Available on: Hyperdub 12″

‘Set the Tone’

When approaching an EP as blessed with warmth and rhythm as Ossie’s Set The Tone it can be a struggle to avoid filling a blank page with endless references to recent upturns in weather. After all, it’s dreadfully hackneyed and perhaps even limiting to claim that an EP is perfect for Summer – even if UK Funky often is. Set the Tone, though it seems tailor-made for stolen moments of sunshine, will still sound as gorgeous in the Winter months as it does now.

Where his last single, ‘Tarantula’, left Ossie with a definite air of promise, Set The Tone justifies the excitement around him. Its title track offers up deftly executed drum patterns punctuated by bursts of vocoder, and like much of the best r’n’b it rides that fine divide between seductive and sleazy. ‘Power of Love’ perhaps lacks that sort of intent, but ‘Moves’ more than makes up for it, demonstrating the same combination of strong synth work and rolling percussion that made ‘Tarantula’ such a well-recieved release.

On paper this EP’s exuberant percussion should really be at odds with the lounge music-esque synths draped over it, but this strange coalescence is often the beauty of Set The Tone; multi-purpose dance music so comfortable in its arrangement that it’s hard to determine where it’d work best. It’s a difficult mixture, with melodies that feel tailor-made to lull and hypnotise over some of the most remarkable drums around (they really are just brilliant), but the depth of the arrangements guarantee something for everyone.

Mike Coleman




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