Yet as a solo artist, Hilton's true love lies with trip-hop. It's a genre he helped to create with a pioneering approach to sound design, highlighted by ingenious sampling, moody synths and psychedelic lo-fi.
Now Hilton is taking an opportunity to revisit these roots with his newly announced Lost Dialect album, the titular track of which is out now. It's a 10-track opus that, according to Hilton, consciously brought him back to his "early days" of producing trip-hop when he was "combining sample collages with grooves," he tells EDM.com.
For the grooves, Hilton self-recorded all of the album's bass, keys and synths. He stayed mindful of his use of plugins and employed vintage gear, like the E-mu SP-1200, to fold in crunchy textures and more "human-like" sonic imperfections.
"I wanted a more 'analog-sounding' record this time," Hilton said.
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Then there are the samples, which pay homage to 1970s musical icons like Pharaoh Sanders, Sun Ra, Roy Ayers and George Clinton. All members of the influential Afrofuturist movement, their soulful, freeform approach to music-making and improvisation paved the way for—among other things—the experimental nature of today's electronica.
"It was music from the streets that looked to both the stars and the ancient cultures," Hilton explained. "The techniques of making trip-hop music are like lost dialects I can pull out and revisit... I dusted off vintage samplers and synths in the hopes of communicating with the spirits."
Lost Dialect is due out July 1st, 2022 under Hilton's own Montserrat House Music banner.
Lost Dialect Tracklist
1) Lost Dialect
2) Spiral Aura
4) A Joyous Revolution
6) Flowering Soul
8) Earth Ship