Pender Street Steppers – The Glass City
Mood Hut ended 2014 with critical praise ringing in their proverbial ears and the simple delights of their last release, Jack Jutson’s breezy “Something (On My Mind)”, finding the label new fans with each day. Mood Hut’s eighth release feels like an attempt to temper this growing attention, as Jutson teams up with fellow Pender Street Stepper Liam Butler for two quietly unassuming tracks. Both “The Glass City” and “Golden Garden” are described quite aptly as Lo-NRG by Mood Hut, and you should ignore the 12” centre label’s suggestion you play this record at 45rpm.
Together they evoke a similarly warm feeling to Life in the Zone, the Pender Street Steppers tape on Mood Hut from 2013 that remains a personal highlight of the label. That tape essentially set out the Pender Street Steppers template with soft drums, odd vocal samples and delightful little instrumental touches hooking you to its 17 tracks. It’s a tape that will be played for summers to come. Little has changed on this latest 12” from the Penders and it’s quite possible both tracks were laid down at Mood Hut’s HQ in the same recording session, a notion strengthened by that centre label. Take a look for yourself.
“The Glass City” is the brisker affair, magical trumpets parping and gentle chords chiming as the clipped drums roll out the groove at something approaching a standard house tempo. Everything is cloaked in a bassline whose enveloping warmth is reminiscent of a Hammam spa treatment I enjoyed in Marrakech earlier this year. The First time “Golden Garden” was spun, the opening bars left me confused at what speed the track should be played, sounding not quite right at either tempo. Cut to run at a lowly 100bpm, it may creep into action slowly but “Golden Garden” soon attains its own glassy charm with some ornithological samples that will delight fans of SUED’s rainforest excursions.
In the aftermath of Leo Messi destroying Bayern Munich a few weeks back, I heard a football journalist suggest the Argentinean was waging a war on language, the well of superlatives ever decreasing with each performance. Some might balk at comparing one of the world’s best footballers to a record label, but it’s becoming increasingly hard to find new ways to state how joyous Mood Hut’s output consistently is.
A1. The Glass City
B1. Golden Garden