- Pender Street Steppers man Jack Jutson gave Mood Hut its breakthrough moment when he went solo with last year's Looking Forward To You. The music of the Vancouver label is low-key and rarely draws attention to itself, but the allure of Jutson's languid deep house was just too sumptuous to resist. Since then, the crew's music has been popping up everywhere, including another stellar 12-inch from Jutson with Steppers partner Liam Butler. Now, almost a year to the day after releasing the last Jack J EP, Jutson steps out on his own again, this time for like-minded label Future Times. Primed for late-night summer parties, Thirstin' is every bit seductive as its predecessor.
One of Jutson's strengths is how his music comes off effortless and carefree without ever sounding disaffected. "Thirstin'" is no different, and it's amongst the year's most relaxing house jams. The layered hand percussion feels weightless but propulsive, and is well-appointed with muted instrumentation, amplified by subtle dub FX and finished off with a catchy, understated hook sung by Jutson himself. But the genius of "Thirstin'" comes down to his secret weapon: those zig-zagging basslines, which are often more sing-songy than his melodic leads. And "Thirstin'" gets a whopper of a disco bassline, digging a path that's as fun to follow as the vocal. As I recently saw, it's the kind of thing that'll rip a set a new one in spite of its laid-back disposition.
The instrumental "Atmosphère" sounds like a dub version of an original tune we have yet to hear. Its focus is on some expressive piano playing, while the funky rhythm section—with a killer bass performance—keeps things interesting underneath. The song's clean lines and unencumbered rhythm make it sound a bit like Steely Dan trying to make an early house track, recalling Looking Forward To You's keen ability to cobble together era-spanning touchstones into something cohesive and coherent. Thirstin' makes the blend even more seamless, delivering two groovy, timeless tracks set to dominate summer 2015 just like his solo EP did last year.