Album Reviews

Jimmy Edgar – Majenta

(Hotflush) UK release date: 7 May 2012

Jimmy Edgar, a man whose love of techno appears to be balanced only by his love of sex, is now three albums down. His last, XXX – doesn’t the title say it all? – indulged all manner of vicarious pleasures of the night, things his debut Color Strip kept a little more in check and under wraps. So which way does he go in Majenta, which has a second track called This One’s For The Children? Surely that’s a tongue in cheek title? No, not that sort of cheek…

It appears that Edgar is hell bent on making his listeners hot under the collar once again, on an album that brings the influence of Prince on his music to the fore. It works well, with a healthy funk quotient present throughout, going with some lyrics that might make a grown adult blush but which stop short of being too risqué. Sex Drive is about as heated as it gets, with its ‘windows down and legs apart’. More often than not Edgar makes his encounters like film noir scenes, with a frisson of danger lying in wait around every darkened corner.

So how to appraise this musically? Dark chocolate techno might be a term of endearment to use, for it’s a particularly luxurious form of robo-funk that gets I Need Your Control working. Too Shy, though, is borne of a more popular disposition, with a memorable couplet that runs “we don’t like television, we don’t like new wave, we don’t like celebrities, we just like what we crave”. This is set to a wall of crisp electro, before cutting in to the typically dark rumblings of an Edgar production of old in This One’s For The Children which is about as adult as you could wish for.

We have established Edgar’s sense of darkened humour to be intact, but his musical brain is still functioning with impressive alacrity. Heartkey takes this further, boasting that “I’m the only one with the key to your heart”, though it’s a claim whose power seems to fade with every repetition. Unusually for Edgar, towards the end of Touch Yr Bodytime there appears to be a moment where a hugely promising synth riff makes itself known, starts to grow and then fizzles out, stopped before it can reach its prime. An opportunity missed.

Edgar is a restless soul musically, with each of his three albums on a different label – and the appropriately named Hotflush bearing the cross of this latest release. Yet everything seems present and correct in his world still – though better not say ‘correct’ too loudly or he’ll be using it as a theme for a new song… which will doubtlessly bear the same deliciously dark and sleazy overtones that this album carries. There is plenty of inspiration from this source for Edgar yet.

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Jimmy Edgar – Majenta
Jimmy Edgar – Color Strip