Few more perfect unions exist within electronic music than that of TNGHT—Lunice and his hard-hitting hip-hop productions from North America marry with Hudson Mohawke's Glaswegian-bred focus on eccentric party melodies. As such, it wasn't a surprise to see the duo's first London gig since their EP release roadblock the surrounding area of industrial units, all the way to Bethnal Green Station. The neighbourhood resembled a site of pilgrimage of sorts; a very young and very stylish crowd could be seen stumbling en masse toward the Oval Space, several tins in tow.
The first couple hours felt more like a mingle than a dance, perhaps due in part to the space—though moreso because Eclair Fifi, TNGHT's LuckyMe affiliate and opener on the night, appeared to take her role as "warm-up" DJ quite seriously. Candles burned on her side-stage setup, volume was kept to conversational level and the set's energy was noticeably more low-key than her usual party-geared offerings.
But this was all purposeful, or at least it would appear that way watching the entire 900-capacity room shift gears as TNGHT took the stage. Candles were replaced by flashing light pillars and strobes, and the volume seemed to triple, producing a guttural rumble throughout the venue. Indeed, LuckyMe were clever to have saved the spectacle for the act everyone was there to see; for all the energy these two already bring to the club, it was multiplied by the contrast with their predecessor.
No party anthem was spared, from Hudson Mohawke originals "Cbat" and "Chimes" to growling, rowdy hits from Kanye, Waka Flocka and Danny Brown. Though not restricting themselves to their own productions, a sense of continuity managed to pervade the whole set, and highlights—if you could pick any from an entire set of full-blown raucousness—came mostly from their own catalog. "Higher Ground" marked perhaps the apex of the evening; arguably their most well-known collaboration, the tune's rapidfire claps and thundering kicks induced near hysteria.
HudMo and Lunice, meanwhile, were busy exemplifying the kind of polarity that typifies them as a duo. Lunice, perhaps as well-known for his show antics as his beatmaking, could be found crowd surfing, jumping up and down with each drop and generally instigating the boisterousness. Hudson Mohawke instead kept to his spot behind the set-up, giving a vigorous head-nod when things got particularly rambunctious.
After being heckled for an encore—and obliging—the venue cleared out, faces stunned both from the withdrawal of the strobe light assault and what just happened sonically. As we made our way out, a cartoonish, oversized gold hoop earring was spotted on the floor, and I found it a fitting symbol for the evening. Grandiose, flashy, linked together—with just a touch of bling.