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Jimmy Edgar

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  • Born: Detroit, MI
  • Years Active: 2000s

Albums

Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

Jimmy Edgar's music is like the aural equivalent of those mid-'80s "sexy robot" airbrushed pop art posters by Hajime Sorayama -- the sound of a sleek digital future when machines have the same erotic desires as human beings. A postmodern polymath who also built a successful career as a graphic artist, photographer, and fashion designer, Edgar was born on August 10, 1983 in Detroit and manifested a love for music at an early age, learning to play saxophone and drums, gigging in local bands, and experimenting with making electronic music. His elder brother was a music promoter, and at the tender age of 15 he found himself DJing alongside techno legends Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick May. His first track was released by the respected German label Poker Flat in 2002, when he was just 19 years old.

The same year, after hearing just that one track, the Florida label Merck signed him and put out his debut album, My Mines I, which was attributed to his "dual alter ego," Kristuit Salu vs. Morris Nightingale. The next year, the Dutch label audio.nl released his second album, %20, this time under the alias Michaux. These two works, which were fairly experimental and can be classified with the glitch or clicks + cuts genre that was prevalent at the time, received favorable reviews and attracted the attention of powerhouse electronica label Warp, which signed him to a worldwide deal. His debut release for the label, in 2004, was the four-track Access Rhythm EP, which had more of a hip-hop sound and featured, in a nod to his former alter ego, the "Morris Nightingale Theme." Later the same year, he followed up with the Bounce Make Model mini-album, which first crystallized the erotic electro-funk sound for which he would become well known.

Edgar spent the next two years working on his debut Warp full-length. The result was Color Strip, a breathtakingly original album on which Edgar attempted to "capture the essence of Detroit." Inspired by sex and drugs, made using a selection of software custom-built by Edgar himself, and recorded to analog tape, it had a sleazy urban feel that combined techno, electro, R&B, glitch, and hip-hop influences and was an immediate success, invoking a slew of critical acclaim.

In the four-year gap following the release of Color Strip, Edgar was involved in several other projects including Black Affair, Her Bad Habit, and X District, and was rumored to be part of the mysterious electronica outfits Plus Device and Creepy Autograph. In 2008 he moved from Detroit to New York City, which had an influence on the music he was to start making next. When his follow-up album, XXX, was allegedly rejected by Warp, he signed with the German jazz-house label K7, which released it in July 2010. While in a similar vein to Color Strip, it had a somewhat more straightforward and "live" sound, with Edgar playing bass guitar on a number of tracks, and collaborating with female guest vocalists.

Wikipedia:

For other people named James Edgar, see James Edgar (disambiguation).

Jimmy Edgar is an American electronic musician, graphic designer, photographer, fashion designer, and filmmaker from Detroit, Michigan. Influenced by funk, street beat, Detroit techno, and R&B, early in his career he released two experimental glitch albums under the names Michaux and Kristuit Salu and Morris Nightingale. His first solo album Color Strip (2006) came out on Warp Records after he signed to the label at age 18. This release was followed by XXX (2010) on !K7 Records in 2010. After his last solo LP Majenta (2012), he has released several EPS on his own Ultramajic Records, often designing the album covers himself.

He is known as a member of the music duo Black Affair along with vocalist Steve Mason, and has also been a part of the side-projects X District with Laura Clarke, Her Bad Habit, the duo Plus Device, the group Creepy Autograph, and the duo JETS with Machinedrum. Currently based in Los Angeles, he tours frequently as a collaborator and solo artist, and has performed at venues such as Bang Face, I Love Techno, and the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. Edgar has also showcased his painting and fashion photography at a number of international exhibitions, and is known for making short films and directing music videos, often of an abstract nature.

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Early life[edit]

James "Jimmy" Edgar was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1983. Raised in Detroit, Edgar developed an early interest in music and learned multiple instruments at a young age, including string instruments, saxophone, and percussion/drum set. He learned songwriting and piano from several musicians he met at Baptist churches in Detroit. Experimenting with electronic music by age ten, around age fifteen he started performing at Detroit raves. As a teenager he also began playing the drums in experimental bands and making tape recordings. Most of these recordings, consisting mainly of pitch bent tape loops, tape splicing, field recordings, and noise tracks, were the beginning of his experimentation with the technical aspects of production.

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Contents

Music career1.1 1998-03: My Mines I and %201.2 2004-08: Warp EPs and Color Strip1.3 2007-09: Early side projects1.4 2010-12: XXX and Majenta1.5 2012-14: JETS and Ultramajic

Music career[edit]

1998-03: My Mines I and %20[edit]

In 1998 Edgar began digitally producing conceptual music under the name Michaux. However, several years would pass before an official release under the name. In early 1999 Edgar signed his first record deal with New York City based Isophlux Records, following a release of a techno track called "We Like You" on the German label Poker Flat under his real name. His EP Seual Dual, under the name Kristuit Salu, was released on Isophlux in 2001.

Miami-based Merck Records then signed him and released his first full-length album My Mines I by the "dual alter ego" Kristuit Salu and Morris Nightingale. After the release of My Mines I in February 2002, Edgar continued touring, performing in locales such as New York City, the Miami Infiltrate, Vancouver, and several cities in Japan. On tour he incorporated visuals such as synchronized projections, and he also performed at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival in 2003, his debut as a Warp Records artist. He had officially signed to Warp at the age of 18. Edgar's only release as Michaux came in August 2003 on the label Audio.NL. The album is named %20, URL code for the space character, and explores the concept of silence as well as sounds outputted by computer viruses. According to Audio.NL, sections of the album are so "extreme in frequency" that vinyl wasn't feasible, and it became the label's only CD release at the time. The Michaux project was considered by music critics to be an early example of the genre glitch or Microsound, just as My Mines I had been.

2004-08: Warp EPs and Color Strip[edit]
See also: Color Strip

His first release on Warp Records was the 2004 4-track EP Access Rhythm, which had a more "hip-hop sound" than his previous albums. Access Rhythm was shortly followed by the 6-track EP Bounce Make Model, which according to Allmusic, "first crystallized the erotic electro-funk sound for which [Edgar] would become well known." After touring in support of the two EPs, Edgar began working on his debut with Warp, a process that would take him two years. According to Edgar, his goal with the album was to "capture the essence of Detroit." It was made using software Edgar had customized himself, then recorded to analog tape. He released the full-length album as Color Strip in February 2006, to a positive critical reception. Allmusic called it "breathtakingly original," praising the album's "sleazy urban feel that combined techno, electro, R&B, glitch, and hip-hop influences." Pitchfork Media wrote in a review that "There is no new ground being broken but that's not the point; Edgar comes across as a committed student, absorbing twenty-five years of electronic music and figuring out how to integrate and mold the history into something that sits comfortably in the now."

2007-09: Early side projects[edit]
See also: Black Affair

Color Strip would prove to be Edgar's last solo album for some time, and he spent the next four years involved with a number of side projects. One of them was X District, which started out as an accidental exchange of cryptic and symbolic writings between Edgar and Laura Clarke from Leeds. These conversations and typed words ended up as the Color Correction EP on Noir Push Recordings in 2007.

Around 2008 Edgar began collaborating with vocalist Steve Mason of Scotland's The Beta Band, and together they formed the electronic music duo Black Affair. Referencing musician Bell Biv Devoe as their primary influence, Mason described Edgar's sonic contribution to the group as "sophisticated, with an air of fashion. But ultimately it's pop music - with slightly dark sexual undertones." The Guardian described their sound as drawing from "old school R&B, electro, early hip-hop, Chicago house, Detroit techno, even the pristine white synth-pop that influenced all of the previous black artists in the first place." Edgar co-produced & engineered their debut album Pleasure Pressure Point, and was also involved with the media for the album's promotional campaign, producing and directing a music video, photography, and the album and single's artwork.

2008 saw the debut release from Edgar's electrofunk project Her Bad Habit, on the Citinite label. The five-track EP contains more live instrumentation than his previous work and combines a variety of influences, from Chicago house to Minneapolis funk. He mutually left Warp Records in 2008 due to creative differences shortly after his single "I Wanna Be Your STD" appeared on the label's top ten 20th anniversary box set WARP20. In 2009, he released FACT Mix 98 for FACT Magazine. It included solo material, as well as a collaborative track with several musicians such as machinedrum.

Edgar is now known to be half of the anonymous Plus Device, an electro duo first released on Hefty Records around 2-08. Edgar is now also known to be part of the anonymous Creepy Autograph, along with several other members including Nels Truesdell, Alice Wakefield, and Dutch Master. Creepy Autograph have seen releases including Erase in Mind EP, Sexy Body EP, and Murder Sex on vinyl, published under Valentines Connexion and distributed through Rush Hour (Netherlands).

2010-12: XXX and Majenta[edit]
See also: XXX (Jimmy Edgar album) and Majenta

Edgar's solo album XXX, formerly called Deeper, came out June 2010 on K7 Records. Andy Kellman of Allmusic gave XXX 3.5/5 stars, writing that Edgar's increased use of analog equipment in the recording process "refines his smutty neo-electro." Around that time Edgar continued to tour internationally, notably in cities such as Tokyo, Zagreb, Istanbul, Athens, Tallinn, Moscow, Turin, London, and Berlin. In 2012, Edgar released the solo album Majenta, on Hotflush Recordings. In a positive review of Majenta for the BBC, Rich Handscomb focused on the erotic element of the sounds, also writing that "As difficult as it is to take Edgar seriously at times, so earnest is he about his sexualised sonic seercraft that resistance is futile."

In 2011 and 2012 Edgar worked with artists such as Emika, who was also an expat living in Berlin at the time. Edgar is known for appearing in the music video for her 2012 track "Hit Me," also producing the track and creating the video for the Ninja Tune label in London. FACT Magazine reviewed the collaboration positively, calling Edgar's musical contribution "all tactile basslines and 808 bombast," and stating that it draws from "the sparse, funky electro of his native Detroit."

2012-14: JETS and Ultramajic[edit]
Main article: Ultramajic Records

Edgar and Machinedrum released an eponymous EP in 2012 as the group JETS, and they also toured in support of the material, playing a number of major festivals. As a solo artist, as of 2014 Edgar has Deejayed festivals such as Bang Face, I Love Techno, and two appearances at the Movement Festival (DEMF). In late 2013 he continued to be based in Berlin, though he soon began working out of Los Angeles as well.

Edgar founded the record label Ultramajic with artist Pilar Zeta and Travis Stewart (machinedrum) in 2013. His first EP on Ultramajic was Hot Inside, and the lead single's music video was featured on THUMP in late 2013. In May 2014, he was brought in by the BBC to create an Essential Mix, focusing on the theme of "Ultramajic doing Detroit radio circa 1993." As of early 2015 Ultramjic had released over a dozen albums in the electronic genre, with both Zeta and Edgar designing most album covers.

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Film and photography career[edit]

Edgar is a professional fashion photographer, and has seen his work in such publications as Spot Magazine, Urb Magazine, Blink Magazine and others. Edgar's fashion photography was featured on the cover of the 10th anniversary issue of H Magazine in Spain, which also published the entire story titled "Adaptable Color." The story also made the cover with accompanied interview in UK's Notion Magazine and a video interview for ELLE Belgium.

He has done photography work in Los Angeles and New York City, while exhibiting his work in Europe and Japan. Edgar shoots in a varying of different styles from new digital HDR technology, to medium format film inspired by early Prada, Fendi and Calvin Klein ads. He often test shoots select agency models. In addition to shooting fashion, Jimmy has also shot press photos for Hercules & Love Affair, Kelley Polar, Morgan Geist, and Black Affair, among others. He also shot the hotos for Holograph Unvrs catalog, the brand worked on by artist Pilar Zeta. In 2010 he began directing and producing fashion films for such designers as Japan's BLACKOPERATOR, and his own series with Liz Centolella.

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Style and influences[edit]

Musical influences

In his early years he was influenced by funk, street beat and R&B, also experimenting with pitch bent tape loops, tape splicing, field recordings, and noise tracks. Wrote City Weekend about is sound, "Edgar has transformed the sounds and energies of old-school Detroit electro and techno with suped-up eroticism and funk influences." He is also seen as an innovator in the genre of glitch.

Visuals

Jimmy Edgar has dubbed himself an advocate of "sound couture" in interviews, and he often designs his album covers himself. According to Allmusic, Edgar is a "postmodern polymath" whose music "is like the aural equivalent of those mid-'80s 'sexy robot' airbrushed pop art posters by Hajime Sorayama -- the sound of a sleek digital future when machines have the same erotic desires as human beings."

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Filmography[edit]

Art exhibitions[edit]

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Tour Dates All Dates Dates In My Area

Date Venue Location Tickets
04.06.15 The Limelight Belfast, Bfs ND