Tonka and Jimmy Edgar January 15, 2016 11:16

I tramped around Detroit City Centre for ages and couldn't find a Wetherspoon's. I looked all the way down Woodward Avenue, around the main streets of Hamtramk, and all over Dearborn Heights, but there was no Wetherspoon's to be found. Talk about Panic In Detroit! LOLoutLOUD. Thank God for Irish pubs. They're in every town centre in the...fuck me, this is one of the worst intros I've ever written. Let's try again...

Jimmy Edgar is one of my favourite producers. He never ever disappoints behind the wheels of steel (DJ decks) and I'm happy x 10 to be able to interview him ahead of his guest slot at tomorrow's 12 Weeks of Techno with Scuba down XOYO (tickets available here). We sat down together, but separately, and connected via electronic mail. Here's the transcript:


Q. For anyone unfamiliar with the name Jimmy Edgar, could you tell them who you are, what you do and why you do it?

A. Luckily I don’t have to do this anymore because anyone could type my name in their phone and find a loads of information and social media, you can make your mind up for yourself by that.

Q. Why did you choose the moniker, Jimmy Edgar, as a DJ name? Did you ever toy with the idea of prefixing it with DJ, like a proper DJ (DJ Jimmy Edgar), or suffixing it with something more exciting like Detroit Explosion (DJ Detroit Explosion) or Dancefloor Master (DJ Dancefloor Master)?

A. I never really thought about it. Jimmy Edgar has always been my name. It's officially James, but not even my friends or family have ever called me that. I’ve used other names in the past, its just something that stuck since the days I was releasing on Warp.

Q. Have you decided on what you’re wearing for your gig at the 12 Weeks of Techno thing with Scuba at XOYO (tickets available here) tomorrow night yet?

A. Well, I’m going to wear a shirt with a scuba diver on it because I know Paul loves Scuba diving so much…he will be very happy. Might bring my snorkel too.

Q. Are there any tracks that you know for certain you’ll be playing tomorrow night, or is it always a 100% spontaneous performance?

A. It's always spontaneous but there's always a few tracks I circulate in any given time. Right now I am playing King Cheetah’s Endurance EP a lot.

Q. Clap or snare?

A. Depends for what purpose. I normally like the frequency range of claps because they symbolize excitement and party, it makes you think of synchronized clapping and that just works very well. I always used snares in less conventional ways, on off beats or during build ups. They both have a very special purpose when I am producing. Hard to discriminate but my music is very clap heavy.

Q. I’ve always described your music as sounding like the feeling you get whilst looking at a high definition Fox’s Glacier Mint through a supermodel’s binoculars. Is there anybody else in dance music with cleaner sounding productions than you?

A. That's a great description. Jackson Fourgeaud once said my music is like Detroit moisturizer, I always loved that description too. I have not found anyone making as clean and precise music as I do, especially working on my new album...the lengths I go for each sound is very far to get what I need. I have become more and more detailed as life goes on. I would say an exception is SOPHIE, after working with him in the studio, he definitely is someone that uses the same amount of focus...and we both like sounds that excite, snap, crack and pop. If I like a sound I will work with it for hours and bring it through all sorts of hardware. Its not unusual for me to find a sound, record on my MPC60, bounce through API preamps, sculpt it with 2 or 3 lunchbox EQ, record digitally and sculpt further. The lunchbox processing is essential for the sound to carry the intended weight. I also take out all unnecessary sounds by the end, anything below a certain DB, I erase so there's a good balance of silence.

Q. Creepy Autograph is one of my all-time favourite pseudonyms, generally. Do you have any plans to ever resurrect the name?

A. Well, it was a project with me and friends, so the members were always circulating. I just released a mix of unreleased material.

Nobody really shows interest in this material unless they are into the Detroit electro sound of the 90s. For us it was just fun to use vintage equipment because the sounds are so nice. Perhaps one day we can do an archive release...there's so much material.

Q. What’s your favourite Scuba song?


Q. My Nanny Kath doesn’t have a clue about what I do for a living. She still hasn’t properly read the Weekly Review of Dance Music, she won’t go near any of my Tonka’s Week articles and when I asked her last week, she said she’d never even heard of a Hotflush. What do your older relatives make of your job?

A. My mom loves it and she watches very closely what I do.  We were separated for over 20 years so she watched from afar but now we have a great relationship. She was inspirational in my early years so it makes sense. To be honest, I am estranged from most of my family...


What a lovely young man! Please join me in wishing Jimmy good luck for tomorrow night and extend the good wishes to all of his future endeavours. Like he suggests, if you still don't know who he is, get on Google and type in the words, "Jimmy Edgar". He dominates the first few dozen page results.