Chad Thiessen is a name that’s been associated with the Vancouver scene for some time – he’s released on Mood Hut as part of the groups Aquarian Foundation and Kinetic Electronix, remixed local star Flørist and placed a couple of rugged tunes on a Various Artists EP for Pacific Rhythm. But it’s only now that Thiessen issues his first solo record, an untitled effort for Mood Hut that has apparently been “percolating for a while now in the hard drives of the Hut.”
While Thiessen offers a variety of tempos and styles across the EP, the mood is decidedly subdued throughout. The majority of the tracks would only be appropriate on the most sedated of dancefloors, streaked with blue synth notes and percussion that simmers rather than bangs. The A-side exhibits beauty through patience, opening with bright keys atop the stripped beat of Winskill Dub, where hi-hats flutter like hummingbirds that never quite land. Thiessen works up more tension of Duckberg, a plummeting two-note bassline breaking through the delicate interplay of dubby drumwork.
This leads to the EP’s centrepiece Positive Pressure, where Thiessen slowly stirs in blissful layers, each muffled clap and muted synth note more hypnotic than the last. It shares the rest of the record’s downcast mood, but there’s a warm heart beating deep in its misty core. Thiessen eases into the serene meditation of Crystal Pool, all woozy pads and lazy, colourful synth swells over an almost imperceptible beat. The exploratory synthplay of beatless follow-up 4B (Dab Mix) sounds like a particularly foggy Floating Points sketch, closing an EP that’s less overtly joyous but just as beguiling as anything else on Mood Hut.