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Drum & bass artist Optiv has died

The UK producer was part of Cause4Concern and owner of Red Light Records

Drum & bass artist Optiv, otherwise known as Edward Holmes, has passed away.

Originally from the UK but more recently living in Switzerland, Holmes rose to prominence around the turn of the millennium as part of the group Cause4Concern. Their work on their self-titled label, and for imprints such as Timeless, Virus, Quarantine and Renegade Hardware helped shape the dark, tech side of drum & bass.

In 2002 he launched his influential Red Light Records imprint — which celebrated its 50th release in 2019 — and began working under his solo alias, Optiv. 

Throughout the 2010s, one of his most fruitful partnerships was alongside Brazilian producer BTK. The pair released three albums together, regularly featuring on Ed Rush & Optical’s Virus label and BTK’s own Dutty Audio, amongst others.

During this time his work with Cause4Concern also continued, now just as a duo alongside Mark Clements (also known as CZA), with the pair celebrating 20 years of C4C throughout 2019, most recently at a New Year’s Eve party in Bulgaria.

“Can’t even believe I'm having to write this but as many of you will already know by now it’s with great sadness that we have to announce that our beloved brother/friend Edward Holmes a.k.a Optiv has been tragically taken away from us over the weekend,” Clements wrote via the C4C Facebook page.

“As you can imagine, this has come as a total shock to us and many of you that are reading this at the moment.

“His output over the past 20 years has reached worldwide and his imprint will live on forever. He was a true pioneer to his craft.

“A hugely respected human who was taken away from us far too soon.”

Love has poured in from across the drum & bass scene, with the likes of The Prototypes, Phace and Andy C sharing messages via Twitter.

DJ Mag would like to send our condolences and support to his family and friends at this time.