Otik – “Soulo EP” (3024) [November 19, 2021]

Otik’s Soulo EP paints an auditory picture of a bright and curious future, courtesy of Martyn’s label, 3024

The future is scary. Whether it’s climate change or simply the unknown, we humans often dread what’s yet to come.

In Soulo EP, Otik paints an auditory picture of a future that isn’t so scary. On the contrary, the future world of Soulo EP is warm, life affirming, and overflowing with colorful curiosities. Soulo EP is released by 3024, a Washington D.C. based record label run by the ever-innovative Martyn and Erosie.

Track one, “Lightyear Dub,” greets us with sci-fi blips and bubbles. The tone is harsh and technological, yet light and playful. Each bar is filled by three, unevenly spaced kick drums, creating a swaying rhythm that draws you close and gently wraps its arms around you.

Then, a burst of energy: a warm bass erupts, punching up each kick drum. It’s rave time in the “Lightyear Dub” future world. As the tune settles into its groove, bursts of shimmering sounds cut across the soundscape, like shooting stars cutting across a sleepy sky.

Track two, “Soulo,” is the EP’s standout, and not just because it’s the titular tune. “Soulo” opens with humility. Deep broken beats say hello, but there’s not much more going on. The simplicity makes the tune feel approachable. A distant glowing sound peaks its head in, hinting that there’s something special waiting around the corner.

Then, at last, we meet the tune’s protagonist: an effervescent synth that twinkles and turns as it rises and falls. Tinges of sadness coexist with patches of happiness, making the happier bits feel more real. It’s the ups and downs of life, all wrapped together into one beautiful mess. It’s a clear-eyed euphoria.

– Forest Lieberman

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