With Hot Chip in that fuzzy ground between tours and producing, Joe Goddard’s presence has stepped up somewhat in the solo production and collaboration stakes. This time his talents have been enlisted by Todd Osborn for Hold Up, his latest release on Spectral Sound.
As Osborne, yes with an e, Todd is well known for his spin on classically house structures, and Hold Up feels like it should be a cheery house number. Yet, for some reason, its demeanour is decidedly overcast – the melodies and bassline sound tantalisingly familiar, but it is almost as if our hapless performer was told his cat had died just seconds before he was due to record. His fingers, obviously wet with tears through the revelation of feline mortality, shift towards the minor scale, sounding blurred, almost as if keys are not being hit truly. On top of this, Joe’s delivery is wispy and reflective, crafting an atmosphere for melancholic headphone wearing bedroom dwellers. For those wanting a slightly more positive alternative, Joe’s Dub, while adhering closely to the original’s template, has a more determined feeling – less of a tug at the heartstrings and more of a forging towards a better future.
A deft flick of a cassette later and we are on to All Night, finding Osbourne in much more of a cheery mood, thanks to easy going electric piano and soulful “all night” chants. All Night is then tackled by Tuff City Kids—the meeting of retro minds between Gerd Janson and Phillip Lauer—who stay true to expectations by pulling out classic 808 sounds and house stabs, giving a slightly more direct edge to the ever so slightly twee original. The spotlight, however, remains trained on Hold Up, which has created an unlikely uplifting anthem for those who find their smiles in subdued melancholia.