BRIAN OSBORNE & MICHAEL THOMAS JACKSON
On The Road Again 2004

DOSDEDOS
Dosdedos

[Heat Retention Records, www.heatretentionrecords.com]

Percussionist Brian Osborne is an interesting individual.  Having been involved in numerous projects - Dosdedos, Bastocyst, George Steeltoe Ensemble - he's also very comfortable in duo settings.  These two records see him doing what I feel may be his greatest asset - the give and pull of a pure duo relationship.
Together with multi-instrumentalist Michael Thomas Jackson [who used to operate a cassette label Xkurzhen Sound], Osborne is pure fire.  "On The Road Again 2004" sounds as if someone had lit a match under his ass, he plays like his life depended on it.  Pure rolling thunder, accompanied with loosely structured rhythmic patterns.  Best part is there is no rhyme for all of this.  While Jackson blows pleasant clarinet passages into his mouthpiece, Osborne sets the pacing with airy hi-hat barrages and cymbal crashes galore.  At certain points, he sounds a tad unsure as to overall direction he's pursuing.  "Legislature Implores a Vacuum" sees him do a pensive stop-and-go routine on his drum set, while Jackson messes around with some electronics, before breaking out into a torrent of head-to-head improvisation.  The recording has an airy feel in part due to the lack of a proper mix.  This is a live recording after all, so what you hear is pretty much what occurred in October of 2004.  Glistening with improvised glory and hot to the touch, the record is one tough improvised gem.
When Osborne meets Lathan Hardy in Dosdedos, things heat up even more. Recorded around the same time [sometime in 2004], their self-titled record is all fire and brimstone.  It's Hardy that forces Osborne to play even more on the outside.  It's almost as if his chaotic sax motifs force him to forget that there are brakes.  Hardy's alto sound is jagged.  As he feeds Osborne these forceful blows, Osborne replies, in turn providing havoc of his own.  He's still as pervasively stubborn - concentrating largely on high-pitched cymbals and rolling in the rhythms in no particular sense or form.  Hardy is best when he's heard up front, rather than being buried under the percussive mayhem.  Luckily, each of the players get enough time in the spotlight to conclude one thing - this collective knows the language of give and take.  These two know when to pull back and when to attack at full speed.  They don't simply play for the sake of playing - Osborne and Hardy eat, breathe and sleep with this music.  Free, creative and passionate as hell, Dosdedos will surely produce more fire in the future ahead.

- Tom Sekowski


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