18 June 2004


So anyway I'm totally hooked on this Jimmy Edgar character. No news on when exactly this album is gonna come out on Warp, but it turns out he released an album called "My Mines I" back in '02 under the double-alter ego Kristuit Salu Vs. Morris Nightingale on Merck records. Thirsty to hear more of Jimmy's magic, I scoured the P2P network in search of this release. Once located, a download was initiated and I went to bed, leaving the PC running. Came down this morning and there's the album nestling in my hardrive ready for action. How's that for progress?* Okay, so Jimmy didn't see a penny from the transaction but I'll buy him a pint next time I see him. And tell anyone who'll listen to seek out this album by any means necessary. How come I never heard about this album before? Did it just slip out unnoticed, or was I just not paying attention? Whatever, it's kinda weird that the most mind-blowingly futuristic album I've heard so far this year is actually 2 years old (and I've heard some fucking ace new records this year!).

I'd assumed that this album was maybe a tentative blueprint for the material Jimmy released on this year's "Access Rhythm" EP. But no, this is a fully-formed, technically superb, conceptually pure collection of beat-bending Tech-Hop (has anyone coined that phrase yet?**)that belies Mr. Edgar's tender years. Broadly speaking, the tracks as Morris Nightingale are the more phat, funky rhythm workouts, whilst the Kristuit Salu tunes are more meditive and cerebral. Interestingly I read somewhere that, like me, Jimmy only really likes old skool '80s Hip Hop and you can hear that influence in the sparse arrangements - what he leaves out is as crucial as what he puts in. There's some really gorgeous synth textures - quite similar to some of those used on Kraftwerk's "Tour De France Soundtracks" (though Jimmy's album predates theirs by a year)and the glitchy rhythm programming is so in-the-pocket that I'm virtually swooning with pleasure.

Every few years, a record comes along that really speaks to you, sends the imagination into overdrive with fresh possibilities. Mantronix's "Music Madness", Aphex Twin's "Selected Ambient Works 85-92" and Boards Of Canada's "Music has The Right To Children" are the sort of albums that have reached that level for me. I believe that "My Mines I" may be another. God knows how great the new one is gonna be...

* I've just finished reading a book called "Sonic Boom - Napster, P2P and the Battle For The Future Of Music" by John Alderman. It was written in 2001, so is already hopelessly out-of-date, but is nevertheless a fascinating account of the unstoppable development of online MP3 file sharing and the various attempts to crush it by the music industry. Lot's of interesting info on copyright law and 'intellectual property' too. There's already been a bit of heated debate on this subject in blogdom and I've no wish to get that particular thread back on the agenda BUT..the more I read into it, the more convinced I am that I have absolutely no sympathy for the major label corporations whatsoever. They're a fucking disease that has been strangling creativity, ripping-off artists, and fascistically controlling the consumer's access to music for too damn long. Whilst I will continue to financially support labels that care and treat their customers and artists with some respect, I'll never buy a major label release again.

** Hmmmm, "Tech-Hop". I like the sound of that. I googled the phrase, but only found one example of it's use a genre description in an article on some Canadian artist called The Jirku Boy. Apart from that, only a couple of references to tracks called "Tech-Hop", here and here. Whatever, I'm resolved to use the phrase more often....