Arriving at a quarter century of releases, the increasingly impressive Wolf Music label drops this new four tracker from London’s Ossie. Coming to recognition via the snake charmer-esque qualities of his ubiquitous underground hit ‘Tarantula’ back in 2011, Ossie has kept a pretty low profile since then preferring to focus on his Black Orange Juice project, with this new collection his first solo offering in almost 2 years. Opening track ‘Heartbeating (Heavenly Mix)’ opens with NYC House referencing synth chords and a 4/4 that should be familiar to anyone who’s ventured outside in recent years, but soon displays a bit of flair via the addition of intermittent string swoons. These elements merge with the addition of some sturdier percussion and a punchy vocal cut up of the titular refrain to give the track a swagger befitting of Ossie’s UK Funky leanings.
The title track is similarly no re-invention of the wheel, although thanks to Ossie’s deft touch its elevated from tired retread into something altogether more enjoyable. The track’s instantly reognisable Garage bounce is used a springboard to launch some nice melodic interplay as the melodic bassline does the tango with some more dreamy cut ups to very pleasant effect. The release is rounded off with a functional dub version of ‘Heartbeating’ and ‘Forever’, a mesh of filter disco and the kind of soulful House flourishes found on records by the perennially satisfying likes of Atjazz, Spen and co. There’s a nicely meandering quality to the latter stages of ‘Forever’ befitting of a producer who seems to benefit from taking his time over releases.
British House music has rather unfairly shuffled its way into somewhat of a negative reputation as of late, with a certain section of listeners and the music press being rather turned off by the actions of small minorities in the scene. Releases such as this, and all of the material coming out of labels like Wolf Music, MadTech, Hypercolour, Unknown to the Unknown and countless others, might not be revelatory-but they are continual reminders of the high quality House music to be found on these shores beyond the bilge being danced to by a smattering of poorly dressed goons.
‘She Knows (That Love Hurts)’ is out on Wolf Music Monday 31st March. Order it here.