In this series, Selections, we invite DJs, producers and label heads to dig into their digital crates and share the contents of their Bandcamp collections. This week, Otik spotlights ethereal ambience, precision-tooled breaks, bass-heavy dancehall and more
Otik occupies a unique space in the UK techno sphere. In a scene that so often flourishes in the depths, where dubstep pressure and the rhythmic influences of dancehall, grime and jungle into a heady club brew, the Bristol-born, London-based producer and DJ reaches for the light at the surface. His sound retains the bass-weight and dancefloor heft of his peers on labels like Keysound, Livity Sound and Wisdom Teeth, but bears an emotional resonance and blissed-out atmosphere that feels entirely his own. With a deep love for ambient music and a keen sense of melody and sound design, he’s earned a reputation for productions and DJ sets that hit hard, but aim straight for the heart.
Otik’s recent EP, ‘Soulo’, on Martyn’s 3024 imprint presents some of the finest examples of this sound to date . Across four tracks, swift, broken rhythms and rumbling sub bass plumes underpin bright melodies and lush rave sonics. It’s the prolific producer’s heaviest club gear in some time, but somehow, simultaneously, his most tender.
That balance of tenderness with rib-rattling energy is demonstrated in Otik’s Selections, which stretches from ethereal ambience and precision-tooled breaks into bass-heavy dancehall and beyond. Dig in.
“If you’ve listened to my radio shows you’ll know that ambient music has a special place in my heart. This one ticks all the boxes for me; cinematic, ethereal and beautiful. I opened with this at my last gig and it really set the tone for the rest of the mix.”
“Another ambient piece I’ve connected with. I’m a huge fan of anything that Ilian Tape puts out and this whole EP is really solid and forward thinking.”
“This one will be a staple in my sets for a while I think. Classic junglist vibes with the perfect sample and breakdown. Stones Taro is an artist I’m keeping my eye on for sure.”
“I was pretty late to discovering this. A dreamy UK Techno/breaks version of Anastasia Kristensen’s trippy original from Kettama, who honestly seems to never miss when it comes to big room dance tools.”
“Bass heavy dancehall influenced music with a tribal and breaksy twist from two legends in the game. Love the pads and vocal stabs in this too. Livity Sound does it again.”
“This one is taken from the latest Monstart compilation and includes a bunch of other great tracks, but this particular track grabbed me. Super atmospheric with beautiful melodies and sound design from one of my favourite producers at the moment.”
“I’m a huge fan of both of these artists and I have been for years, so to see them both unite on this track was pretty exciting for me. It’s the breakdown at three minutes for me – loving the eerie symphonies coupled with ridiculously detailed breaks.”
“I’m pretty much into everything that Kessler drops, but this one stood out for me recently. I love an ambient intro and a moody bassline, and this track ticks both boxes with ease.”
“This track takes me back to 2012/13 and reminds me of that big room Swamp81 sound that did the rounds at the time. The breakdown is so perfect for mixes, and the pads and vocals are strong.”
“This is my favourite track from Ross’ new album, the melodies and switch ups in this song are out of this world. I actually saw this live after I warmed up for him at Hope Works in Sheffield last year and it honestly blew me away, along with the rest of the live set. Beautiful music.”
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Author: Eoin Murray