- What a missed opportunity it would've been if Mood Hut hadn't dipped its toes into ambient music. And not simply because of the appropriate name—though it does always make me picture a sauna thick with steam and the sounds of water on hot rocks and relaxed sighs—but because its style of laid back house has always held certain similarities with ambient. Those loose, enriching grooves have an air of blissful sedation, and the feeling somehow carries on in the jazzy and jacking material. Mood Hut's first ambient 12-inch, a three-tracker by Slow Riffs (AKA Ian Wyatt, Local Artist), embodies the aesthetic, taking the opportunity to dive deeper into its meditative, you might say rejuvenating, properties.
With track titles "Gong Bath," "Virgo Dub" and "Peace Arch," this record could appear to have an affinity for new age, but Slow Riffs is more abstract and less nostalgic than that. These pieces are built on texture, nuance and the ebb and flow of overlapping, disconnected loops. Gas may come to mind when taking in the nature sounds and scattered melody of "Virgo Dub" or "Gong Bath"'s aquatic hypnosis. The dubby, freeform sections of early Mouse On Mars also seem like a touchstone. Certainly less calming, "Peace Arch" makes for a distinctive piece with chaotic drum splashes and breezy chime loops. Thanks to steady hand percussion, you might even be able to work it into a DJ set. The rest of Slow Riffs' record is better suited for a full-length—something you could properly lose your thoughts in and absorb over a longer stretch of time—but that doesn't make its single-serving doses of spiritual calm any less effective.
A1 Gong Bath
B1 Virgo Dub
B2 Peace Arch