I was set aback, I have to say, when I read the announcement of a new EP, just a few months after the release of that little gem that is ‘True Love’. Not that I didn’t need it, I was just not expecting such a thing. Otzeki‘s music entered my (our) life no longer than a year and a half ago, and it’s just astonishing – in retrospect – to see how far these two cousins now based in London have come. ‘Sun Is Rising’, their new extended play, not only is the latest collection of tracks self-produced by the duo, but also represents the ideal end of a first cycle of production and the beginning of something new. Like a butterfly going through its natural metamorphosis, Mike Sharp and Joel Roberts have given shape to the abstract figures populating their music, and added to a personality that is now resulting in one of the most exciting acts the underground scene of this city has to offer.
The new EP took shape in four weeks, with a release each Wednesday, and it encompasses what are the hallmarks typical of the outfit, who built a strong fan-base through brilliant live acts around the country as well as abroad (their residency at Electrowerkz in London is registering regular sold outs). I described ‘Sun Is Rising’, the title track, as a “conjunction of dreamy soundscapes with a deep soul voice, and it sounds to me like the perfect allegory”. It identifies that moment when life happens, it starts again, when you reinvent yourself, pick up the pieces and move forward, towards new destinations. Lyrically enigmatic, musically hypnotic, the whole EP showcases Otzeki’s energy and cynicism. By far my favourite number, ‘So Far From You’, is a track that displays Mike’s powerful yet delicate vocals when perfectly merging with his sharp lyricism.
Otzeki’s vocalist also experiments with the synth in his noir-ish ‘Anxious’. Mike delicately touches our soul with words that, once again, reach the climax. The track – in its simplicity – will hit straight the middle of your heart. Not to mention the latest offering, ‘Not Another War’, the last experimental effort that showcases all Joel’s skills and creativity on synths, together with a haunting upbeat groove.
Here are Otzeki, in all their splendour. They came a long way, from ‘Falling Out’, and they are still made of intricate musical vibes you will fall in love with. All of a sudden.
Discophorus Records | 2017
Tracklist & Stream