Optimo are the duo JD Twitch and JG Wilkes. They each have over 20 years DJ-ing experience and in the last decade have become both renowned and highly respected for their memorable and ecstatic deejay sets. Twitch and Wilkes exhibit a unique disregard for genres and musical restrictions in their craft, creating a nightclub experience that strikes out into territories far beyond the accepted boundaries of club music.
The duo are responsible for the nightclub Optimo (Espacio) which ran from November 1997 until April 2010. Optimo sat at the very epicenter of the Scottish Clubbing consciousness in its weekly residency in the Sub Club and is widely regarded as one of the most important and ground-breaking clubs of the past 10 years (at one point earning them the prestigious title of Mixmag “Club of the Year”).
Optimo first came to international recognition with the release of How to Kill The Dj (part 2) in 2004. This mix, and the critical acclaim that followed, would catapult the duo onto the international gigging circuit. The next few years would see them travel across the world taking the Optimo party aesthetic to England, Ireland, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Portugal, France, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Russia, Greece, Bratislava, Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, USA, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Japan and Australia.
Subsequent mix releases illustrated their exceptional maverick determination, raising the benchmark for what is expected from a dj mix and what musical ingredients could be used to create it. These titles include – Psyche-Out (Eskimo Recordings), 20 Years Underground (Soma), Walkabout (Endless Flight), In Order To Edit (R&S), Sleepwalk (Domino Recordings) and culminated most recently with a tour-de-force mix for the Fabric Series with Fabric 52 – Optimo (Espacio).
The Fabric 52 compilation underlines Optimo’s reputation as taste-makers, achieved through their shared passion for clubbing and their encyclopedic knowledge of music. However it also illustrates their skill in assembling sounds from the past and present to create an experience that is definitively futuristic in spirit.
Following this high-point the Optimo team are moving ever forwards, restless for new challenges. Twitch mixed the corner-stone compilation from fellow local label Glasgow Underground for their “Underground Sound Of Glasgow” release, showcasing the best in new electronic music sprouting from the incredibly fertile electronic music scene of Optimo’s home town. The Optimo duo debuted on the famed Boiler Room mix series in Dec 2012 with a B2B set alongside innovative Germany techno artist Move D (also one half of Deep Space Network). They are due to follow up with a second Boiler Room set scheduled for September 2013. Further opportunities to hear the Optimo sound can be found on the highly respected RinseFM station where Optimo take to the internet radio waves on the second monday of every month, between midnight and 2am, providing a topical and up to the minute glimpse into the head-messing Optimo universe.
The final essential ingredient to the Optimo success is of course the people. Each Optimo set is different, teased out of the dynamics of a singular group of people – whither it be a tiny basement sweat-box, the main room of a super club or a thousand people in a field – and everything they do springs from the spirit of the crowd and the rhythm of the moment. It is the unique enthusiasm of each crowd, where ever they go, that gives them inspiration – and feeds the joy in what they do.
These are the reasons Optimo have become two of the UK’s busiest and best loved DJ’s.
As Twitch and Wilkes say themselves, “We Love Your Ears!”
JD TWITCH – has been releasing material under various guises for over fifteen years as JD Twitch, Betty Botox, Sonic Assassins, Mount Florida and recently as Double heart in partnership with Edinburgh’s Neil Landstrumm – with their third 12″ Ep “Roots” released on fellow Glaswegian label High Sheen . Twitch had a number of 12″ releases in2012/13 on labels including Smalltown Supersound, Autonomous Africa, Shipwrec, Lets Get Lost and Nonplus.
Twitch has previously remixed under the name Optimo (Espacio) but now works under the JD Twitch moniker, remixing nearly 30 artists in the last year. JD Twitch has an extensive catalogue of remixes including – Liquid Liquid, Seun Kuti, Franz Ferdinand, Factory Floor, Chvrches, Django Django, Neon Indian, Florence & The Machine, Manic Street Preachers, Blondes, The Hundred In The Hands Ford & Lopatin, Matrixxman and the Melodians Steel Orchestra (as part of the “English Magic” series by Tuner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller)
Full discography here – www.optimo.co.uk/discography/
JD Twitch has recently also been occupied in studio work with other artists, producing recent album releases for Scotland’s Sons and Daughters and San Francisco’s Tussle, as weel as a collaboration with Esser. He is also the creative and curating force behind the Optimo Music label, overseeing the release of a varied roster; – Divorce, Space System, Golden Teacher, Chris Carter, Peter Zummo & Arthur Russell, Factory Floor, Psyche, Organs of Love and Naum Gabo.
JG WILKES – records and remixes as Naum Gabo with his friend James Savage. Naum Gabo have been composing and remixing for almostten years. Their varied palette of sounds – noir-ish hybrids of seminal underground house, muscular arrpegiated italo, dubby cosmic atmospherics, jagged new-wave discotheque, analogue synthesized funk – has been distinguished by releases on Kompakt, Thisisnotanexit, Dissident, Cross Town Rebels, Eskimo Recordings, Lets Play House and Endless Flight, releases with which the duo have built a reputation as purveyors of high quality electronic music and production.
Naum Gabo’s mixes have seen them re-interpret the works of a wide range of artists: – Hot Chip, Michochan, Psychonauts, Simian MobileDisco, Snow Patrol, Detachments, Catalepsia, Midnight Mike and FranzFerdinand, fracturing the original tracks through a prism of futuristic dark disco. Naum have also celebrated their Glasgow home on the ૾Songs From A Great City૿ (Optimo Music) with cover versions of tracks by Scottish acts Simple Minds and Fingerprintz.