Since relocating to London from Bristol, DJ and producer Ashley Thomas, aka Otik, has been steadily building his rep as one of the most exciting young producers to emerge in underground bass music.
With releases on Durkle Disco, Brotherhood Soundsystem, Boom Ting, Infinite Machine and Dext Recordings, the 24 year old contorts the frameworks of past club movements, and has steadily been building a solid catalogue of hard hitting club tracks that span across the worlds of techno, grime, jungle and dubstep.
Fittingly making his debut on of London’s most exciting labels Keysound Recordings, Otik returns for his second effort of 2018 with EP, Top Ten. Marking four original productions and a refix from Keysound’s Blackdown, the release sees the producer continue to explore the space between techno and bass weight.
In anticipation of Top Ten, we asked Otik to dive into the extensive Keysound catalogue and pick out some of his favourite records to date, pulling classics from Sully, Burial, Wen and more.
1. Sully – Carrier (2011)
This was one of the first UK dance LPs I’d ever heard, and is still one of my favourite albums of all time. I was very fresh to the whole scene when I heard it, and me and my mates would rinse it in mixes and just have it on in the background for a good two years. I was so inspired by Sully’s ability to hold onto a sound within a handful of different genres, I could even go so far to say that it inspired me to try and do the same with my own music eventually.
2. Wen – Signals (2014)
I’ve never been huge on the grime scene. I’ve got love for a lot of MCs and UK Rap, and classic stand outs like Boy In Da Corner etc make the exception. But Grime as a genre didn’t properly grab me like it did most people. But this was a style of it I could really resonate with because it was so innovative and infused elements of other music I liked. He did what a lot of the greats such as Burial did, and took a genre, dismantled it and put his own unique spin on it.
3. Detboi – Scatter (2015)
This is just an absolute belter of an EP. After the hype of Hackney Parrot, I struggled to discover anyone doing the 130 jungle thing as well as this guy, besides artists like Benton or Etch. Difference with this guy was the use of space, I still struggle to do that with my own club music, and the detailed way in which he took apart those breaks just blew me away. Sick release.
4. Sully – Blue (2014)
Another Sully release but rightfully so. When this came out it had such a distinct sound, I hadn’t heard Jungle delivered in this way before. The light airy synths over some of the most intricately chopped breaks I’d ever heard was so impressive. “Blue” & “Rotten” in particular are just modern classics to me.
5. Burial – Temple Sleeper (2015)
This isn’t my favourite Burial release, but this is still one of my favourite more rave influenced tunes by him. It really grew on me because at first I wasn’t massively into it, because like most people I was expecting something ‘Untrue’-esque. But after a few listens it became clear how many layers there were to it. I really like the slight change of direction and the ’90s hardcore / Prodigy feel is spot on.
Otik’s Top Ten EP is out September 14 on Keysound Recordings.
Catch Otik alongside Sully and Etch on September 21 for our Rye Wax Residency.
More info and tickets here.