Words: Josh Lamdin
Howling Owl Records sister label bulb brings you the debut EP from Bristol based producer ‘Ontik’. Flitting between techno, dub and broken beat, the tracks here tease you through dark tunnels. Brooding, ominous and heavy. Very heavy.
Sophomore release by Bristol based producer Ontik, Epochai carves a sonic landscape through heavily textured and intricate productions. ‘Embers’ pulls no punches in either field, angular percussion takes a frontal role while the swirling, continually oscillating synth tones wrap around like silk, building to an intense burst of ferocious jungle- esque beats. The repetition and pulsing forward progression of Epoch draws you in while chopped, rumbling reverbs and distorted bass swells maintain the dark, twisting path this EP sets out from the beginning.
Tangent, quite aptly named, opens up the halfway point of the record harmoniously. Walls of airy female vocals precede strong, yet subtle grooves that build and dismantle themselves seamlessly as the song goes on, creating some exciting and very rhythmic melodies and hooks along the way. Blossom Dubs closes the record. Ghostly, ascending tones rise above disparate gunshot like snare hits and drum pulses. As the piece moves, echoing, hits resound, leaving layers of texture and reverb building throughout.
Epochai, while only 25 minutes in length, is illustrative, dynamic and subtle. While for those unfamiliar with the style may find this a challenging listen, it is thoroughly rewarding from beginning to end. Ontik’s ability to create intricate compositions piece by piece are reminiscent of the likes of Authecre.
Side B – Snaag
Digital only – 1. Tangent 2. Blossom Dubs