In a recent set for Boiler Room, Jimmy Edgar dropped a massive track that immediately stood out for me. It was a mix of that unmistakable Detroit sound, with an electroclash attitude. At first I thought, this track could only be produced by Jimmy Edgar himself, but then the tag line, “Micro worlds made of silicon”, threw me off a bit. In a recent interview with the man himself, he proclaimed that he had no intent on doing vocals on any of his productions in the future. Who was this? Danny Daze is the response I got a few days later and the track was “Silicon” and the EP, which features three tracks, is to be released on Edgar’s Ultramajic label on the 17th of February.
Apart from the amazing artwork, Silicon stands out as the seminal track on the EP. Rolling 808 kicks and a simple Detroit bass line holds everything together, while different obtrusive synths squelch away intermittently. It gives up something of the Miami producer’s own biography, who sites Bass and Booty as a few of his influences. It has an electro feel that always works so well in settings where the sun is a regular feature, with a form that is specifically made to drop at the peak of a DJ set. It’s the robotic vocal that offers the “Micro worlds made of silicon” hook and gets stuck in your head, in the good way. It is essentially an unpretentious party track and reading anything more into the lyrics will only leave you with nothing more than a headache.
Beatdown ft. Translucent has a very similar aesthetic, and objective, to Silicon. It features the same focus on the rhythm section with a filtered synth bass taking up the central theme here. When the Freaks come Out is in a slightly different format from the two headlining tracks. So far the “self-confessed lover of classic electro” has pretty much stuck to that element. The timbres of the sounds and the forms have all focussed mainly on that palette. On this filler track we get a bit of taste of the Bass influences and something a little harder too. The focus on the drums with the minimal synth work brings back memories of ghetto tech, but with a harder edge. Maybe, his new hometown of Berlin is rubbing off and the stark minimalist approach that the city so often induces amongst its artists is having an effect on Mr. Daze. It’s not a track that’s really worth mentioning but will work well as a DJ Tool. Maybe that was the intention. In all honesty the EP could’ve done without it since Silicon and Beatdown have clearly made their point.
The Silicon EP is just another in a long line of releases that has solidified Ultramajic’s staying power for me. Like so many classic labels their focussed output has created something of a sound and trend its own right. Yes, it is largely a sound born out of Detroit way back when, but it has clearly been updated for a modern audience. Whenever the unmistakeable artwork of an Ultramajic release shows up in my promos list, I know what to expect, but am always pleasantly surprised.