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Ed Rush & Optical

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  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Jungle producer Ed Rush's name has become almost synonymous with the word "dark." With a steady string of 12" releases dragging drum'n'bass to hell and back, forcing taut, kettle-sized snare snaps through ringing rides and thunderous, super-dense basslines, Rush, together with frequent collaborator Nico Sykes, has been almost singularly responsible for jungle's eventual (re)turn to the darkside. Recording most often for Nico-related labels No U-Turn and Nu Black, Rush has also more recently begun to cast his net farther out, bringing his brooding, dank-heavy brand of nightmare drum'n'bass to such labels as Prototype and Metalheadz. First introduced to jungle through late-period hardcore (tracks such as 2 Bad Mice's "Bombscare" and Doc Scott's "Here Come the Drums"), Rush began producing after hooking Nico (a for-hire producer who lived on Rush's block) on the sound. The pair released a few forgettable tracks before buckling down and working on putting together a new sound. Nico formed No U-Turn in 1993 as a vehicle for that sound, and the pair's first proper Ed Rush 12", "Bloodclot Artattack," was released that same year.

Although he'd already been making tracks for a couple years, Rush's reputation began to grow in the wake of the 1996 backlash against the smooth, rolling atmospherics of ambient and heavily jazz-oriented jungle (Bukem, Alex Reece, Wax Doctor, PFM, etc.). With several tracks on the genre-coining compilation Techsteppin' (released by Emotif), and with darkness once again coming to the forefront among the DJs, Rush tracks such as "Guncheck," "Bloodclot Artattack," "Subway" (recorded with Dom of Dom & Roland), and "Check Me Out" began showing up in more and more (and more and more influential) DJ sets. Releases on Speed/Blue Note DJ Grooverider's Prototype label ("Kilimanjaro"), as well as 12"s for Metalheadz ("Skylab") and Nico's No U-Turn offshoot, Nu Black ("Mad Different Methods," "Amtrak") further cemented Rush's rep at the forefront of a new style. Although he remains a free agent, demand for Rush tracks (as well as remixes) means he's been playing the field, releasing increasing quantities of material on a number of labels, both large and small. And while the over-the-top rumble of darkside techstep is bound to wane in popularity, Rush's most recent work has proven he's not reliant on the novelty of that sound.