Ed Rush (pictured) DJing at Washington in 2015.
|Other names||Ben Dylan|
|Occupation||Musician, DJ, Producer|
|Instruments||Sampler, turntable, drum machine, synthesizer|
Ed Rush is the stage name used by the drum and bass producer and DJ, Ben Settle (born 1973). Rush has been releasing records since 1992 and primarily with his musical partner Optical (Matt Quinn), since 1997. Along with Optical he is also the co-founder of the record label Virus Recordings which releases his records along with other drum and bass acts. He is most associated with the aggressive styles of drum and bass music known as techstep, darkcore and neurofunk.
Rush's first releases were a pair of self-released white label 12" singles, the Prince Jammy sampling I Wanna Stay in the Jungle and Look What They've Done in late 1992. In early 1993, Rush begun playing on the London pirate radio station Don FM, where he was to first meet future production partner DJ Trace,resulting in the duo releasing the track Don Bad Man, produced by engineer Nico Sykes. Shortly after, Rush recorded the classic Bludclot Artattack which was released on Sykes' No U Turn Records. The release was a key in signalling the change from hardcore to drum and bass. Rush's work became increasingly uncompromising and dark: writing in the book Energy Flash: a Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture , Simon Reynolds wrote "Ed Rush's No U-Turn tracks 'Gangsta Hardstep' and 'Guncheck' took the explosive energy of hardcore and imploded it, transforming febrile hyperkinesis into molasses thick malaise".
Further collaborations followed including The Mutant by DJ Trace in 1995 and releases on Grooverider's Prototype label and Goldie's Metalheadz further established his reputation as a drum and bass artist.In 1996 Rush and Trace named the dense, hard style of jungle they were working in as "Techstep" which went on to become the dominant style of drum and bass in the late 1990s. Rush's work with Trace and Nico on No U-Turn records was compiled on the album Torque in 1997.
In 1995 Rush met Matt Quinn, who worked under the stage name Optical. They met at the Music House, a dubplate mastering company in Islington, London where dubplates would be made for their DJ sets.Rob Playford the owner of the label Moving Shadow gave them space in his Soho office building to allow them to build their own studio. They released their debut single Funktion in 1997, and followed it up in 1998 with their debut album, Wormhole which has been described as the greatest drum and bass album of all time and introduced the style of drum and bass known as Neurofunk. In 2000, DJ Craze used their track "Watermelon" in his beat-juggling routine which helped him win his 3rd DMC World Championship. They released their second album in 2000, The Creeps (Invisible And Deadly!) which broadened their palette by introducing vocals to the mix and won best album and best producers at the Knowledge DnB awards. Their third album, The Original Doctor Shade was released in 2003 and featured a collaboration with turntablist DJs, Scratch Perverts. In 2005 they took part in the 40 Artists, 40 Days project organised by the Tate Gallery in the run up to London's successful bid to win the right to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. 2006 saw the release of their fourth album Chameleon which saw them using a live band for the first time and three years later followed with Travel the Galaxy. Their track Frontline was use in the soundtrack to the 2008 video game Wipeout HD . In 2014, Ministry of Sound described them as one of the most influential artists in drum and bass. Their most recent album No Cure was released in October 2015.
2015 also saw the release of their first headline mix on the long running Fabriclive series of mix CDs, FabricLive.82. They had a long relationship with the London club Fabric having played at the opening weekend in 1999and appearing on the first drum and bass mix released by Fabric in 2002 ( FabricLive.06 mixed by Grooverider). Following Islington Council's decision to revoke Fabric's licence in September 2016, Ed Rush & Optical took part in a benefit show to challenge the decision. In November 2016 agreement was made to reopen the club. As well as club appearances they have appeared at festivals including Glastonbury in 1999 and 2014 and Bestival in 2013.
They have also collaborated and remixed several other artists including: Goldie,Skunk Anansie, Lil' Louis ( French Kiss) and Rudimental featuring John Newman ( Not Giving In ). They themselves have been remixed by other artists such as Pendulum who remixed their track Bacteria in 2004.
As well as his work with Optical, Rush has also released house music under the name Ben Dylan.
Ed Rush is a play on the phrase "head rush", which was slang in the rave scene for a temporary whiteout caused by too many Es.
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Matt Quinn, known by his stage name Optical, is a British musician, producer and DJ. He is co-founder and owner of Virus Recordings, a widely regarded Drum and Bass record label. He is best known as one half of drum and bass duo Ed Rush and Optical, whose debut album Wormhole has been described as one of the most significant LPs of the drum and bass genre. He is also the brother of another successful dance musician Jamie Quinn aka Matrix.