It’s the point those chords come in – cockle-warmingly woody and lip-smackingly sour at once – that gives “Tarantula” a good part of its rewind-and-replay value. To some the moment will be familiar from the sets of UK house and funky DJs lucky enough to have had the tune up front, notably Petchy on London pirate Live FM. That the meandering lack of build-up is relatively unarresting only maximises the impact, although its synth-funk lead, wavering amid hand percussion, is lovely in itself.
Given that Ossie may be emerging as a key artist for the hardcore, it’s worth noting what he represents, or rather doesn’t: he isn’t a producer who revels in any of UK funky’s distinctive tropes. If his music symbolises anything it’s a pluralism around the scene, something that often risks collapse into the stylistic hinterland of US and European house. Fortunately his music is in no such danger on the whole, as his idiosyncrasy comes through more strongly than anything else.
B-side “Creepie Crawlies” is a decent example, with a steel skeleton of stiff percussion and ring-modulated effects coming straight out of nu-electro’s quaint future. Against the coldness, a miasma of humid, tribal drumming creates a weird juxtaposition, making for peculiarly enjoyable results.
Perhaps the safest prediction to be made for Funkineven’s “Tarantula” remix is that it’s due to be overlooked next to it’s big brother. It’s well done, making the most of the material, but not too beholden to smear it with rusted-through acid lines. Plus it’s a rare gift that enables him to use not only the sound of the 303 but also a TR-808 drum machine for something other than pastiche. In the end, though, Ossie’s future-classic version is all you really need.