Brownswood Recordings is proud to present the stunning debut album from their latest signing, Gang Colours aka Will Ozanne.
It was Ghostpoet, newly signed to Brownswood in March of 2010, who brought the music of Gang Colours to the labels attention, requesting a remix of his debut single ‘Cash & Carry Me Home’ from the young, Southampton-based producer. His MySpace page was a jumble of offkilter house cuts and slower, introspective, syncopated ditties – thick with darting synths and hummable melodies – which really resonated with us. As Gilles himself says: “I guess we fell in love with Will’s music gradually… he seduced us… but pretty soon we were head over heels. I think he’s going to have the same effect on a lot of people.”
Striking out in June 2011 with his debut EP ‘In Your Gut Like A Knife’ – a neat summary of his electronic excursions at that point – the beautifully artworked 12″ acted as a portal into a world of daydreams, tumbling into shadows and embracing luminescence simultaneously. Breeding surreal headphone-friendly landscapes, he struck a peculiar and delicate balance between otherworldly and familiarity, at times sneaking a sly glance towards the dance floor but mostly conjuring a sense of longing and rye melancholy. Ticking with a distinctive bounce and rhythm, it comes as no surprise that Gang Colours was raised on the bump and grind of UKG. But the fact that the 24 year old counts Laurie Anderson (“It’s kind of minimal, experimental and heavy on the spoken word. The production is amazing.”) and Basquiat as well as hometown heroes the Artful Dodger among his influences, it’s clear that he is coming from a different perspective altogether.
“Garage had a dance element and it had the emotion, the evocative side. And that ticked my boxes. But the groove of garage, and the tempo – those are characteristics that were really inspiring. The Streets’ ‘Original Pirate Material’ – just that track alone, especially the use of piano, really inspired me to make something different that could have a profound impact on someone.”
Taking a step back from chopped ‘n’ screwed RnB vocals and the swing of UKG, ‘The Keychain Collection’ explores more sombre recesses within Gang Colours’ palette. The scattered Technicolor synth melodies that characterised his EP are present, but softer… cosier even… weaving betwixt and between forthright piano chords and Will’s own vocals.
Aligning the symbolism of his childhood keychain collection as doorways to distant memories, leagues of meaning hide in the simplicity of the song titles assembled on his debut album. “Tissues and fivers are two of the interesting items that my Nan’s black labrador used to eat” and “Rollo [‘Rollo’s Ivory Tale’] is my grandad’s middle name. I recorded this track on his childhood piano.” Ten tracks deep then, ‘The Keychain Collection’ eloquently captures Gang Colours’ first steps on a long road. We’re looking forward to sharing the journey.