Few local scenes have caused a stir in recent years like the house sound coming out of Canada’s west coast. There’s a gentle, daydreaming quality to the hardware jams that have coalesced around labels like Mood Hut and 1080p that proves irresistible, with producers eking out the softer fringes of acid, jazz and new age.
Vancouver transplant Dylan Khotin is a strong example, announcing himself with releases on 1080p and Normals Welcome emotionally situated between dewy melancholy and misty-eyed optimism. While local affiliates such as Pender Street Steppers, Project Pablo or Florist keep a touch of humanity front and centre in their productions, using voices and acoustic instrumentation, there is something decidedly mechanical about Khotin’s productions, like the songs of love and loss that machines would write to one another.
In Recycle (5AM Reflection Mix) everything is descending: hollow drum hits and glistening synthwork, a burbling acid bassline and a distant whirring like a spacecraft failing to take off. It’s wistful material, the synths flowing into a pool of shimmering reverb, emphasised on the beatless Drift Mix beside the lapping of waves on the shore.
The B-side holds material more primed for the dancefloor, with highlight Human Voice beaming out new age synthwork over clattering cymbals and the distant sound of celestial chipmunks. Meanwhile the final title cut is more introspective, a busy rhythm writhing under an uncertain synth motif, before a yearning melody emerges for the track’s second half. It’s a convincing statement for both Khotin and 1080p for the new year, wintery music for contemplating grey skies and hushed dancefloors.