Classic, killer club sounds from Glasgow’s finest today, as Optimo’s JG Wilkes tears it up with a solid-as, vinyl-only mix.
Back in 1997 JG (Jonnie) Wilkes and JD Twitch started Optimo, an oft-wild club night in Glasgow that did more than its share in driving forward UK clubbing, thanks to an anarchic music policy, and oceans of good tunes and good vibes. After more than a decade, the club arm of Optimo came to an end in 2010, but Optimo very much lives on through Twitch and Wilkes, with the pair DJing and releasing under the name, and a bi-monthly Optimo party at Glasgow’s Sub Club, where the legendary club night lived for all those years.
Wilkes dug deep into his current record bag for his Clash selection, using only vinyl and an obscenely well-honed selector sense. The mix hoofs it out of the starting blocks and doesn’t look back, powering through vintage techno, house, acid, booty and jackin’ moods, with plenty of welcome nods to Detroit and Chicago along the way. Terrence Dixon, Model 500 and Richie Hawtin’s Jack Master guise all feature, and fresher faces like Komon and Appleblim, Omar Souleyman and Jordan Peak also make an appearance.
It’s a brilliantly raw mix, packing a helluva punch and as good a representation as any of the energy of Optimo nights.
Here’s Wilkes to explain more:
“After a few false starts the mix was recorded as you hear it, from vinyl only, played off Technics 1210s (then I confess some of the more erratic levels were tamed afterwards in Pro Tools!). The selections are from my record bag from 12 November. Some new records, some soon-to-be-released stuff and some oldies I’m getting away with – please excuse the atrocious audio fidelity of a couple of these.
“There’s no concept or theme in particular to the mix, other than the fact that it’s selected live, in the moment, rather than mapped out previously and then recorded. It’s not how I always produce a mix, but it was fun to make, kept me on my toes and probably brought a certain energy to the mix. I hope you enjoy.”
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1. Sem – Area 5 [Electron Industries]
2. Terrence Dixon – Lost at Sea 03 [Surface]
3. LFDM – Tracer [Optimo Trax]
4. Todd Osborn – 909 
5. Jack Master – One Trac Mind [Jack US]
6. Fast Eddie, Tyree & Chic – The Whop [Underground]
7. Alexander – My Aniseed Lollipop [Local Talk]
8. DJ Slugo – That’s it [Dance Mania]}
9. Luma – Amesville [Optimo Trax]
10. Model 500 – No UFO’s (D-Mix) [Metroplex]
11. Jordan Peak – S.O.O.N. (Original) [Rogue Society]
12. Headless Ghost – Out [Tamed Musiq]
13. Mock & Toof – Farewell to Wendo (KiNK and Neville Watson Remix) [Tiny Sticks]
14. Marquis Hawkes – House Is My Castle [DABJ]
15. Anthony Naples – POT 1 [Proibito US]
16. Komon & Appleblim – Silencio (Prins Thomas Remix) [Pipped]
17. Omar Souleyman – Wenu Wenu [Ribbon Music]
18. Jordan Fields – All Analogue [Rawax Germany]
19. Laurent X – Drowning in a Sea of House [House Nation US]
Optimo play The Warehouse Project, Manchester, on Friday December 6th, at a night hosted by Bugged Out!.
Words: Tristan Parker
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The latest issue of Clash magazine is out now – find out more here.