The Red Bull Music Academy studios in South London are the venue for my interview with Ross Birchard (26) and Lunice Fermin Pierre II (24) — better known as Hudson Mohawke and Lunice — about their new project TNGHT. As graduates of the classes of 2007 and 2010 respectively, both have benefited from the energy-drink manufacturer’s yearly “finishing school” for musical up-and-comers. Looking around, though, it’s a wonder how any music gets made — table tennis, foosball and retro arcade machines are just a few of the distractions. As we wait for Birchard to join us, Pierre mentions that someone once tried to interview him over a game of table tennis. I asked how it worked out. “Not well for him, he didn’t even get one point!” he quips back.

Pierre, who is from Montreal, is fresh off DJing in Leeds the night before, and admits he’s only had 90 minutes sleep. Apparently someone forgot to tell him he had a day full of interviews booked. You’d forgive him for being less than enthusiastic as a result, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth — he’s friendly, talkative and practically bouncing off the walls with energy. It’s tempting to describe it as infectious, but it doesn’t seem to have rubbed off on collaborator Birchard, whose typically Scottish, dry sense of humour could be mistaken for cool indifference. They might come across as an odd couple of sorts, but together they’re one of this year’s most exciting acts — two young producers at the peak of their powers who have managed that rare feat of combining underground legitimacy with some mainstream success. Even prior to their debut release as TNGHT — this July’s self-titled EP — the two had marked their forays out of the club scene and into the rap game not with baby steps but swaggering strides. Heard the “Kanye West Presents Good Music Cruel Summer” compilation or Azealia Banks’ “Fantasea” mixtape? That’s Birchard and Pierre on production duty.

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