Detroit sauced electronica: Jimmy Edgar
Other than music, Jimmy Edgar lives most of his life into arts. Working espacially on fashion and visual design, 21 year old Edgar used to DJ in dangerous night clubs and underground raves, spinning with Derrick May and Jeff Mills at the age of 15. After the techno days and DJ’ing, he started producing electronic music. He got closer to electronica, gathering hip hop and funk together with an intelligent sense, he adapted his unique sound with an obvious Detroit sauce on it. He always loves and gets inspired by living in the abandoned foggy streets of Detroit. The interview we made with the man, who has, an exact bright future and the probable saviour solutions for the Warp label, before his live P.A. at Babylon / Istanbul.

How was your live P.A. yesterday with Surgeon?

Oh, it was great. It was at Plastic People in London and a lot of people were there. I really enjoyed it. I had a really good time.

You were playing with Surgeon a hard techno producer. Did you played anything different from your usual P.A.s?

Not really. Really the only difference was that, i did not have my visuals for that night so i kind of did more sound stuff. But, yeah i actually DJ’ed before. A bit of problems with the turntables, but other than that it was cool.

Do you still listen and like techno music?

Yeah, most of the techno i listen to is the early Chicago and Detroit sutff. Early European stuff. Not to much new stuff. I like the oldschool.How is the touring of ‘Bounce, Make, Model’ going?

You were in London yesterday, you will play here tonight and you will be at Budapest tomorrow night. Very busy schedule.
Yeah, this is actually the third date of the tour, i am very excited for tonight. It’s my first time in Turkey.

Did you had the chance for sightseeing?

JE: Not too much. I just got in a few hours ago, unfortunately. I’d like to come here for vacation. Very inspiring place.

What were the inspiring things for you over the ‘Bounce, Make, Model’ EP?

The EP was done in all the period of one year so there’ve  been a lot of  inspiring things at that time. I was staying in Detroit at that time so it was just being in Detroit and also i was doing lots of art work and visual work, bouncing off being there and lots of fashion design. I haven’t done much travelling, only maybe to London.
While doing fashion design, do you work on computer or do you also work on cloths and fabrics?
I do a lot of different ways. I do it by hand, i saw a lot of stuff and i do also graphic design and printing.

You are said to have high coding skills and if you had spend your time more on coding, you could have done a harmfull virus. Is it true?

(Laughing) Oh Yeah. Definitely but my main concertration right now is to work on the music.

Do you use Max/MSP and do you have your own patches?

Yeah, definitely.

What will you say about the ‘electronic hip hop’ trend going on right now?

Yeah, hip hop is bigger than Jesus (Laughs).

Can you tell us how Detroit effected and inspired your music?

Well i don’t know. I mean it’s hard to say because i live in Detroit and i have an opinion from Detroit. So it’s very hard to make an opinion about it. I grew up there. I’ts an inspiring place it is different from all America.

You also have some releases from Merck Records and do you have any new release plans from there?

They’re cool guys. Me and Merck have a good relationship, i talk to them we’re friends but, maybe in the future.

You released an album under Michaux moniker on Audio.NL. You also said that you have some sercet aliases. How much aliases do you have and can you unveil some? Or can you give a number?

I’d rather not. Not much of a point on talking about the secret aliases but i just like doing music that is seperate from the Warp stuff i guess.

What can you say about the forthcoming LP? Will it sound like the combination of ‘Access Rhythm’ and ‘Bounce, Make, Model’?

Yeah, it’s gonna have a pretty similar sound it’s gonna be more in a forward direction. I think it’s gonna be a lot more personal.

Are you rapping on ‘I wanna be your STD’ and also vocaling on your tracks?

Yeah, they’re usually quite distorted but i am the one rapping and vocaling on my tracks.

What do you think about the minimalism and minimalistic arts?

I love it. I’m really interested in it. Also expressionism. I love every kind of art form you know it just depends, i tend to go towards more minimal things. Minimal colours, scenes, minimal fashion, like that.

But you don’t likeor listen these days minimal records and instead whenever you go to a records shop, you dig around and look for the 70’s or 80’s vinyls. Is it right?

Definitely. Well, i used to really be into a lot of the minimal music that was coming out but now it seems not to go anywhere.

Can the reason you don’t listen new stuff be that you don’t want to be effected from them and keep your sound unique/pure?

Everyone tries to be like that. I’m not affraid of listening something because it will influence me. And by the way i don’t think there is anything wrong with that at all.

You used to be a drummer. Do you see the advantage of it espacially on beat producing?

Definitely. I grew up playing drums like that was the first sort of instrument that i started at. I played in punk bands, metal bands and Jazz stuff.

Will your new LP also feature visual stuff? Maybe a DVD?

It’s a possibility. I’ve been talking to the label and i’m not sure yet. I might wait till the next album. Till i have more stuff prepared but it’s definitely, it can be in the future.

Pioneer introduced a new DVD player which you can also scratch visuals. Are you planning to do DVJ’ing?

Yeah, i know. İ’d like to check it out because i haven’t tried it out. I had some ideas like that, i was waiting for something like that to come out. I’d really like to prepare a video specifically made for that. Because it’s like an instrument you know.

Can you tell us your one day in Detroit? 

I spend pretty much time with the computer. All day with the computer(laughing). I have troubles sleeping so no sleeping and getting trashed. I make a lot of music, do arts. That pretty much that i do.

Do you think that one day you will deal  with only one specific arts? For example only fashion.

No. I think i’ll always be doing all of them. I mean obviously not as much but i try to divide up my time for different things.

Will you make a fashion show?

Yeah, there are some plans for these things like that in the near future.

How is it gonna be? Like in Milan?

In Tokyo. I think it’s gonna be the first one.  I think it’s gonna be some time in 2005.

Will you also play music of just be there for the fashion and as a designer.

Just for the fashion. I’d like to keep it simple, keep it very fashion. Because in the fashion scene it is very hard to combine all of them. It’s just hard to do that but i’m upward trying something new with that.

Do you have any other release plans instead of the forthcoming LP?

I’m planning to release Detroit techno sounding stuff on the Warp’s offshot label Arcola.
And i am planning to do some remixes maybe some collaborations in the near future.

In the past you played with Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May. And you said that you have some plans for releasing techno stuff. Is it possible that for example under another moniker you’ll tour as a techno DJ and play that kind of stuff only but not hip hop or electronica?

Oh yeah, definitely. I change it up all the time. It’s a bit harder on tour because i can’t only bring so many records but when i play in the States, sometimes i fell like playing funk music or jazz for instance.

What do you think about the Final Scratch 2.?

I like it a lot but i prefer using vinyl. I think that technology is not quite there. It means it needs to improved a little bit for my taste. I like vinyl, i like the sound of it. And considering the MP3, i don’t like the quality of the sound.

What do you think about your CD cover? It is designed by The Designers Republic but have you made any suggestions to them?
Yeah i like it a lot. I kinda told them what to do and they did it. It was a lot my idea. I’m really happy with it.

And lastly what about the choosing process of the tracks which will be featered in the EP/LPs? For example does Steve From Warp chooses them or do you choose them?

It is mutual. We talk about it all the time.He obviously has a big sense and he really listens to my opinion. We have a nice relationship. 

Interview : Christopher Çolak
29 November 2004


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