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House of Doors – ‘The Dolphin Hotel Affair Vol.1’ (Mood Hut)

House of Doors lift off from the essential ‘Bicameral Mind’ on Future Times to deliver this elevated fifth release for vaunted Canadian imprint Mood Hut. Building on strong records from the likes of Cloudface and Pender Street Steppers, this latest 12″ emanates confidence. Through use of an endlessly deep local talent pool, Mood Hut has remained inextricably linked to Vancouver, their artists embodying the hazy, colourful consciousness present in the city. The amorphous aliases and individual unanimity within the label roster only serve to enhance the cohesion between their releases. Alongside Washington DC contemporaries PPU and Future Times, the collective gazes forward while remaining firmly rooted within House music’s organic beginnings.

This latest record from Aquarian Foundation member House of Doors feels shrouded in mystery. The three tracks on ‘The Dolphin Hotel Affair Vol. 1’ constitute the most tense and cinematic so far within the Mood Hut canon. The deceivingly funky lead track ‘Filter Feelings’ gets the soirée going with its floating, moody bassline and grainy shakers. The most dancefloor focused of the three tracks, its driven home by a beautifully weighted clap. With ‘Moesha’, the hypnotic, Brandy & Monica sampling B side, things move deeper. The vocals dance amid suspended liquid pads and a lumbering 4/4 kick, hitting fever pitch with the addition of a sinister reverb laden hi-hat. The loose, percussive final track ‘Frakincence’ evokes images of beach fires and crashing waves during profound summer nights alongside the ocean. This crucial record will be given major summer rotation deep into the evening, and could be the most focused Mood Hut release yet.

‘The Dolphin Hotel Affair Vol. 1’ is available in stores now. The Mood Hut crew will be also touring Europe this summer, highlighted by a slot at Dekmantel Festival in Amsterdam.

Jarod Lapp