Hi-Five: Ed Rush & Optical

A pair of drum & bass lifers select their five fave clubs.
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Foot-stomping, fist-pumping breakbeats, designed with rebellious youth in mind—that's the sound of Ed Rush & Optical, and even if you're not an acolyte of their belting rhythms, you've got to admire the consistency of their musical vision. Working both separately and together, they've been at the drum & bass game almost since there was a game—and for much of that time they've called Fabric home, having headed up the bill at the the famed London club's very first d&b night ever way back in the last millennium. Through countless club nights, dozens singles and five albums (including 1999's seminal Wormhole), most released on their own Virus Recordings, they've become synonymous with what's become known as the Virus sound, a neurofunked-up subset of techstep that's comes off like a runaway locomotive. Purists might not dig it—but the kids sure seem to, and the style has served the duo well for the better part of two decades. Almost shockingly, Ed Rush & Optical had never contributed to Fabric's Fabriclive mix-CD series, but that omission has now been rectified via Fabriclive 82, which (as you would expect) is brimming with the kind of frenetic tunes with which the pair made their name. To celebrate the release, the veteran DJ-producers have made a list of their five favorite drum & bass clubs in Europe—no prizes for guessing the identity of the first club on that list.

FabricLive 82 Ed Rush Optical

Ed Rush & Optical launch Fabriclive 82 at Fabric on August 21.

"This list could never be a good representation of all the clubs we play at...there are so many really great clubs for d&b throughout the world. We are just going to focus on some of the best U.K.and European d&b nights we perform at."

1. Fabric (London, U.K.)
We played on the opening weekend and its been our favorite club in London ever since! It never fails to be a great time for us when we DJ and it always feels like coming home. The sound and production in every room is heavy—just the way we like it!

Photo: Sarah Ginn

Photo: Sarah Ginn

2. Star Warz @ Vooruit (Ghent, Belgium)
We have had the pleasure of playing for Starwarz since the first event and it has always had a special atmosphere; the club is an amazing space and the people who go there are very knowledegable about the music, but a lot of fun too so it always ends up with all the DJs, staff and ravers wishing it didn't have to end.

3. Major League @ The Melkweg (Amsterdam, Holland)
Both the club and the Major League crew have been part of our lives for too long to remember, but this is always a much anticipated and guaranteed great night for us—many special memories over the years, but the Virus 15th Birthday was extra incredible. The club is cutting-edge, but as always, it's the Amsterdam crowd that really makes it something else.

4. Bladerunnaz @ Durlin (Budapest, Hungary)
There is a huge list of incredible d&b nights all over eastern Europe. Nnot to forget Let-It-Roll (it's a festival so doesn't make it into this list), but one that is consistently awesome is Bladerunnaz. Thecrowd at their events are totally hyped, and the energy is always immense and in-your-face.

5. Noisia Invites (Groeningen, Holland)
The hometown of one of our favorite production teams and all around musical artists—Noisia puts on a night like no other. The crowd is very well versed in all areas of drum & bass, but what makes it something else is the ridiculous mosh-pit-going-off madness from the crowd. The only place we have ever had the "Wall Of Death" at a gig!

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