The mysterious Mood Hut crew out of Vancouver kind of just appeared out of the blue a couple of years ago and immediately started to take the deep, tropical house world by storm. Like - one of the most impressive starts to any label we've seen, kinda thing. With a slew of steady releases by the Pender Street Steppers, Aquarian Foundation and our personal fave of the litter, Jack J - they've found their way into many big league record bags within a matter of no time, quickly building a strong rep in the genre. Some of their releases are indeed very quirky and decidedly off-kilter, and reaching a little too far left for me, but gotta respect that of course. And when they do hit the nail on the head like they have numerous time (Jack J's 'Thirstin' release on Future Times - I'm looking at you), they create serious masterpieces that will undoubtedly stand the test of time for decades.
Their latest missive is a step off their beaten path (the beaten path off the beaten path if you will). A various artists release entitled 'Disco Mantras Vol. 1', which has about as much to do with disco as a skillful illustrator has to do with Peppa Pig. I've had this record a good month or so now (came out around April of this year) and am having a serious tough time getting unstuck from the turntable. When I first heard the snips online of the 7 tracks I really didn't know what to think - weird, slow and unmistakably odd and at times off key, they are surely more geared towards home listening but not really 'balearic'; nor do they succumb to a downtempo definition in the traditional sense - or do they? I'm really not sure how to classify them at all to be honest, and that might be the reason I love them so much. Waving the freaky flag and all that, but super well done and intelligent in their productions.
Artists here are super incognito/unknown: Tauru Johnson & Lion Heart, Dorjan Attamofd, Blue Heron, Cafe DM - all of whom have zero releases under their belt from a quick discogs glance. Monkiers of the Mood Hut crew, we reckon - otherwise some completely unknown canucks with loads o' talent. Only known name is from our friend Coyote from Is It Balearic who is featured on the final track by Blue Heron, 'Paul's Blues'. I've decided I won't do the disservice of describing these wonderfully rich and layered tunes in words. It's percussive, it's dubby, it's jazz, it's african-rhythmic, it's reggae-esque, it's shimmering and atmospheric, downbeat, house and ambient - all in the same breath. It's just the kind of record we love and cherish in these dark and rainy summer afternoons, and equally as perfectly fitting for bright sunlit morning beaming through the window. It's just so good.
To top things off, gotta love the vinyl notes of the record too: 'This album is dedicated to our freak friends across the world playing for peace in an era of fear and ignorance'. Lovely to read such a thing in our current trying times, is it not?
Copies still available at Juno HERE, snap one up