Brian Labycz lives in Gifu, Japan (or so the press blurb says). His Osu consists of recordings he made in the streets in a single session, processed and "performed" in real-time. He stresses on the inlay card that "no linear editing or multi-track software was utilized," but that applies only to the performance itself. In other words, every sound bit heard has been triggered manually. But the original recordings have been tampered with, mostly hacked to bits to offer looping possibilities. There is no narrative coming out of this album; instead, the material has been organized into a multi-leveled kaleidoscope. A main recording provides an unspecific time line. Other sound elements are added to it or events embedded in it are repeated to create a stutter effect. Shards of everyday life revolve around the listener and come into full view each at a time, the other ones occasionally passing in front. The idea is good, but Labycz's delivery is somewhat clumsy and jerky. The sampling sounds raw; some interventions appear arbitrary and disruptive only for the sake of it. The artist has a good ear for finding interesting sounds and mapping out a sonic landscape, but he lacks the finesse of a Kiyoshi Mizutani to make it a thrilling listening experience.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture