Tuesday, 31 December 2013
Optical - The End (Part 1)
Optical - The End (Part 1) (31 Records, 1998)
This is the final post of what has been a year long project, the idea being to write about a classic drum and bass tune every day throughout 2013. When I started the blog I had no idea how I was going to achieve this and although it's been a struggle to keep it going, it has also incredibly rewarding and I hope people have enjoyed reading it. Now we literally reach The End with a look at this Optical classic from 1998.
For years Matt Quinn lurked in the shadows, engineering and producing for others while putting out his own material under a variety of aliases and running the Genetic Stress and Blame Technology imprints. By 1997 he settled on the name Optical (appropriate considering the precision his productions are known for) and began getting the recognition he deserved with releases on prestigious labels such as Metalheadz, Moving Shadow and Prototype. 'The End (Part 1)' saw him land on Doc Scott's 31 Records and he didn't disappoint with what I assume is a paean to the now closed nightclub in London's West End. The track takes its time to unfold, opening with sweeping synth pads and modem bleeps before fractured drums come in. The warped, menacing bassline slowly evolves alongside icy synths as the drums become increasingly splintered without losing their groove, all making for one of Optical's finest productions. 'The End Part 2' appeared on the next 31 Records release under the Fortran name which saw Optical join forces with Ed Rush and Fierce. The trio add a haunting female vocal and replace the drums with a thumping two-step beat for a track more typical of the time but for me it can't top Part 1.
You can hear Part 2 below in Eazyflow's 1998 DnB (Techstep) Mix. Thank you to everyone who has read this blog but special shout outs must go to James Black for designing the logo, Raze, Randall Helms and not forgetting Law and Rich Pitchshift Malton for giving me the opportunity to write for their sites. DnB 365 will be back next year after a well deserved holiday, although I almost certainly won't be posting every day! Peace and I'm out.