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DJ Legends Optimo are Soundtracking this Year's Architectural Biennale in Venice

The duo are put to work for a bold sonic presentation of British Modernism.

When it comes to that delicate balance between sincere and playful eclecticism, few DJs come close to Glasgow's legendary duo Optimo, JG Wilkes and JD Twitch. Since their famed Sunday nights at Glasgow's Sub Club came to a close in 2010 they've been touring the world with fervour, releasing friends and newcomers alike on their label Optimo Music, and Twitch's Autonomous Africa imprint has been bringing new afrobeat-influenced house from Auntie Flo and Midland to the world—whilst raising money for charity in the process, too. Now, their workload just got even more interesting.


Optimo have been commissioned to produce a dedicated mix for the launch event of the 14th International Architecture Biennale in Venice, in partnership with The Vinyl Factory, 180 The Strand and the British Council. Briefed to create the soundtrack for the theme of A Clockwork Jerusalem—"an exploration of the unique and contradictory history of British Modernism." Their selection is, as ever, a thrilling journey through the wild and wonderful.

In their own words, the theme "Conjured up fresh, new concrete and green spaces," and "That almost utopian idea of what new towns would be and achieve but as is so often the case turned out to be a very false utopia… a lot of them sprang to mind fairly quickly when thinking about new towns, and a lot of them came about from a brainstorming session where we tried to think as laterally as possible. Luckily, a lot of the music we love was relevant to the subject, so we didn't have to go too far from our comfort zone… as one track was thought of, it would often lead to another coming to mind."

You can stream the mix in full below.

Full tracklist:

Wendy Carlos – Title music from A Clockwork Orange

The Slits – New Town

Carsten Jost & Katze – In Every Dream Home A Heartache (loop)

Hawkwind – High Rise

John Cooper Clarke – Evidently Chickentown

ELP – Jerusalem

XTC – Like A New Town Animal In a Furnished Cage

Joy Division – Atmosphere

Edward Elgar – Pomp and Circumstance


Einsturzende Neubauten – Armenia (loop)

What's it called? Cumbernauld!

Duran Duran – Planet Earth

Steel Pulse – Handsworth Revolution

Mark Stewart – Jerusalem

Linton Kwesi Johnson – Inglan Is A Bitch

The Fall – Hit The North

Fad Gadget – Back To Nature

Anne Clark – Sleeper In Metropolis

John Foxx – Underpass

Killing Joke – Change

Sabres Of Paradise – Smokebelch

Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy

Wendy Carlos – William Tell Overture

The South Wales Striking Miners Choir – Take Me Home