Archives for posts with tag: Resident Advisor

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As mentioned in this post title, I believe Jimmy Edgar has some crazy dominance over magical properties. His productions, and overall aesthetic have some spell over me. There’s something about the sound and look of each element, and his use of effects. Every day at my house, one of my roommates and I are playing something from this man..I think I woke up yesterday to “Qlinda”. Most recently we were gifted with his RA mix. Cut to VINYL, people, Edgar has gone the extra mile to give a specific, warm sound quality. One thing I really like about this mix, is I can put it on and get distracted by something, come back to it and the vibe is unbroken. He also takes his time building the energy, it creeps in all sophisticated like, and before you know it, you’re off. It’s a well-built mindset, and it’s that execution that I look for in a superior mix. It’s also just as much a mental journey as it is a physical one. I can imagine myself at one of Jimmy’s shows (Played before him and Machinedrum at Decibel Festival 2012, saw him and Jets at Decibel Festival 2013), or I could just have headphones on and travel throughout my psyche.

Born in 1983, It’s insane to note that by age 15, Edgar was DJ’ing Detroit raves alongside Techno pioneers/wizards Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson. Soon after, he signed his first record deal, and by 2004 he had his first Warp Records release entitled “Access Rhythm”. It’s Edgar’s skills as a visual artist that grab me just as much as his music. Almost every single time he posts some graphic online, I’m like “wow”, or “like”, or “what the fuck? this is rad.” Take for example this above picture which he captioned, “Ultramajic office”, or the below one saying “One of the few shots without the model from Me and Pilars photoshoot.”

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It’s that multi-sensory precision and ultra class that puts Jimmy in a total other realm. This 2013 Redefine Magazine Interview said it best, “While it begins with solid musical foundations of intricately-crafted, analog synth-driven club jams, it (Edgar) has grown more and more to incorporate art, music, and metaphysical ideas into one cohesive artistic whole.”

From Vedic and Hindu religion, to magic and quantum physics, founder Edgar with collaborators Pilar Zeta and Machinedrum weave their spiritual and mathematical fascinations into an already incendiary record label + design house + metaphysical portal called Ultramajic (Est. 2013). With sound as their foundation, the label is making huge statements right out the gate; powerful tracks that easily influence dance floors and consciousnesses. You may feel the releases demand movement, or just simply, trip people out. My eyes are glued to Ultramajic until further notice; with future releases from Jets, Sophie, and plans for club nights and gallery events.   

 

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*Just Released on Ultramajic* Danny Daze – Silicon EP

Jimmy Edgar – Twitter Soundcloud Facebook Youtube

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Ultramajic – Soundcloud Twitter Facebook Tumblr

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– Jimi Jaxon

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It’s been a month since I saw the world debut of Machinedrum’s Vapor City album for Decibel Festival 2013 in Seattle. I still haven’t recovered.

I want to delve into the ridiculously impressive and varied delivery of Travis Stewart’s newest album but first..

I feel like that live show didn’t get the proper credit it deserved. After searching through over 50 reviews of Decibel Festival this year, Machinedrum’s Vapor City performance was mentioned 5 times. This is a travesty to me. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but many of the reviews/mentions or lack thereof add to my frustration when it comes to music journalists. The way of writing used by many who about music can be boring as hell to me. Saying the bass was “heavy” for one, so dry. Aren’t there more ways to describe the bass? How does it make you feel? It just comes across as lazy to me. Now, it’s not that all these reviews were bad, I just had trouble connecting with them. I’m no expert when it comes to writing, but my approach here is to be more personable and speak from the heart, instead of this sometimes distant, analytical place.

Many journalists probably don’t take nearly as much time thinking about their writing, as the artists spend creating their art. They pour their lives into music, just to have it regurgitated back online in a less imaginative way.

So here’s my perspective on the Vapor City show from someone that was IN IT; goin’ wild in the crowd as an ecstatic fellow fan, artist and music journalist for Disco Droppings. There was absolutely no way my roommates and I were going to miss this. We got there early and saw Giraffage open. Really kool dude, his set was uplifting with it’s own personality. He seemed to understand the weight of importance, playing alongside a titan like Travis Stewart. When it was time for the main event, Travis quietly came on stage, picked up the guitar and started playing the chords to “Center Your Love”. I had heard the whole album many times already via a leak (shh), so I knew every track. I was dumbfounded to see drummer Lane Barrington feverishly playing alongside Travis. I would be lost in the music, freakin’ the fuck out and would forget the drummer pounding out these super fast, meticulous rhythms. Then I would look over at him, and just freak even more. Travis was also singing throughout the set, demonstrating his versatility as a performer.

I knew what kind of visuals I was in for after watching the futuristic/cray “Eyesdontlie” music video, directed by Weirdcore. A press release states, “The video, directed by Weirdcore, was developed from visual references and art work for the album and the upcoming live tour. Weirdcore worked with the midi data from the track and used the track stems to create the video. The neon images react to the midi and some of the distortion is reactive to the sound as well.” Watching the show, we got to witness an expanded display of the Vapor City districts. The visuals cut out early,  but just that small amount of imagery was powerful enough to say the least.

 

I’ve never heard it that loud in Showbox Market. I’ve also rarely experienced a performance that pushed the crowd to such a rapturous and primal place. The only other time I’ve felt this utter abandon of the self, was at Daft Punk’s Alive 2007 show in Seattle. The crowd became a pack of wild apes, and Machinedrum alongside his drummer and visuals were the monolith.

A friend came up to me right after the Vapor City show and said something like, “that was everything I wanted from music and so much more.” About as big of a compliment as you can get as an artist I’d say.

Ok, I got that off my chest.

A piece of this release that isn’t getting much recognition (besides the music itself, which is beautiful from beginning to end) is the website. If you head over Machinedrum.net you’ll see a gray landscape with the Vapor City districts colored in black. All the pieces together resemble Africa to me, and as you move your cursor over each section you’ll see things like “Gunshotta Ave”. Click, a small quiet loop plays “Gunshotta” with the music video embedded.

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The “Njord District” is also available now, coinciding with the release of Machindrum’s RA Podcast mix, centered around the same location. All the other districts are currently offline, saying “‘Vizion Centre’ will be unlocked in Dec 2013”, “‘Vapor Park’ will be unlocked in Jan 2014” etc. It’s a magnificent idea; spreading out the release and giving people additional content and deeper understanding of this world Travis has dreamed up. Become a citizen of Vapor City through the site for updates on the districts, and Citizen-only bonus downloads. 

 

In addition to all this we have the Vapor City tour itself. Boiler Room did a 3-part series for the album in NYC, London and Berlin. We got to see the first ever performance of Dream Continuum (Om Unit + Machinedrum), plus Lando Kal, Fracture, Braille, Mike Slott, Jimmy Edgar, Scuba and of course Machinedrum among others. The tour runs until December 14th, with upcoming stops in Belgium, France, Ireland, England, Italy, Canada and the USA. It would be a sad, sad thing to miss.

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Machinedrum – Facebook Soundcloud Twitter

– Jimi Jaxon

 

I had a lot of fun making breakfast this morning; flipping bacon and scrambling eggs while I bounced around the kitchen to Blawan’s music. His tracks get me so hyped, at times it feels like my head will explode from too much excitement. Blawan, aka Jamie Roberts, possesses an understanding of rhythm and percussion that’s just…menacing. He’s like some sort of dark shaman techno character, and I’m his pupil, desperate to hear his teachings. I first started hearing about Blawan from Mary Anne Hobbs, whose supported his tunes on her Xfm show and done some back to back sets with the UK based produer. Then I heard What You Do With What You Have in a Jamie XX mix, and I was like “what is this?!”. Now that I’ve gotten more familiar with his releases and his approach to producing, I’ve got to share his dark vibes on Disco Droppings.

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Often, when I look into an especially distinct artist, they talk about restricting themselves. In an interview with RA in November of this year, he was asked about using a machine as opposed to a computer, which he first started making tunes on. Jamie says, “One of the main problems—and a lot of people will testify—is that with a computer you can do too much. You have to be restrained to be really good at writing stuff on a computer, especially if you’ve got tight schedules and you can write stuff really quick. I think you tend to have to be a more restrained, quite well-managed person, and I’m not like that at all.”. For him, limiting himself to machines works with his personality. In addition to limiting himself to machines currently, he pulls so much out of a few sounds. I really admire this stripped-down approach. I know as a producer how easy it is to stuff more and more into a song, instead of pulling the maximum amount of energy out of a few sounds. 

 

In addition to limiting himself on the production end, he limits his release output. StompMag talked with him last year, and when discussing the approach of constantly putting out new music he says, “Ya just slow the fuck down basically. I think theres a real sense of people wanting everything now. And I know people appreciate the music, but ya gotta appreciate that the producer maybe wants to take it somewhere or take his time. I think thats what I’m trying to do, I don’t want to put everything out cos if i do it’ll just end up being really messy, there would be no fluidity to the releases. I think thats what im trying to do, keep a nice flow going rather than just have craziness!”.

 

Where Blawan does not restrict himself is the energy of his productions. His first release back in 2010 for Hessle Audio, Fram / Iddy is ridiculous. He commands attention on both tracks; “Fram” takes bits of garage, jungle and techno and melts them down to a hypnotic compound, and the rhythms on “Iddy” are so tight and distinct, I’m left in awe with every listen. His latest release for Hinge Finger, His He She & She is currently only available on vinyl, and seems to be out of stock everywhere. It opens with “Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage”, a sinister techno track that’s painfully superb. Earmilk gave a fitting description of this release saying, “If I heard one of the (several) screams throughout this track – and the whole EP itself in fact – in a club and didn’t know where it came from, I would be fairly certain the club was located above some sort of underground torture dungeon. That’s Blawan for you on this EP. It really seems he wants to freak you out. Even considering the photographs on the cover, smiling children, couples and friends,  when put into context of the music makes a dark EP seem even more sinister, in a “missing persons” sort of way.”.

 

If you’re interested Blawan’s collaborations, check out his work with Pariah as Karenn. I’m diggin’ their Sheworks001 release, vinyl only. Karenn did a live set for Boiler Room last month, all hardware, which can be viewed here. There’s also the Cursory EP, released by Blawan and The Analogue Cops via Vae Victis Records in December of last year. Get hyped. 

Blawan – Twitter Facebook Discogs

– Jimi Jaxon 

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I’m going to share some personal experiences that influenced this post. I’m tired of being the odd man out when it comes to love. I have wonderful friends and family, but romantic relationships have been highly elusive. For the past 4+ years, I’ve focused my attention on music instead. Lack of that significant other, and an awareness of dysfunctional relationships as a kid have been a few of the forces driving my creativity. The other morning I was feeling lonely and a bit jealous of that relationship that I just can’t seem to find. I drove home thinking, “what artist understands isolation and loneliness?”. Burial.

I started his 2006 self-titled Hyperdub album. The environment created by the rain and the freeway worked perfectly with his music. I felt super emotional taking everything in. “Night Bus” was very moving, and a few tears later, I felt refreshed. I spend a lot of time reminding myself that if those feelings and experiences and longings can be collected, compressed and translated into art, something very special can come out of it.

Burial fiercely embraces solitude and anonymity. A rarity nowadays, with social networks encouraging constant communication to the point of overstimulation. Personal events that influence Burial’s music are a mystery, but I pick up on a deeply passionate and sensitive individual, who prefers introspection and realizing lingering memories through music. In an archived 2007 interview with Fact, Burial says “The sound that I’m focused on is more, you know, when you come out of a club and there’s that echo in your head of the music you just heard…I love that music, but I can’t make that club sort of stuff…but I can try and make the afterglow of that music.”.

 

He reminds me of “The Hermit”, a tarot card that came up in my first reading recently. This character retreats for enlightenment. At night he travels alone across a bare landscape, staff and lantern in hand. Through examination he illuminates the areas that were once hidden, both in the physical world and his mind. The Hermit goes wherever the inspiration leads. He is similar to the lantern, lit up from within by all he is, able to pierce the darkness. 

 

Burial presents the future with precision and balance. A foundation of UK garage and rave give birth to a shadowy dubstep landscape. References are made to various genres, but his delivery is more about the memory of hearing these sounds, bringing back those vibes in a ghostly way. Burial is unique to say the least, productive with releases without ever playing shows. His followup 2007 album Untrue solidified Burial as a visionary, with Resident Advisor saying in review, “..the reclusive south London producer returns with his follow up album, Untrue, which lays another strong claim to Burial being the most innovative and expressive artist not only in dubstep, but in the whole of electronic music.”. Burial has worked with Four Tet (see “Moth / Wolf Cub” release on Text Records) and Thom Yorke (see “Ego / Mirror” release on Text Records), and remixed Massive Attack, Bloc Party and Jamie Woon among others. His newest release, “Truant / Rough Sleeper” can be purchased here on the Hyperdub site.

 

Burial – Discogs 

– Jimi Jaxon