Hudson Mohawke - Ded Sec (Watch_Dogs 2 OST) (Review)

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If you haven't read my Watch_Dogs 2 review, then catch that here. Anyway, Hudson Mohawke is a Scottish DJ and producer whom is best known for working with artists such as Drake and Pusha T and is also signed to Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music record label. Despite being in such illustrious company at all times he has kept himself fairly anonymous allowing the music to present his persona rather than throwing himself at media savvy people all the time. However, he has only released two full length projects before this, Butter and Lantern. Neither are yet to reach that huge status. Nonetheless, he is well regarded within the electronic and techno community because of his unique production and use of new and iridescent sounds.

To coincide with 2016's phenomenal Watch_Dogs 2, Mohawke was asked to produce the whole soundtrack for the game, and he came through. Big time. With this project and the ones before this I feel that Hudson is elevating the underground electronic scene to something that could be mainstream in a few years.With not a single use of a voice throughout this project, not even a sample, the beats and instruments on display here do all the talking. My personal favourite track opens the album, Shanghaied, it's what is essentially a remix of the theme tune for the game, which can be found later in the album. But it mixes up a few of the beat switches to match a much darker part of the game. Whilst the theme uses much brighter synths and quietens down the drum machine, this track brings the drums to the front and presents the hardness of them up front. In the background there is a tune running throughout that is almost like someone singing but it's too high pitched to be a recognised singer.

What Hudson Mohawke expertly does with this soundtrack is bring the game to life, that's something I've never really got with video game soundtracks because I always just see it as background music and by itself without the game, it usually means nothing to me. However, this music almost seems like it's own entity that just happens to go perfectly with the game. The music almost incorporates the sense of hacking that is so prominent in Watch_Dogs and turns it into music form, with tracks such as Motherlode sampling things such as a phone ringing and you can almost hear the music darting around the room. This is another prolific thing about the music on offer here, there are times where the sampling is crazily intertwined, like I mentioned before the ringing phone and there is also some phone vibrations thrown into the songs and to take those sounds and make a great electronic album out of it is an exceptional talent.

Now, there are downfalls to the project, there are some slower, less balanced songs as the album hits the middle of its track list, with songs such as Play 'n' Go and Eye for an Eye dragging on for too long and not really adding to anything. They even start to get quite annoying after a while. Which I've always found to be the problem with this genre, there is a fine line between good techno/electronic and just noise and instruments thrown together. But overall, Hudson Mohawke did an exceptional job with this project, let's hope for another Watch_Dogs game and another stellar soundtrack.

8.5/10

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