Gang Colours

The Keychain Collection

Brownswood • 2012

A piano on the cover sleeve of »The Keychain Collection«, on its stand the sheet music of Beethoven’s all-time classic »Für Elise«. It seems as if the Southhampton-based Will Ozanne aka Gang Colours sets the direction for his own work that, not by chance, just has been released on Gilles Peterson’s label Brownswood: Will Ozanne seems to me as well grounded in Beethoven’s ballads as in the music catalogue of his label. Tracks like »Tissues & Fivers« show that clearly. Where on other Brownswood releases one would look for the acid and soul quotes between the lines of electronic beats, Ozanne reduces those aspects to mere fragments of jazz that arrange in order and leave a lot of space for the piano. Most of all the abstinence of clear dramatic structures and the unsteady beats that seem to be looking for something and have to be tamed again and again to set the more melodic accents, make »The Keychain Collection« furnishing music in the best sense of the term. It is a subtle and parenthetic record that stays in the background while for those who turn towards it, offers plenty of double bottoms and details. Will Ozanne should better get used to the James Blake comparisons concerning his vocals, even though he uses them way more discreet, almost shy, in brief moments when they are set coequal to the piano. These moments, when the vocals emancipate for a little while, might be the most beautiful moments of this persuasive debut.