There’s little tactile info to be found on Vancouver collective Mood Hut and its residents. But with member names like Cloudface, Bluntman Deejay, and Hashman Deejay, I’m going to jump to the conclusion that there’s a fair amount of cannabinoids wafting around the geodesic dome that signifies said “hut.” But even if Canada’s lax cannabis laws play no part in the creation of Mood Hut’s music, the tracks themselves suggest ease and haziness, a dilated sense of space and suspension of time. Most of the label’s mixes (released on cassette in small batches) and vinyl singles wander to expansive lengths and unfurl in no hurry, with a predilection for vibe above all else.
It makes sense that Washington D.C.’s Future Times label released a single earlier this year from Matt Tanner (aka Ttam Renat and Hashman Deejay) and now follows it up with the full-length Sandopolis, as his aesthetic most closely aligns with their own. His productions can be propulsive while also loving the drift (to use a track title from FT’s boss Andrew Field-Pickering), at once shimmering and tough. Nearly 10 minutes in length, “Xssential-3” opens the album in exhilarating fashion, its Model 500 pacing lightened by flanged hi-hats. New layers of keys reveal subtle nuances as the track keeps going and there’s an echoing ripple that warps all of the elements, bringing to mind the psychedelic house tracks that the Orb made beyond the Ultraworld.
Tanner then embraces early ’90s R&B and house with its swinging drums on “Statues PF”, which seems destined at any moment to turn into a Lisa Stansfield dub, a soft chord slowly filling up more of the space. “Mercury” opens with Milky Way ambience, atmospheric radio interference, and bleeps before a sinewy bassline and a tough 124 BPM beat kicks in. The back half of the album feels more exploratory and lush, a side long track called ”Mozaic” being Mood Hut par excellence, a hybrid of New Age wooziness and body-moving house.
Mood Hut’s output this year has been matchless, each successive single suggesting that their aesthetic is ever so slowly becoming coherent. It was capped by Jack J’s “Looking Forward to You”, a sumptuous three-tracker that shows a nexus of chillwave, dusty Detroit vibes and Al B. Sure!’s “Nite and Day”. Recently fellow Hut member Cloudface dropped an untitled seven-track album on Black Opal, an offshoot of Opal Tapes, that at its finest moments suggested the pensive melodicism of early Boards of Canada and the open-ended beats of Theo Parrish. Between that release and Sandopolis, it augurs well for the label and their particular homegrown strain of house music in the year ahead.
from Album Reviews – Pitchfork http://ift.tt/1vN1uPi