Detroiter Jimmy Edgar’s career has been nothing less than mercurial. From his DJ debut at raves as a 15 year old to award-winning work in fashion photography, he recently established the Ultramajic label and is dropping a second album. ANNA SAXON catches up with him before he plays Carnevale 02 on August 10.
Techno is all about the aurally esoteric – constructed percussion, sub-basslines, the limits of synthetic noise. Jimmy exudes the same sort of ortherworldly detachment that makes his mixes compelling.
“I think we can apply technology to spirituality to gain a better sense of who we are,” he says. “I prefer the more esoteric subjects, but any books on transhumanism can talk about the merging of these two ideas. I think humans are coming to a point where technology will discover things about our sense of spirituality and I think it’s generally a step forward unless we start relying on technology too much. This is a very dynamic subject and it’s extremely dependent on human focus spanning time. You really have me nerding out here, don’t you?”
After his Majenta audio-visual project, he’s produced a very different EP: Mercurio. “The main influence for this record was Mercury in alchemical terms,” he says. “Mercury, or Mercurio, represents fluidity, intellect, transformation and change. For me, everything about the EP represents those attributes, as does the artwork which created especially for it. I will do a third alchemical EP to complete the series later this year.”
Alongside all the touring, Jimmy has a string of projects lined up, one with Berlin visual artist Pilar Zeta. “Pilar Zeta and I are working on our 3-year project to design new faces for the Major Arcana. They are pretty much done, but we’re planning on presentation now. Otherwise, I’m still going hard with Ultramajic. I am continuing my airbrush pieces and I have quite a few new ones but this year I am concentrating on artistic integrity so presentation is also important here.”
Jimmy divides most of his time between Detroit and Berlin. He’s said before that “Berlin is where I get all my work done; it’s not a relaxing city”. It’s easy to wonder where he goes to chill out, if he ever does.
“It’s hard for people, who potentially don’t travel as much as I do, to imagine relaxing while not traveling,” he says. “What I mean is that my relaxation is spent in my studio where I do all my art and music. The last thing I want to do is travel to relax. I am often going to tropical places to DJ anyway.
“We went to Cairo last January. It was a holiday but by no means a time for relaxation, as we went to discover, learn and connect with the pyramids. The year before, we went to Macchu Piccu, so I would say yes that we prefer to have our minds blown and discover. ‘Relaxing’ in that sense doesn’t really interest me. I like to learn. When I am sleeping I am relaxed enough.”
Well then. With fewer ancient monuments to connect with, is Jimmy looking forward to a second stint in Australia?
“Absolutely,” he says. “Well, now that you mention it, we will have a few days off during my birthday in Australia, so we’ll have to do something really fun. This will require some research though. I’m gonna do that right after this.”