5 Minutes with Otik

Otik bass techno

Otik’s sound is a patchwork of UK music. He first came onto our radar years ago, making heavy low end bangers in the style of his hometown of Bristol and later as the first release on Leeds favourites Brotherhood Sound System's label.

Today his output has veered more into the Dubstep and Breaks influenced style of techno pioneered by Hemlock, Timedance and Livity Sound, showcased on his regular slots on London’s Radar Radio and NTS.

Ahead of his set upstairs with Om Unit, Nausika and more Otik sat down with us to talk about his relationship with music, life down south and links to Leeds.

ORBS: First of all we really enjoyed your shows on radio last year, you seemed quite busy, appearing on Radar, NTS and Rinse. How did these shows come about and what are your plans for radio this year?

OTIK: Thank you, yeah I did quite a lot of radio last year! Which actually kinda left me with a lot less time to do music as I was working 4 days a week too. It’s good to have a little more time to actually create at the moment. Radar asked me to do a residency way back when it started up and I stayed with them for 3 years. NTS and Rinse were just one offs for now, but I’m looking to hopefully do a few more shows with them in the future.

ORBS: Following on, was this something that came from moving from your native Bristol to London? As a producer and DJ, how different do the two scenes feel?

OTIK: I never really got to experience much of the Bristol music scene, as I moved to London when I was 18. I managed to catch the tail end of the dubstep era at Motion, a popular club in Bristol, which was what got me into rave culture in the first place, however I discovered pretty much every other side of the hardcore continuum once I arrived in London.

ORBS: How is the scene in London today? Amidst club closures and rising rent we hear a lot of bad press, how does that translate to your own experiences?

OTIK: I mean from a personal viewpoint I do feel like it’s diminished slightly since I arrived. Especially considering the whole Fabric issue, not to mention other clubs. But London is still by far the best place to be for a musician of my persuasion. Most things are based here and easily accessible. For example i can reach the radio stations and club nights I want to play at easily, and a lot of other musicians and DJs are just round the corner so networking is made easy.

ORBS: What are your first memories of music and making music?

OTIK: First memory of making music is when I started! A friend of mine sent me a crack version of fruity loops when I was 15 and I had a play around. I was awful at music production for a long long time. But practice makes perfect.

ORBS: Listening to your output over the last few years, it's fair to say your sound has changed, today it sounds quite orientated towards breaks and UK techno. Was it a conscious decision to move in this direction or did it come about naturally?

OTIK: Yes it was. The whole ‘bass’ scene has become a little stale to me recently. Not to water down anyone who makes that kind of music, I just found in the last couple years labels such as Hessle Audio, Timedance, Idle Hands, Livity Sound etc have really pushed boundaries and the music sounds so much more forward thinking and free form. Which influenced me to upgrade my sound a little. I still take a lot of inspiration from bass music I’m just now trying to present it in a more creative way, using the influence of more textural and techno inspired sounds.

ORBS: You were responsible for the debut release on Leeds lads Brotherhood Sound System's label. How did that relationship come about all those years ago?

OTIK: I received an email from them a while back asking if I’d be up for releasing some music with them. I’m pretty sure we’d bumped into each other in London a few times too, and they were the first guys to actually offer me a vinyl release, and the first label to want to release some of my more left field music. So I said yes! And I was and still am grateful they wanted me to be their debut release on the label. Shouts to Silas and Snare!

Catch the man himself on the 24th February for our 2nd Birthday on the 24th February.

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