- Ossia is a Bristol-based artist and label owner who's involved in a number of high-quality projects, including No Corner, Peng Sound, Hotline, Young Echo and Fuck Punk. As a producer, he turns technical flaws into potent atmospheric tools in time-honoured dub tradition. He pulls ghosts out of rattling reverb springs and noisey channels, creating loaded ambience that creeps and lurks in the language of mutes, FX sends and faders. At best, all we're hearing is the decaying tails of overworked effects, fading to near silence before striking interjections of drum, synth or sample excite them all over again.
The two versions on Control / Information / Version illustrate this. A sub, a tom, a couple of hi-hats and a clipped vocal are the only elements in "Control (Version)," but Ossia's effects work creates a high-tension environment where even a dusty scratch seems full of portent. The final few minutes strip things back even further, allowing more room for the sounds to become lunging, rabid shards of feedback.
The originals are less sparse and more colourful but only relative to their versions. "Information" disappears into empty hiss around the two-minute mark, before a gnarled, mutated bass detonation clears the air for a sub line to step into view. It's a satisfying but fleeting embellishment for just a couple of bars in the tunes' centre—luckily, we hear a few more snatches of it in the final third. A queasy, detuned lead line blankets the music in paranoia, but the best moments are still when things begin to clear out and disintegrate. "Control" is the most accomplished production. The way the bassline wanders off course after the break, the snatches of psychotic, topsy-turvy melody, the occasional glitched snare and other carefully deployed details reveal how much Ossia holds back on the versions. But that's ultimately what makes them the gems on this strong double-pack.
B Control (Version)
D Information (Version)