Big Zen - Prayer Bass

  • Mood Hut returns to the wee hours with some Vancouver-style trancey tech house.
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  • When Big Zen, AKA Jamie Ennis, first started releasing music, it was the heyday of the Vancouver house scene. The drums were dusty, the melodies foggy, the vibes cute and sleepy. And while he captured that on his debut cassette, filled with daydreaming ambient, his first 12-inch revealed a different side. There was still a screen of weed smoke, sure, but the melodies touched on prog and trance. Since then, Enns has continued to make his records a bit tougher than his peers, moving between dubby techno and '90s IDM. Now he returns to the proverbial headwaters of the Vancouver scene, Mood Hut, with an EP that splits the difference between the label's trademark lethargic house with his own floor-focused techno. What that means is that Prayer Bass's best tracks are something like tech house with a Vancouver twist. On both "Sugarcoated" and "Cash Splash" he locks in near the 140 BPM mark with percussion that's tough but swung, and goes to town on dueling melodies. "Sugarcoated" starts with a lead synth that has the anxious pulse of a hospital heart monitor before the butterflying chords take over the stereo with an arresting beauty. "Cash Splash" gets across that Pacific Northwest charm with its playful organ line while the bass bounces with that tech house signature rubberiness. Record highlight "Rumble" is made for a Wiggle party at Stanley Park: the melodies have the outdoor wonder of Khotin while the rolling hand drum lines remind me of old H-Foundation records. Prayer Bass is an interesting release to end Mood Hut's year. Following the Jack J and Local Action albums that showed just how far the label had evolved away from the club, Ennis explores the other end of the spectrum. Enns is also pushing the envelope, but just moving in the other direction, nudging the label back into its rightful place front left.
  • Lista de títulos
      01. Prayer Bass 02. Sugarcoated 03. Cash Splash 04. Rumble Ball