Review: Slowly working his way to the top is one Ashley Thomas, aka Otik, who now makes his debut on Martyn's 3024 label following an ascent through the ranks thanks to releases on Dext Recordings, Keysound and Nous. It follows Martyn X Om Unit's The Passenger EP and sees Otik, a Londoner, dreaming of a soundtrack for ravers to listen to as they speed up the M25 to their next free rave. The title track especially so, with its earthly beginnings, quickly snowballs into a euphoric stargazing burner. "Paradise Mode" throws down some heavy kicks as if giving a nodding a way to Exit Records with its drum and bass make up and futuristic sound design, next to the dubby, atmospheric and frenetic ambient pace of "Lightyear (dub)".
Review: The Shall Not Fade team have assembled something pretty special here as OTIK delivers five tracks of stunning soundscaping ability, kicking off with the beautiful arpeggio stutters and glistening vocal flexes of 'Night Visions'. From here, the title track 'Zero-Sum Game' unleashes some vibrant percussive lines atop pounding sub layers, before the soothing sitar action of 'Silhouetta' slides into play. The pace then quickens significantly with the shuffling rhythms of 'Falling Forward', with 'Neuron Blossom' providing the perfect outro through some icy harmonic mastery.
Review: Keysound Recordings proudly present the return of Otik for their first and only release for 2020! "Amor" sees big, driven and dubby hall vibes boom with spacious, sidechained kick drums while rattling junkyard percussion and soft wavy synth textures dip and dive between post-dubstep beats that crossover into techno rhythms. Deeper, liquid and drum and bass, next, is "Seasonal FX" that resonates with bit graded distortion, ragga inspirations and future bass club music that pushes at the melancholia of an original '90s soundboy spirit.
Review: Developing its roster over the last few years DEXT Recordings has curated a discography worth talking about with a bend of artists ranging from Special Request, Nightwave and Jerome Hill to Mark Broom and Dead Man's Chest collaborations. For DEXT's first release in 2020 it does the same, pitching legends of the scene like Commix and Appleblim alongside new school mates like Pugilist and Otik. Raw beats find themselves eventually masked by swathes of delay and melody in Appleblims' 'Hydrothermal Vents" with Commixx turning in a staccato loop hovering somewhere in that grey zone between drum and bass and techno. Deep, reverberating two-step and jungle vibes outta Pugilist with "Eclipse" (tip!) with some colourful dub and melodic beat scene loops oozing between the dubstep of "Apollon".
Review: As two legendary names within the UK dance music scene in general, we were absolutely thrilled to see that Dusk & Blackdown had linked up with Keysound for a very tasty LP project entitled 'Rollage Live, Vol. 1'. The tracklisitng as ever, shows this duo's insane aptitude for electronic sound design, from the sweeping score of 'Keysound Sessions Anthem' and it's 'Feverish Weightless Mix', to the laser-lead switch ups of 'Parallels' and scattered rhythms of the 'Peng One Two' VIP. For us, there are two clear standouts, including 'Flex' with its unpredictable rhythmic manoeuvres and colourful synthesizer expansions, alongside the steadily rolling bass chugs of 'Anyone Test'.
Review: Following a succession of acclaimed releases on Dext, Otik turns to Boogie Box for his latest release. Joining a label that includes STL and Appleblim in its catalogue may be daunting for some artists, but clearly Otik has no such concerns. The tile track is led by dubbed out drums and a subtle, stepping rhythm, while on "Unshut", he veers into deeper waters thanks to the use of blurry textures and ticking bleeps. On "Four Feet", Otik changes tact again, with a focus on atmospheric synths and organic drums, while Metrist rounds off the release with a busy, rhythm-heavy rework of "Feet..."
Review: The Keysound massive make a highly anticipated return on this one as they unveil this five tracks selection from no other than Otik. We begin with the hypnotic composition of 'Top Ten', which sends trippy arpeggiators out to lead a choppy bass heavy charge. Next up the quirky sub rolls of 'True Level' followed by 'Latex' which works together some incredibly creative uses of space and reverb. Finally we have the spacey garage roller known as 'Notion'' before landing firmly on Blackdown's super techy rerun of 'Top Ten', rounding off the EP perfectly.
Review: Both Otik and Boom Ting Records like to construct gnarly, off-the-wall bass bruisers, so this should be the perfect partnership moving forwards. For the time being, we can confirm that this is some straight-up dutty material, straight from the street and onto your speakers! The producer drops two cuts of "Dannii Minogue", the original version which has more in common with 00s grime that it does with modern post-dubstep, all fire from the vocals by Grim Sickers to the percussion muscle, and a bass-heavy dub lick to break out in the middle of the rave. "Cautionary Tales" is the perfect ending to this energetic EP, a slew of eerie synths glide over malicious two-step beats to give off a true-school London flavour. Bad!
Review: It hasn't exactly taken Otik a very long time to build up an impressive catalogue of warped bass tunes and, thanks to releases for the likes of Infinite Machine and Tessier-Ashpool, the producer is now a string contender among the very best in the low-frequency game. "Acne Downs" starts off this new EP for Durkle Disco, and it's a mix of the best elements from the broken beat and garage subgenres, leaving Caski's remix to dub the mix down into outer space. "Big Bad Wolf" is a grime stepper in all senses of the phrase, a murky, curbside killer backed by some menacing London-style vocal slayings.
Review: Tessier-Ashpool has been reigning supreme in the bass world as of late thanks to a number of absolute winners from around the globe. Relative newcomer Otik calls the shots on this latest two-tracker backed by a heavy-loaded collection of remixes. "Emphasis" is a neo-jungle nutjob coming through with all guns blazing, and "Witness" similarly boasts the breaks antics except this time the groove contains more of a classic d&b approach. The versions for the former come from Liar and Cloaka Dungeon, while the latter sees reworks from Mutual Friend, Majora and an edit from Wallwork & RZR.
Review: Bear Fresh have been pushing their more deep house-influenced side of late, but now they're revisiting their more urban-orientated "City" series to redress the balance. This second volume keeps the vibes going with nine killer tracks, highlights of which include the wobble-heavy stepper "Crazy Hype" by Crown Duels & Resonate, the apocalyptic 4x4 meanness of "Crater Face" by Pelikan, the tremor-inducing low end of future-laser-house belter, "Olisha's Call" by Scullious & One Over and, the frankly nuts, military bombardment of "Full Tilt" by Kiri & Nab.