Osborne Hold Up
It might not be worth calling it a comeback yet, but following his hot "303" b/w "909" 12" for 7777, Hold Up definitely helps Todd Osborn (performing here as Osborne) seem like a revitalized artist. The Ann Arbor, Michigan producer has a lengthy back catalog and has never been easy to pin down, a characteristic that carries over to this latest EP; in contrast to the uncut acid tracks on "303" b/w "909," Hold Up is sleek and consummately composed. Joe Goddard of Hot Chip and Greco-Roman guests on vocals and production as well, furthering Osborn's pop agenda.
Enthusiasm for the Goddard-featuring title track, and its companion, "Joe's Dub," will likely vary depending on one's appetite for his parent group. Osborn has not gone and produced a Hot Chip song, but Goddard's vocal touch is so distinctive that it is a little hard to ignore. He does his soft, wispy thing on the mic, but Osborn's sense of control really stands out. One is especially reminded of various projects Morgan Geist has had a hand in—Metro Area, Storm Queen—in its economical arrangement, not to mention its infectiously squiggly synth patterns and calm keys. It struts, and its sense of funk is elegantly understated. Goddard's dub is not a drastic reboot; it works with a purringly motorized bass push and tender pads, which in turn accentuate his vocal's sentimentality. With Osborn at the controls again, "All Night" repeats its predecessor's sense of balance. The producer's mellow synth-and-keys interplay flips a somewhat stock house foundation into a sveltely funky groove. Tuff City Kids' remix acknowledges the track's tightness, but goes in a more stabby, less lush direction, deploying the parts in bursts, perhaps in attempt to draw some energy out of the original. Still, Osborne's touches shine throughout the EP. It feels a bit funny to say at this stage in his career, but he really seems like someone to watch right now.
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