Audio Mixers: Andrew Field-Pickering; Joe Mitra.
Spirited and genre-jumping from the get-go, House of Woo's opening number, "Slave to the Vibe," bounces along like a mix of Derrick May, Yellow Magic Orchestra, and Boards of Canada. Follow-up cut "Woo" is as if Prince and Gold Panda were sharing the same dream, and if that's five tasteful music nerd touchstones already, that shouldn't be a surprise to those who know that Washington, D.C.'s passionate electronic music blogger Andrew Field-Pickering is the man behind Maxmillion Dunbar. Still, House of Woo isn't just a crate crawler's mix of prime finds, as the Dunbar sound becomes identifiable after repeat listens. Moods that are soft, funky, quirky, and welcoming fill this warm record to get you moving -- and keep you moving -- as grooves are allowed to develop, slowly, surely, maybe even deceptively, for as long as they require. Highlight "Ice Room Graffiti" is a prime example as the easy flow gets bumpy and brittle as the beat goes on, while "Shampoo" is a bubble bath of electro chamber jazz with muted trumpets and buoyant sequencer lines floating about. All of it was influenced by the producer's move across town with his girlfriend and their dip into the world of cohabitation, explaining the happy-go-lucky mood and halcyon style. In photographs, Field-Pickering always looks like an outgoing mix of scruffy and the best kind of insatiable, while his writing is knowledgeable and convincing, and goes deep. House of Woo is more of the same, providing soundtracks for chillout rooms where the minds are satisfied and no one can even remember the definition of the word "dour." ~ David Jeffries