Hot on the heels of this own scorching Three Point Zero album for Renegade Hardware, the Italian bad boy known as Maztek stops in to hit us with five essential Optical tunes ahead of his appearance alongside the legend himself at the massive Bassrush vs. Virus show in Los Angeles on January 31. Make the jump to listen to the tunes.
Optical – “To Shape the Future” (Optical Remix) (Metalheadz, 1997)
I chose to start with this tune because it not only captures the vibe and essence of that early Virus sound, but it points to the ways in which Optical and Ed Rush would go on to shape the future and present of the drum & bass scene worldwide. While the original was released as a single earlier in the same year, this remixed version from Optical made its way onto the legendary Metalheadz “box set” and beefed up the original in all the right places.
Ed Rush & Optical – “Bacteria” (Virus, 1999)
Those who love drum & bass know and love this tune. This one is an instant classic that I remember hearing—and instantly falling in love with—when I was younger. It is probably one of the most influential tunes of this era.
Ed Rush, Optical & Fierce – “Alien Girl” (Prototype, 1998)
Released on Grooverider’s ever-essential Prototype Recordings imprint, this one is an all-time classic that can still get the dancefloor moving. It’s got that perfect mix of dark and stepping vibes that was way ahead of its time when it was released, and it still is to this day.
Ed Rush & Optical – “Pac Man” (Virus, 2000)
Released as part of their album The Creeps, this one is another all-time classic that never gets old. There are a few remixes of this around, but my favorite has to be the Upbeats version, which I remember rinsing for ages.
Ed Rush & Optical – “Chubrub” (Virus, 2009)
There are loads of tunes I’d like to write about, but I think this one best represents that unique Virus sound that continues to make you shake and bounce when you listen to it. This one was released as part of their Travel the Galaxy LP in 2009, which is relatively recent compared to what many consider the classic Optical era. This one bridges the future and the past in an amazing way. Just awesome.