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From the 2012 LP MAJENTA on Hotflush Recordings
There are certain artists whose style you can always count on for consistency, and if there’s one artist whose style oozes out of every pore, it’s Jimmy Edgar. Ever committed to emitting a highly sexed take on electro, the Detroit native has slid from one electronic institution to another flaunting his wares. From his breakthrough releases on Warp to his last album on !K7, the framework for his crisp edits, glossy synths and suggestive (at the very least) vocals has remained the same, and now he makes a home for himself in the ever-broadening climes of Hotflush.
After the swerve in style that Scuba has just taken with his latest long player, it certainly makes more sense to see Edgar releasing here, though by and large when a label reaches the breadth that Hotflush is touching upon each release is better considered independently. What is interesting is that both Edgar and Scuba have issued statements around their album releases which travel along similar lines of honest expression and less contrivance in their own music.
There’s certainly points in Majenta where it feels like Jimmy is trying less to show off his considerable skills for micro-edits, instead just trying to make something a little more simplistically feel-good. The best example of this would be the tellingly-titled “Let Yrself Be”; an immaculately produced house track with a fairly obvious chord progression. It’s still a cut above what many would do in trying to make a peak-time floor-filler, but it’s lacking some of the edge that always made Edgar stand out from the crowd.
Fortunately there’s still plenty of edge to be found elsewhere, as on the marginally steppy feel of “Indigo Mechanix (3D)”. The recent meeting point between dubstep, electro and juke couldn’t be better typified than right here, but most pleasingly it comes off sounding like vintage Edgar as if he was always one step ahead of the rest of the pack when he was first rocking this style nearly ten years ago.
The chances are if you’re signing up for a Jimmy Edgar album, you know what you’re in the mood for, and there’s plenty of that sleazy funk to sink your teeth into here, but in a crafty move he saves the big surprise for last. “In Deep” kicks off on a choppy vocoder jam like a modern Zapp & Roger; nothing out of the ordinary there. It’s as the track builds to its climax that it reaches a bombastic album-closing high, creeping in some a heavy break and epic stabs that sound like a tribute to Art of Noise, that you really hear another side to Jimmy Edgar. It’s a tantalising glimpse at what else the man is capable of.