Techno Tuesday: Jimmy Edgar on the parallels between indigenous cultures and dance music
Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.
There are few DJs that match the talent, creativity and spirituality of Jimmy Edgar. A prolific electronic musician at heart, Edgar also upholds titles as graphic designer, photographer, fashion designer, filmmaker, and label head. It wasn’t until 2013 that he and creative partner Pilar Zeta founded Ultramajic, a sui generis union of a record label, design house and metaphysical portal that has helped him make his mark as one of the most riveting artists in electronic music history.
For techno purists, the Detroit-born producer satisfies their palates as both a solo artist and part of side projects including JETS and Black Affair. It’s this mastery of unadulterated beat making, vocal distortion and synthpop that has kept fans dancing since Jimmy began performing at Detroit raves in his early teens. “Let Me Tell You,””Burn” and his remix of “Whip” were just some of the many highlights of his illustrious career.
Long a Detroit techno purveyor, Jimmy Edgar will soon showcase a renewed style – one that he has worked effortlessly to perfect within the last two years – through his forthcoming four-track EP, Dreamz Come True, on June 24. Listen to “iPhone” below, and read on to learn about Jimmy’s longtime fascination with other worlds and indigenous cultures.
Recently, I have been very intrigued by indigenous cultures, in fact for the past several years I have been reading a lot about Tibetan, Hopi Indian, Mayan, Dogon and Aboriginals. I am just fascinated by their metaphysical beliefs and how they relate to ideas of today, including quantum physics. I chose these particular cultures because they have the most mystical and bizarre beliefs when you compare them to our current systems. On the most extreme and fascinating case, some Tibetan beliefs have time and time again documented practices in which spiritual teachers are able to turn their bodies into light and ascend into higher vibrational densities. Could this be possible?
I am a musician, artist and DJ so I like to draw comparisons and inspiration from these ideas. The parallels between club music and shamanistic rituals are many. For instance, the use of repetitive drums are meant to induce a trance, and even sometimes this is accompanied by hallucinogenic substances (but not always!). Not only that, but dancing plays a vital role as the body movement can let your consciousness go deeper and deeper.
The incredible part is how sacred these performances were to these cultures, and how carefully they went about performing them. They created the perfect atmosphere to get into a state of consciousness, and for a multitude of reasons. These reasons were not always necessarily good either, especially when you start to look into Haitian magick practices. But, the string that ties all these ideas together is that, when you get into an altered consciousness, you can affect reality. This is proven, not only according to hypnosis and neuro linguistic programming, but all the way down to quantum physics and our underlying reality.
Unfortunately, a lot of western culture has disrespected these practices and viewed them as savages. How would people from these cultures view our practices; and the way we behave at clubs and raves? Surely you can see the similarities between them. Yet, we don’t have this kind of focus going into our “rituals.” I have always said that DJ’s are misaligned shamans. Does perfection await with more research?
Its been proposed by me, for the past few years, on why we should look to indigenous people for inspiration. If we go about each and every activity with utmost respect and integrity then we could see a great change; a world that combines the teachings of ancient culture with todays technology. What could happen if people come together and unite in music, under the same ideas. Its pretty funny to talk about in passing, and to mention PLUR under your breath. I’m not even a big advocate of raves or club culture, even as a DJ. Though, I do believe that every single thought is a doorway into a new reality and with that we should consider which doors we choose to walk through with positive discernment.