Though I didn’t realize it at the time and I hadn’t listened to it until two weeks ago, the new Devonian Garden EP from Cloudface has been a favourite of mine for months. Ever since I heard the ‘Moody Mix’ of ‘Otcho’ on last summer’s Mood Hut Mix 4, I’ve been infatuated with the oozing, smoky mechanical melodies and warm, fuzzy sound design of the Vancouver producer. Slated as the follow up to his superb acid drenched Wyre Drive LP for Nice Up Int’l and the debut release of the Mood Hut collective’s label later this month, versions of the tracks appeared as exclusives sprinkled through subsequent editions of their addictive mix series. A ‘Hut Edit’ of funky title track ‘Devonian Garden’ followed quickly on Mix 5 and the sleepy, snarling ‘Summer’ finally leaked out with last month’s Mix 7. Hot on the heels of the EP’s Dummy Mag debut, it only took a couple weeks for the crunchy, sparkling sounds of ‘Otcho’ to reach my ears again. This time it was in the hands of Hessle Audio wunderkind Ben UFO, on the first installment of his new Rinse.FM timeslot. Sharing your international radio premiere with the likes of new tracks from James Blake and Mount Kimbie is pretty decent company to keep indeed. ‘Watch out for Mood Hut. Trust me.’ Couldn’t have said it any better myself.
There is something wistful and seductive about the organic analog electronics of Cloudface’s gear based production, an inviting vibe that defines the sound of a city as it begins making international noise. Though it arrives at a time when much of the experimental electronic universe is embracing ethereal aural machine music, months after its conception, Cloudface’s unique textures and melodic structures remain uniquely dynamic. As if summoning the zeitgeist toward it like a forming funnel cloud, Devonian Garden remains ahead of the field rushing to meet its low pressure zone. Delightfully timed drum sequences ripple over one another with space to breathe. Cloudface’s compositions never feel busy or crowded, but full of light, airy, bouncing voices floating over swirling undercurrents. Harmonic tension emerges from the gentle push and pull between the rumbling punch of pads and the tender oscillations of tweaked ambience. Ultimately, the effect is transportation to an untethered world of atmospheric sound, driven by entrancing repetitions. Getting lost on the streams of Devonian Garden is flying off into a rainbow Pacific horizon in a patchwork pastel hot-air balloon, dreaming and waking in a warm, sticky dew.