The talents of Jimmy Edgar lie in his ability to constantly push the boundaries, and not only where music is concerned. The Detroit native had his first taste of electronic-related success with his releases on Isophlux records in the late 90's and has since gone on to put out three albums, the latest of which on Paul Rose's Hotflush Recordings this year, and countless remixes under his own name and various other guises. Aside from his musical accomplishments, Edgar is also a celebrated fashion photographer and video director, having exhibited his work worldwide, but it's perhaps his ethos and over arching unique approach to his life and work which truly sets him apart. We dive into the one man cosmos that is Jimmy Edgar to find out more ahead of his gig for FOUND this Friday, June 29th.
Pulse: You’re a Detroit native, would you say that hailing from the city of techno gives you an edge over everyone else? Where did you hang out when you were younger? Jimmy Edgar: It's not fair to restrict an environment. Detroit is what it is because of the struggle that goes on there, not the opportunities that lie [there]. Maybe the challenge of it gave me the upper hand, but this question doesn't make sense because there aren't many artists even coming out of Detroit. People still go on and on about the pioneers, and respect, but there hasn't been very much since then. I grew up in Detroit, it's not the most fascinating thing about me. I hung out with my friends just like any normal teen. We snuck out and went to raves, I suppose thats what you want to hear. Yeah its true, we got into loads of trouble, [that] makes me smile.
Where is your current set up and how is it influencing your work? I meditate a lot. I'm much more into the mental process and visualizing my work before i actually make it. I'm not at all concerned with studios or technology. I use it all frequently, but it also changes so much. I have come to point to realize i am able to make what I want with virtually any kind of equipment, and the more I change those things, the more interesting my music becomes. I lost that fear of technology when I burned my studio down years ago and lost everything, even original recorded music. That day lots of things died, but more importantly something beautiful was born like a phoenix from that fire.
You were signed to Warp at the age of 18, how significant would you say it is for young DJs and producers to get a major underground label behind them early in their career? Today? I don't believe it matters at all. maybe 10 years ago it was still everything, but as long as you have the motivation and creativity anyone can do it on their own, you don't need someone to tell you how talented you are. But the same goes, if you have all that, and the actual talent, then you will go a long way almost guaranteed.
XXX was released on K7, which you say you believe you were drawn to by the ‘Laws of Attraction’ can you explain this further? Everything related to that release was symbolic when I looked back on it. The synchronicities, the fact that I knew I would be signed on K7 even before I signed with Warp. But I could say the same about Warp, when I look back on it I knew it was going to happen inside. Knowing and believing is a part of making things happen in your life. Imagine the things you believe, they are the things that are truth in our lives, that which you don't believe, or can't imagine is near impossible for it to show itself. I'm still trying to figure out why I believed these things, and how I am able to visualize my life.. especially growing up in such a negative vibe city and childhood, which I am still grateful for. All I can say is that I have an imagination, and I was born with memory. We all are, just depends how much you want to be in touch with it. That which you want, truly, you will get.
More recently, you had the Majenta album out on Hotflush, how would you say your sound has progressed from XXX and what were your inspirations for it? let go a lot of vices, issues, challenges, all kinds of things. It was about letting go, not being so serious. It's the start of this progression. my music is taking this path, in fact everything in my life is taking this path. I like to say the sounds are more raw, and I think it holds up. i wasn't so concerned with micro editing and making it perfect, i let the perfection become itself.. not by forcing it. majenta was the culmination of seeing and imagining new colors and how our eyesight and third eye can see into invisible light spectrums. these emerges are coming through us every day and has as much intelligence then any other spectrum,.. again, its about getting in touch with it, believing what you see.
Have you any intentions to start your own imprint? Yes, when I get some time. I'm so busy doing things for other people. its one of those things I've been imagining. But I don't know these days, I quite like not being so busy with business yaknow?
Who do you aspire most to be like in the world and why? My own person, because why be like someone else? i have respect for many artists but I quite feel like an outsider on this planet. It's beautiful to feel this way, perfect. I am sure I am not alone, which is ironic.
You are playing this weekend alongside Catz N Dogz at the Glass Table event at Hidden, what does the London crowd offer you in terms of reception? One of the best places in the world for me is London. I lived in NYC for five years so it is kind of like being home. Receptive is a perfect word.
If you had to describe yourself and your forthcoming projects only using shapes, patterns and colours, how would you do it? If you know me, that's how I tend to describe my music anyways. I am going to the basics. fundamental colors, foundational geometry and the combination making symbolic energy. We see a lot of artists doing this today, use less colors, more defined schemes and simple shapes. some people may see this as a trend but I see it as humans coming back down to symbolic imagery, subliminal communication and symbolic interaction.. I am happy to see people making this leap of consciousness.
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