hip-hop to trap to early millennial R&B (swear we heard Mario’s “Let Me Love You” at one point), each set - including Heathered Pearls, Jim-E Stack, Trippy Turtle, Kwes - was the perfect lead up to the main attraction. Another thing you could really appreciate about each DJ’s performance is they didn’t try to hype up the crowd with patronizing demands like “Throw your hands up!” or “Brooklyn, are you readddddddy!” Instead, they let the music speak for itself.
At 1:35 a.m. Hudson took the stage – which is pretty prompt by the usual ‘arrive an hour after my scheduled set time’ DJ policy – and the rest was a series of ethereal resonance. Earth-quaking bass, slick rhymes, and steady tempo that would rise at the drop of a hat kept the packed venue in constant motion. With a set that consisted of 90’s house music with modern day hip-hop (Kanye’s “Blood On The Leaves” was a definite crowd pleaser), listening/dancing to the entire performance was like being transported to the days when Manhattan’s Tunnel was alive and well.
Being one of the closest things New York has to the golden days of clubbing, one would definitely recommend catching a show featuring either of these two staples whether it’s making a trip to Brooklyn for one of Output’s shows (or any of these fine, underground Brooklyn-based venues) or being lucky enough to land at one of HudMo’s few shows.