In between producing Feist’s groundbreaking album Pleasure, co-writing songs for Kelela’s upcoming debut album and working on his sixth full-length album, due out next year, Mocky is set to release the fourth installation of his “Moxtape” series. An unfiltered peek into his unreleased studio experiments and collaborations, “How to Hit What and How Hard" is a collection of handcrafted “off the grid bangers and some songs”, the multi-instrumentalist producer says.
At the start of 2017, Mocky built a studio at his secretive Los Angeles headquarters. As he put up the studio walls, he began doing test recordings and switching between hammer and nails and drumsticks and drums. The first six test recordings became the basis of “How to Hit What and How Hard’. They range from 1970s Sesame Street funk to Steve Reich-style arrangements with a backbeat to songs like “Problematic” (which casts Mocky's crooning in a glitched-out new light). Though the music covers a lot of ground in his search for goosebumps per minute (GPM), it’s held together by Mocky’s unmistakable percussive touch.
The L.A.-by-way-of-Berlin transplant plays almost everything on H2HWHH (drums, bass, piano, Rhodes, nylon string guitar, flute), with a few notable exceptions: Gonzales and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson guest on the exquisite “Desiree”, Nia Andrews lends some honey-dripped vocals to “Stop Time”, and Pegasus Warning, Joey Dosik and Aponte Poro round out this family affair on a variety of instruments.
On “You Can’t Rush the Funk”, Mocky’s iPhone-recorded voice is as laid back as anything because, as he puts it: “Nothing began with the computer or a click track. Everything began with me hitting something, and during the process, I realized that in the modern musical environment, “how”, “what” and “how hard” you hit something make all the difference." And for those who wonder about the method to his madness, for the first time Mocky is opening the hood on this “how-to kit" of a record: He’s releasing all of the isolated, separated instruments as samples in an “Unpacked Edition”, allowing others to make their own works recreated from Mocky’s handmade blueprint.
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