Jimmy Edgar: Color Strip

Warp, 2006

Color Strip cover

Edgar’s first EP, Access Rhythm, was a fun take on hip-hop; however, his second EP, Bounce Make Model, was clubby and superficial. Unfortunately, Edgar’s first full-length expands on the latter EP’s pop dance style. “Pret’a’porter” serves as a suitable intro, with repetitive synths and a burbling vocal sample. “My Beats” and “I Wanna Be Your STD” both feature embarassingly juvenile lyrics presented in monotone vocoder. Egyptian Lover this man is not.

It’s not all bad. “LBLB Detroit” is another track from Edgar’s 2004 EP. It’s got a decent groove with broken beats and Edgar’s typical synth sounds. “Personal Information” sounds like it was ripped from the eighties. It’s a fun (if simple) tribute to old dance music. “Telautraux” demonstrates (to paraphrase a Luke Vibert song) “what it sounds like when one speaks through a ring modulator.” “Hold It Attach It Connect It” might have found a home on Metroplex twenty years ago, although its beats are a bit weak. The chorus of “Color Strip Warren” reminds me uncomfortably of the auto-tune effect on Cher’s “Believe.”

On an intellectual level, I appreciate that Edgar is paying tribute to early house and techno, but I wish he’d added some of his own ideas. These tracks need some twist to take them to the next level. Otherwise they just sound old without being classic.

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  1. I completely disagree with this review… what Jimmy is doing to me is incredible and to breakdown each song with your ill thoughts is a bit juvenile yourself. ‘color strip’ is a brilliant take of old school styles done in a new way, just like some classic releases on warp it will be remembered and is certainly timeless. go jimmy!

  2. I must say that you’re way off with this review. I only heard the preview on Bleep and preordered immediately. To call Bounce Make Model superficial is quite impossible to understand for me as it features some of the most complex beat programming, in a pop environment, I can think of (I wanna be yr STD).
    The new record does include a nod to the 80s, but there’s lots of intricate programming going on, and the vocals seem to be used more as another layer of sound than a conveyor of messages.
    It is innovative, no doubt about it!

  3. I agree with Adam and Roland, this review has missed the point completely. Edgar’s programming is incredibly intricate and subtle, without being pretentious or overpowering. His production is super crisp (check I Wanna Be Your STD for a perfect example) and above all you can listen to his work and appreciate it.
    It baffles me to think he’s achieved so much at such a young age! To say he hasn’t added some of his own ideas is, in my opinion, laughable. Jimmy Edgar’s work is some of the most original and innovative music around – he’s created his own sound. There is simply no other artist who sounds like him.

  4. Well, technically amazing as Edgar’s sound might be, I find it a little bit boring: not enough flesh on those bones, not enough blood on that flesh, superficial in the extreme (that might be his point, but I think he can do better, and that signing to warp has not done any good for him creatively speaking). he remains someone to watch, though.

  5. Stefan hits the nail on the head: He’s unique. He’s achieved all of this at such a young age! Amazingly, some of my favourite tracks are on a release that is several years old called %20, on AudioNL. It is abstract, clicky and very intricate stuff. I had email contact with him for a while, and he told me he’d generate some of the sounds by writing viruses and letting them loose on his computer.
    It’s not superficial, I don’t agree at all – the new album (I only heard it on Bleep) may be very 80s, but the electro side of it just is fat beyond belief, and for the club, superficial is good because that usually means that your feet can’t stop moving 😉

  6. what i think everyone is missing, is this is 2006… jimmy is the wave of the future…. its brilliant and original. reviewer needs to get out of years ago mind!

  7. I just received an email from Warp saying that the CD has been dispatched….. So I’m really looking forward to hearing it soon.
    Been sneaking into Bleep.com repeatedly to hear some outtakes…. 😉

  8. Antonio Fernández

    i’m totally disagree with this review… Jimmy Edgar’s music has more magic, more engenius, i like a lot every song of this ep, i think it is more complete and it focus to a clear idea about his music…. speciallly with “my beats”, the combination new wave and idm, with that special touch with the 80’s, is just wonderful!!!!!…

  9. this album is
    jimmy is not inovating anything. he is doing nothing interesting.
    his work has been crap since he signed to warp,
    i agree with this review. this is crap.

  10. bruce,
    it always depends on what you like. I must say I don’t enjoy ALL of it….. some stuff is incredibly funky and displays wonderful production & great sound— other tunes are really quite superficial in a way.
    This is after repeated listens…

  11. damn this album is sick! its awesome that its getting hate reviews tho cause any album that is really hated is really loved too! go jimmy wit your bad self!

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