Matt Quinn's recordings as Optical skirt the atmospheric side of neuro-funk drum'n'bass, the paranoid musings of a handful of industrial-strength British producers like Ed Rush, Source Direct and Quinn's brother Jamie, who records as Matrix. Jamie and Matt began releasing singles on their own Metro Records from a West London base, with Matrix's "Double Vision" alongside Optical's "Shining" as the label's opening shots. Optical recorded for a half-dozen other imprints as well, including Goldie's Metalheadz and Grooverider's Prototype. The producer's two contributions to those labels (respectively, "To Shape the Future" and "Grey Odyssey") raised his profile considerably after gaining re-release on CD compilations — Goldie's Platinum Breakz II and Grooverider's The Prototype Years. He had already earned a reputation as one of the most hotly tipped producers of 1997 when another classic single for Prototype, "Moving 808s," hit big late that year.
By 1998, Quinn had been tapped to contribute his engineering expertise to two of the most hyped jungle LPs of the year — Goldie's SaturnzReturn (replacing Rob Playford) and Grooverider's Mysteries of Funk. He also earned co-production credits on Dom & Roland's Industry, and continued to release single after single of intense, Predator-styled drum'n'bass. After forming his own label, Virus, with No-U-Turn Records don Ed Rush, he was co-billed with Rush on a five-LP set titled Wormhole, the first full-length to actually carry Optical's name. ~ John Bush