Of the four tracks on this EP, a taster for his upcoming album, the title track is bound to grab the most attention—‘Ruling’ is a joyous vocal house number with an undeniable hook that will very much lift the spirits. Expect to hear it a lot this summer, albeit not quite at the Joe Claussell parties it'd like to be invited to—it’s pitched slightly too ironically for the high heels set, skipping '80s Chicago and '90s New York to fondly look back at the yacht-rocking '70s.
A2 ‘Downtown’ is less successful. It shoots for a wide-eyed, Vegas showtime feel (You expect it to break into a marimba solo at any moment), but ends up somewhere slightly less magical—on a fairground ride perhaps, and one which goes round and round for a little too long.
The two tracks on the B veer closer to indietronica, where Osborne’s geekery and sleekness seem more comfortable bedfellows (proving that it’s much easier to make outsider electronica than outsider house, surely). There is one hit and one miss: the hit being the low-key and wistful ‘16th Stage’, which will appeal to Superpitcher fans and the like, and the miss being ‘Fresh’, which is actually an interesting oddity for genre-spotters: it starts out with deep house intentions and ends up, well, frankly rather fruity—you could imagine a salesman in a Yamaha showroom proudly whipping this out to sell you an über-synth. Like I said, slick but nerdy.
Sun / 6 Apr 2008
B1 16th Stage