London-based cousins and musical duo, Mike Sharp and Joel Roberts are Ozteki. The pair describe themselves as “electronic dance rock” and it isn’t all that far off. They bring dance rhythms and sounds into pop and rock songwriting. The pair are gearing up to release their debut album Binary Childhood, which brings together all aspects of their sound into one place and generates the clearest thought they have created to date.
One can hear similarities to someone like Bob Moses on a record like this. It is organic, moving and resonates past the first listen. Mike Sharp, the vocalist brings a real yearning to his voice. He is yearning for love, for truth, for a means of expression, to be heard. The soft crooning matches their slow, sashaying grooves and melancholic melodies.
The record finds this middle ground between being very danceable and slower and more reflective. They explain that duality to us and the meaning behind the title, Binary Childhood.
“The title Binary Childhood is inspired by growing up exposed to a world of duality. The immediate human world that we knew gradually became digitized to the extent that we lost ownership of our identities. Our individual imaginations were transposed like a form of schizophrenia between imaginarily voices online and what was happening in reality within our minds,” the pair explain.
“Also our freedom to develop our true selves through a more natural form of play was lost along with our innocence. However it's not all that bleak and that's reflected in the music. We disregarded the need for genre on this album because we don't listen to only one genre and neither does anyone else so it's just an honest reflection of what we happen to be into emotionally and sonically. There are simple songs and electronic instrumentals but they come together like a playlist.”
It is calm and soothing, but also is danceable to work in a summer festival tent. Just close your eyes, put yourself in a field as the sun shines on your face, surrounded by a few thousand people, swaying to the sounds of Otzeki with a cold beer in a your hand. It sounds good doesn’t it?
The album will be released this Friday, May 25. Until then, stream it below.