Southampton-based producer and singer Will Ozanne assembles moments of hazy nostalgia from the building blocks of quintessentially British sounds, and he calls the end result Gang Colours. Debut album The Keychain Collection is a reverie in blue, blending the rainy day garage of The Streets with the electronic soul of Mount Kimbie and a catalogue of half-remembered instants collected on his trusty dictaphone.
Celebrating its launch on Gilles Peterson's eclectic Brownswood label, Will is playing the bijou Vortex jazz bar in Dalston, supported by fellow electronic experimentalist Gwilym Gold. Lounging on a sofa in the office-cum-dressing room next to the tiny gig space, he's as excited about having a bash on the grand piano in situ as he is about performing a secret cover song, which later turns out to be a number by another Southampton singer (we won't spoil it here, but no prizes for guessing).
Although he usually works alone, Will enlists producer friend Ryan on synth-triggering and knob-twiddling for the live performance. “He has his sampler connected up to the computer, so he's almost like the composer and I'm just playing around. It's a nice dynamic. I think for the next show we've got here we're going to have a drummer as well,” he says, explaining tonight's sell-out has prompted a second Vortex date on 5th April.
After picking up the basic programming tool Hip Hop eJay when he was barely a teenager (“I got mad into Tupac really early, lots of naughty words”), Will moved on to much-loved old school workhorse Fruity Loops when a tech-head cousin downloaded it for him. “I don't think I would have done it if he hadn't done it for me! I've still got a lot of love for Fruity Loops, but when I went to uni it was kind of a course requirement to use Macs.” His digital music degree became the ideal testing ground for his emerging musical aesthetic, an ephemeral blend of piano, vocals and beats inspired by garage and dubstep.