Osborne, Hovercrafting EP


[Specral Sound]

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Osborne’s “Hovercrafting EP” picks up where his Spectral Sound-released debut album left off last year, offering a breadth of styles rendered in characteristically bespoke timbres. The EP revisits “Wait A Minute Now,” first included on the free Ghostly Swim compilation, with two new versions and a potent Arto Mwambe remix. Osborne also slakes his thirst for crossing genre borders on two new tracks that deliver on the promise of his 2008 releases without simply reshuffling the deck. The two new versions offered here don’t veer far from the blueprint that made “Wait A Minute” such a standout among its compilation peers, yet Todd Osborn’s skillful rearrangements assure they’re worth owning. DJs will appreciate the utilitarian measures taken to fit “Wait” in their crates, retaining all the rollicking energy of the disco boogie number without breeding talkbox fatigue. And those who feel the vocoder-like affect is overexposed can find comfort in the self-explanatory instrumental version.

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Arto Mwambe’s jocular attitude towards production makes them a perfect fit to rework tunes as lighthearted as Osborne’s, and here they don’t disappoint. The main motif’s distinct articulation evaporates, allowing now effervescent tones to swirl elementally across the dance floor. Meanwhile the pair’s signature rounded bass sound and clap-led percussion keep the tune well anchored and ready for the return of the talkbox. Of the two new tracks “Fire” seems most tied to “Wait A Minute” stylistically, its’ gleaming string arrangements and dexterous guitar work expanding the disco theme in even more vivacious directions. By contrast, “The Count” is a punchy techno workout without frills. Osborne wrings simple arpeggios of their groove potential across several drum machine/synth combinations. Used in the right context, perhaps alongside Robert Hood-styled minimal techno, “The Count” could incite dance offs as fevered as those featured in its appropriated video. It may be another five years before the next Osborne album lands, but releases like the “Hovercrafting EP” suggest the road ahead will be dotted with tuneful oases.

Joe H  on May 18, 2009 at 5:12 AM

Arto Mwambe have been remixers of the year for me.Every remix has been top notch and when they’re coming as frequent as they have been I find you normally get some weak remixes, but with Mwambe all have been top notch IMO. Great stuff.

tom/pipecock  on May 18, 2009 at 9:21 AM

maybe i’m a hater, but the remix is by far the weakest track on this IMO. all the others are banging!

Anton  on May 18, 2009 at 9:32 AM

Hater 😉

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