It all started when…
In 2002 the former drummer from Kosheen installed a PC with music software in a Derby student dwelling. This altered the direction and type of music that Neil Garrett (aka Dr Optimiser) had been making up till that point. Neil Garrett was part of several bands since 1998. He played bass in a studio 3 piece called ‘Foetus Drummer’ with drummer Ian Streeter and the late Toby Horrobin on lead guitar.
In 1999 Neil worked on side project ‘In with Kate’ with friend Tim Hiscock playing keyboards, guitar, bass and occasional vocals. The duo had previous worked together in the mid-nineties in a band entitled ‘Pear Shaped’ In 2001 Neil was part of a band called ‘Foot in Mouth’ that formed for only one gig. The band was made up of two members of local Taunton band ‘Psychodeliasmith’, as well as Tim Gagg and Gavin Fowler, who later went on to be part of ‘I am Aquitaine’. ‘Foot in Mouth’ played one gig at the Farmers Arms, West Hatch, Somerset, playing mainly covers of Radiohead, The Who, The Beatles, Blur, and their own signature song called ‘Disinfectant’, which was played twice by request of the encore.
Neil was inspired by flat mates and friends, who were studying music technology at university to expand his knowledge of music. When music software was installed as part of a standard package on his PC, he began experimenting with digital composing, processing, sampling and optimising. The result was the development of the synonym Dr Optimiser.
Dr Optimiser’s music initially focused on jazz and drum & bass. Now his music is electro-acoustic, house, breakbeat, classical crossover and chillout.
In 2005 he released Scapegoat – The Best of Dr Optimiser 2002-2005. In October 2017 Dr Optimiser released ‘Tremor’ which was closely followed by Borders on 1 March 2019.
Tremor was received with relative success – ‘Nigel has gone dancing’ was played by Steve Lemacq on BBC6music. The tracks received broad coverage in the US and Canada, as well as airplay in over 60 countries. Videos were aired in Sweden, Italy, Albania & Kosovo. 6 tracks off Tremor made it into the Euro Indie Chart Top 100.
Borders is inspired by the socio-political environment in recent years. Each track has it’s own meaning, connection and feeling with the earth’s conflicts and constructs, whether it be physical, perceived or virtual borders. Listen to the album here. Within 3 weeks of Borders release, 7 of the tracks were charting in the Euro Indie Chart Top 100 simultaneously.
In June 2021 Dr Optimiser released the album ‘A Novel Way To Spend An Hour’ – an album which is closer to mainstream electronic dance music (EDM), but retains the edgy melodies that Dr Optimiser is renowned for making. This is the first album to feature vocals. 3 guest vocalists Endaf Ilan, Pale Pink & Zoe Maria feature on this record, each bringing their own unique style to the tracks.