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Edgar in 2015.
|Birth name||James Michael Edgar|
|Also known as|
|Born||1983 (age 34–35)|
|Origin||Detroit, Michigan, United States|
James Michael "Jimmy" Edgar (born 1983) is an American musician, graphic designer, photographer, and filmmaker from Detroit, Michigan. Influenced by Detroit techno, Rap and R&B, early in his career he released two hip-hop 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.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Music career
- 3 Film and photography career
- 4 Style and influences
- 5 Filmography
- 6 Art exhibitions
- 7 Discography
- 8 Further reading
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
James "Jimmy" Edgar was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1983. He is of French, Romanian, Filipino and West African descent. 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.
1998-03: My Mines I and %20
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
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
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 synthpop 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
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."
|Emika - 'Hit Me' feat. Jimmy Edgar (Official Video) - Jan 2012 - Edgar handled the production of both audio and video|
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
|Jimmy Edgar - Hot Inside' (Ultramajic Official Video) - Jun 2013|
|Jimmy Edgar - 'Who's Watching' (Ultramajic Official Video) - Oct 2014|
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 2014 Ultramajic had released over a dozen albums in the electronic genre, with both Zeta and Edgar designing most album covers.
In 2014, Resident Advisor released RA Podcast: RA.401 which was produced by Jimmy. The mix spanned 90 minutes and went through a meticulous recording process including mastering, cut onto 6 dubplate vinyl discs, digitally pasted together and remastered.
In 2016, Jimmy Edgar released "Dreamz Come True" featuring Toronto R&B artist Rochelle Jordan. In 2017, after a chance meeting with SOPHIE, he began production on Vince Staples album Big Fish Theory and produced the single "745". In 2018, Jimmy released a single under his own name called "Burn So Deep" featuring Dawn Richard.
Film and photography career
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 photos 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.
Style and influences
- 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.
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."
|2006||"LB LB Detroit"||Music video||Directed by Christos Chrestatos (Jul 1, 2006)|
|2008||"Nothing is Better"||Music video||Directed by Jimmy Edgar (Aug 1, 2008)|
|2010||"She Lets Him"||Short film||Directed by Jimmy Edgar (May 2010)|
|"Black Operator"||Fashion commercial||Directed by Jimmy Edgar (Sep 2010)|
|2011||"Elpha"||Fashion film||Directed by Jimmy Edgar (Jan 2011)|
|"Kate"||Fashion film||Directed by Jimmy Edgar (Jan 2011)|
|"Bridget"||Fashion film||Directed by Jimmy Edgar (Jan 2011)|
|"Playing with Fire"||Short film||Directed by Jimmy Edgar (Oct 2011)|
|2012||"Hit Me"||Music video for Emika||Directed by Jimmy Edgar for Ninja Tune|
|2013||"Hot Inside"||Music video||Directed by Brez for Ultramajic (Jun 2013)|
|2016||"Dreamz Come True"||Music video||Directed by Robert Fox for Ultramajic (Jun 2016)|
|2018||"Burn So Deep ft. DAWN"||Music video||Directed by Robert Fox for Atlantic (Apr 2018)|
|Yr||Exhibition||Gallery/venue||City and date|
|2006||Art exhibition||Museum during Torino Winter Olympics||Turin, Italy|
|2007||Photography exhibition||Finite Gallery||New York City|
|Live sound installation||MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art||Miami, Florida|
|2008||Jimmy Edgar painting exhibition||White Museum||New York City|
|XXX Exhibition (Photography/Polaroid)||New York City (May 2008)|
|2009||Jimmy Edgar painting exhibition||555 Gallery||Detroit, Michigan (Aug 2009)|
|Jimmy Edgar Complete Works
(Painting on Canvas Series)
|Vernor's Room||Pontiac, Michigan (Nov 2009)|
|2010||Exhibition featuring Work No. 11||Installation Link Museum||Bologna, Italy (Jan 21-24, 2010)|
- 2002: My Mines I (as Kristuit Salu and Morris Nightingale) (Merck Records)
- 2003: %20 (as Michaux) (Audio.nl)
- 2006: Color Strip (Warp Records)
- 2010: XXX (!K7 Records)
- 2012: Majenta (Hotflush Recordings)
- 2015: FabricLive.79 (Fabric)
|2001||Seual Dual (as Kristuit Salu)||Isophlux (Jan 8, 2008)|
|2004||Access Rhythm||Warp (Jan 12, 2004)|
|Bounce, Make, Model||Warp (Nov 8, 2004)|
|2006||Rhythmic Denial (1 track)||Warp (Feb 20, 2006)|
(as X District with Laura Clarke)
|2008||I Don't Know (What You're Doing To Me)
(as Her Bad Habit)
|Citinite (Jul 2008)|
|Divine Edgar EP
(with Richard Devine)
|2009||Funktion of Your Love E.P.||Items and Things (Sep 2009)|
|2010||Tell It To The Heart||No.19 Music (Jun 2010)|
|Hush EP||Glass Table (Jun 2010)|
|Hot, Raw, Sex Remixes||Studio !K7 (Jul 2010)|
|2011||New Touch Remixes||Studio !K7 (Jan 2011)|
|2012||Sex Drive Remixes||Hotflush (Oct 8, 2012)|
|This One's For The Children||Hotflush|
(as Jets with Machinedrum)
|Leisure System (Oct 29, 2012)|
|2013||Hot Inside||Ultramajic (Jun 10, 2013)|
|Mercurio||Ultramajic (Dec 2, 2013)|
|2014|| White Majic 001
|Ultramajic (Feb 24, 2014)|
|Saline||Ultramajic (Oct 13, 2014)|
|2016||Dreamz Come True||Ultramajic|
|1999||"I Like You"||Single||Poker Flat (GER)|
|2004||"Inner Citee Color Reprise"||Single||Warp|
|2006||"My Beats"||Color Strip||Warp (Feb 2006)|
|2007||"Nothing is Better"||Single||Music video (May 2007)/|
Moodgadget (Nov 4, 2008)
|2008||"I Wanna Be Your STD"||Single||Warp|
|2009||"Lips Sealed" (as Noir Friction)||Single||Night Moves (May 5, 2009)|
|"Private 1/3"||Single||Semantica (Feb 2009)|
|2010||"Private 2/3"||Single||Semantica (Jan 2010)|
|"Hot, Raw, Sex"||Single||Studio !K7 (Jul 9, 2010)|
|"NXTLVLNXTLVL / My Balance (Last Priority)"||Split single||Nonplus (Oct 2010)|
|2011||'"New Touch"||Single||Studio !K7 (Jan 25, 2011)|
|2012||"This One's For The Children"||3-track single||Hotflush (Apr 2012)|
|"Let Yrself Be"||2-track single||Hotflush (Jun 11, 2012)|
|"Sex Drive"||Single||Hotflush (Aug 10, 2012)|
- Interviews and articles
- "No 323: Black Affair". The Guardian. May 27, 2008.
- "Jimmy Edgar Interview: Look into my eyes". Resident Advisor. August 10, 2012.
- "Building Rainbow-Colored Bridges Between Music, Aesthetics & Metaphysical Ideas". Redefine Magazine. December 2, 2013.
- "Interview: Techno Wizard Jimmy Edgar Explains His Paranormal Experiences". Vibe.com. December 11, 2013.
- Buchanan, John D. "Jimmy Edgar Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- "JIMMY EDGAR Biography". Mog.com. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- Maymind, Leo (July 23, 2013). "Jimmy Edgar's Ultramajic Label Readies New Release Series". XLR8R. Retrieved 2014-12-05.
- "Biography for Jimmy Edgar". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- "My ethnicity". Twitter.com. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
- Hernandez, Jorge. "About". Jimmy Edgar Home. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- "Jimmy Edgar". Detroit Underground. February 5, 2011. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- "DJ, Producer", Outlar, archived from the original on 2011-07-15, retrieved 2008-09-10
- "Jimmy Edgar". Discogs. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- "Michaux". Boomkat.com. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- "Sonar 2006 Prologues: Jimmy Edgar Interview". Resident Advisor. 2006. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- Richardson, Mark (April 11, 2006). "Color Strip". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- "X(XX) District". Resonator Magazine. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
- Lester, Paul (May 27, 2008). "No 323: Black Affair". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- "Jimmy Edgar Returns With Her Bad Habit". Dazed. Archived from the original on June 17, 2009. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
- "K7 - XXX - Jimmy Edgar Releases". K7.com. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "FACT mix 98: Jimmy Edgar". FACT Magazine. Nov 6, 2009. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- "Detroit, West Yorkshire?". Sluttyfringe.wordpress.com. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- Kellman, Andy (2010). "XXX Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- "Artist Profile: Jimmy Edgar". The Electric Frog. 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- Handscomb, Rich (2012). "Jimmy Edgar Majenta review". BBC. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- "Emika feat. Jimmy Edgar – 'Hit Me'". FACT Mag. February 10, 2012. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- Burns, Todd L. (August 10, 2012). "Jimmy Edgar Interview: Look into my eyes". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- Bhavnani, Rishabh (December 11, 2013). "Interview: Techno Wizard Jimmy Edgar Explains His Paranormal Experiences". vibe.com. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- "Jimmy Edgar". BBC. May 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- "Sex, Drugs, & Detroit", DJ Mag, retrieved 2008-09-10
- "Hercules & Love Affair – "Painted Eyes (Radio Edit)" - Stereogum". Stereogum. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Junior Boys Frontman, Kelley Polar on Morgan Geist LP". Pitchfork. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "A photo of Morgan Geist by Jimmy Edgar". MTV Artists. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "May - 2011 - Jimmy Edgar Photography". Jimmyedgarphotography.wordpress.com. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "Party of the Week: Jimmy Edgar at Dada". City Weekend. May 21, 2013. Retrieved 2014-12-20.
- LittleBig: Jimmy Edgar, Lttlebig.org.uk, retrieved 17 February 2015
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