Ahead of Jimmy Edgar appearing in Room One on Friday 14th November we arranged a conversation between Avery and the Ultramajic Boss, the kind of cross dialogue where the two could properly interface, discuss their influences and geek out about particular techniques for Daniel Avery's FABRICLIVE 66…
"I first heard of Jimmy through his Creepy Autograph project," Avery offers of the invitation for Edgar to play his club night; "all cold wave synths and sparse percussion, it instantly appealed to me. Aside from the great music, I really appreciate how concerned he is with the design and look of his records. He creates an entire world with his stuff..."
Daniel Avery: Dopplereffekt played the last Divided Love at fabric. I can hear a lot of their spirit in your music, refracted through your own lens. Is there a particular record of theirs that means a lot to you?
Jimmy Edgar: For me, their first few records which ended up turning into Gesamkuntswerk was most influential. Even before I had known anything about them, the music had something really special about it, an air of mystery and sounded quite sinister unlike anything else I’d heard. It was a crucial time because I had just discovered Kraftwerk so I started collecting all electro vinyl, but still Dopplereffekt and the affiliated Drexciya have always been the ones. Dopplereffekt just feels at one with the music, it’s not by accident.
DA: I’m interested in how the Detroit sound in general affects your music. Are they any particular influences on your work?
JE: The Detroit influence is more of a subtle influence as I grew up there. For this reason, I was always trying to find out about music I didn’t know. For instance, it was normal to go hang with Derrick May, Seth Troxler, Matt Dear, Kyle Hall, Mike Servito and the Ghostly guys on any given weekend when I was 17. We were all young and doing parties and just having fun. But, on the subject, Derrick May (Rhythim Is Rhythim), Dopplereffekt, Aux88 and Kerri Chandler were my favorite producers/DJs. I’m not name dropping, someone reading this might think that, but you have to imagine Detroit was a very small place and within that was an incredibly small group of people who liked dance music, so it’s just the way it is. There are plenty of unnamed people that influenced my work locally in Detroit. They know who they are.
JE: I wanted to ask about your FABRICLIVE CD; the licensing process can be a bit… interesting. How did you find fitting in the tracks that were available into a cohesive mix… did you have a particular concept or did you rely on the sound to flow on its own? How do you decipher between a mix that is listenable at home and one for the club? Did you tailor your mix for people listening at home at all?
DA: I feel that I made my FABRICLIVE mix right at the beginning. Whilst I had been playing at fabric for a few years, I was a very new and unknown name. Knowing this I decided to include as much music as possible from labels and artists with whom I had some kind of connection. That gave me a starting point.
Furthermore, my lack of experience affected my decision to pick one idea and stick with it which is why the mix was aimed squarely at the dancefloor. I firmly believe that DJ mixes are time capsules and a summary of where an artist’s head is at during a specific period. I listen back to my mix now and I’m proud of it but, two and half years down the line, I know that I would make something different today. That’s not a criticism of my mix in any way, I simply find the whole process of learning and changing through experience very interesting.
JE: How much editing of the tracks did you do for a mix like this, versus a live mix?
DA: I think I edited nearly every track (I remember the Sneaker edit took a long time to get right) but I still wanted it to feel like a live mix; I was happy to leave some rough edges in there. The main problem I had was finding a way to finish. Andrew Weatherall was a great early supporter of my stuff and I asked if he had any old, un-used tracks knocking about. He called me and said “Me and Tim [Fairplay] will make you one. What tempo do you want it?” So they made an exclusive Asphodells track that gave me the direction I needed to for the final straight.
DA: Do you feel that living in Berlin has changed your taste at all? Talking to a few artists who have moved out there, the general consensus is that the scene has taught them to be more patient and subtle with their productions, to let tracks build at their own, natural pace. I can certainly hear this in your music as JETS...
JE: That’s exactly what Berlin did for me: clubbing became more of a transcendental experience, even without drugs or alcohol. To get into the music for that deep and that long was something new to me. I still don’t have the patience to spend all weekend in a club like some people in Berlin, I like taking a break because I get so many ideas but some of my most inspiring times for dance music were being sleep deprived and slow dancing to house music in Panorama Bar.
It’s funny that you mentioned JETS like that because JETS is some of the frenetic music Travis and I have made in a long time… but I do suppose there is a subtle vibe to it that would make you think that. That’s very interesting.