Se vi dicessi che Jimmy Edgar prima di diventare il poliedrico artista che è oggi faceva il muratore, mi credereste? Qualsiasi convinzione abbiate sul produttore di Detroit, preparatevi a ribaltarla. Ama pochissimo fare confronti tra la città natale e la Berlino in cui vive adesso, si entusiasma molto per il progetto JETS, ma ne parla come se fosse un act al quale non dedica poi troppo tempo e soprattutto è l’unico americano a non conoscere Jared Leto.
Se voleste levarvi qualche altro dubbio, lo trovate questo sabato notte a Le Cannibale.
Hi Jimmy, how are you? I’m very curious to chat with you because i’ve always been fascinated by the very versatile personality. Photography, graphics, music: what are you focusing on in your life at the moment?
I am great, thank you for asking. Just got back to Berlin. My focus is on my music and djing since I am doing this two things so much these days, so they tend to be priority. Launching Ultramajic last year was so I would be forced to make time for art and design more so that traveling could take a bit of timeout, even though that has not slowed down much. For some reason, the busier I get, the more I take on. When I have exclusive time off, I hide in my studio and work on art without sharing it which can feel a bit fruitless. Though with that said, I have been so completely inspired after visiting Egypt and I am 50% finished with a new series of art pieces, the first which has been publishing in Nero Homme magazine. As for photography, I have vowed not to do it anymore unless I have sufficient budget and idea… which basically means that I don’t take fashion snapshots so much. This year I organized the look book for Holographic Universe, which is my creative partner’s fashion line, her name is Pilar Zeta and we do all the Ultramajic covers together. The shoot for Holographic Universe was really cool, great team and the website is now up Holographicuniverse.us. We are all very proud of the project and I just love the clothing.
Can we consider you the Jared Leto of the Techno music? :D
I actually had to Google who that was, and I’m like…. oh. I think of myself more like Ahkanaten, just trying to share some light.
You started to produce and perform very young, at about sixteen in Detroit. It was the year 1999 and it was not so easy as today to spread around your own music. How did everything happen?
Interesting, nobody has asked me about that in a long time. Basically the first two demos I sent out were signed, Isophlux being one of them. Funny looking back because I was so excited over a $200 check that I went to Kinko’s and made a photocopy of it. I guess Travis (Machinedrum) heard a strange demo that I sent to M3rck in Miami. I just remember it was a bunch of 1-2 minute demos inspired by Detroit ghettotech radio, sampling a bunch of nasty stuff. After I released on M3rck, the A&R from Warp Records heard it and hit me up which I felt really good about because it wasn’t until I was preparing my release that they knew I was so young and from Detroit, which proved to myself that they were really all about my music and not trying to sell me.
You’re a Detroit born and raised artist now living in Berlin. What connects the two towns musically and culturally speaking?
Honestly, I don’t even know what I can say anymore about this. Berlin is so different than it was during the days of Detroit Techno beginning, so you may want to ask Derrick May because he has some interesting ideas about that. I personally don’t see much in common anymore. The parties in Detroit are not much like the parties in Berlin. They both have their own vibe. Detroit has some real struggle going on, and as for Berlin I just don’t know. I have been living in Berlin as a foreigner, a very heavily traveling foreigner. I’m not even here that much so I can’t make myself the foremost authority on anything in Berlin… I can talk about Detroit all week though.
You have or have had a lot of parallel projects as musician or producer such as Amalmy, Creepy Autograph, Her Bad Habit. Which one is still going on and which one is dead?
I think Almamy added himself in there because we didn’t really do anything, but I find him very interesting and one of the strangest singers ever. It’s too bad we haven’t heard much from him. Creepy Autograph is a randomly shifting group of different members, we don’t really talk much about it and its not very important if I am involved in every track or not… But yeah all these projects of mine have a new home on my label, Ultramajic. I immediately shut down all offers from other labels to focus on my label because I feel like we have some great integrity and a very cool team, I’m grateful for all the people I worked with but I have plans.
I think that the project JETS actually is one of the most interesting acts out there and talking about your first EP with Fact Magazine once you said: “Inside there’s a sense of where we’ve been, what we’ve come to, and everything in between.” What’s “the everything in between” and what has changed since 2012 to today?
Yeah we are really into JETS too, its just that its not a priority for me or Travis. In fact, we just about had to be convinced to ever release the stuff because it was truly about making music for us. It wasn’t until our friend said “you guys need to release this”. Travis and I just care too much about our own projects to make it official, we both know it could be amazing and perhaps there will be more in the future. We have a lot of tracks that need finishing and we’ve plans to get in the studio this year but we don’t care enough to make any release commitments until it feels right and for me this is very important because its introducing some real integrity into it without being forced, this is the only way we can do the JETS sound.
I read in your bio that you are the self-proclaimed poster child of the “Sound Couture”. Wanna explain us what do you mean by Sound Couture and why do you define yourself its archetype?
I said that I do “sound couture” at one point because for a long time I was doing highly designed music, really focusing on sound design and rhythm design and I was relating this to when I studied fashion design. Although, I studied fashion for a short time and since I didn’t end up liking it I always compare my music to design. I suppose all the random jobs I had in Detroit had a big influence on me. I used to do all sorts of things, I used to be such a hustler in that respect…. I’ve had jobs as a makeup artist, head graphic designer at MOCAD, mortuary assistant, ghostwriter, and I even worked as a stonemason for two summers which is how I learned how to integrate Fibonacci into my artwork.
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