Over the last three years the Brotherhood team have been throwing regular parties in Leeds, as well as numerous excursions as stage hosts at clubs and festivals around the country and abroad from Fabric to Outlook. Launching the party’s first release as a label, Ashley Thomas aka Otik, originally from Bristol but now a London resident, is one of those producers who doesn’t sound like he could be from anywhere but the UK. He’s had a busy 12 months, from track premieres on XLR8R and i-D, radio play from the likes of Mickey Pearce and Dusk & Blackdown, and more recently his own show on NTS. His Brotherhood debut ‘Limbo/Antibodily Functions’ will be his first vinyl release, and is out now.
‘Limbo’ immediately conjures up connotations of that old tag we all hated and quickly disappeared – ‘Future Garage’. Otik’s playfully swung Garage beat grooves through unashamedly cheesy chord sequences, vocal samples drenched in delay and classical instrumentation in ways that artists like Kahn and Synkro were doing around 2011. The track doesn’t vary enough to a warrant a playtime of 7 minutes, but admittedly with every return the melodies at work become more infectious – to the point where they have been following me around for the last few of days.
‘Antibodily Functions’ is a more heated affair. Gone are the melodic pads and gentle vocal lines, replaced by aggressively chopped ‘wah’ stutters and low hanging sub. The Garage swing is still there, but it punches a little harder on this side. Whereas ‘Limbo’ has an end-of-the-night melancholy to it, ‘Antibodily Functions’ is there to keep any floor moving, regardless of the hour.
Whilst neither tracks are ground breaking, that doesn’t mean they aren’t solid efforts – ‘Limbo’ in particular has the charm to stay in rotation for a long time. It’s exciting to see a new label dive straight in at the deep end with a vinyl release, particularly in an area of music that doesn’t have as passionate a wax crowd as more traditional House/Techno.
‘Limbo/Antibodily Functions’ is out now on Brotherhood Sound System Records.
Words: Jonathan Kambskarð-Bennett