Jimmy Edgar's music is like the aural equivalent of those mid-'80s "sexy robot" airbrushed pop art posters by Hajime Sorayama — the sound of a sleek digital future when machines have the same erotic desires as human beings. A postmodern polymath who also built a successful career as a graphic artist, photographer, and fashion designer, Edgar was born on August 10, 1983 in Detroit and manifested a love for music at an early age, learning to play saxophone and drums, gigging in local bands, and experimenting with making electronic music. His elder brother was a music promoter, and at the tender age of 15 he found himself DJing alongside techno legends Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick May. His first track was released by the respected German label Poker Flat in 2002, when he was just 19 years old.
The same year, after hearing just that one track, the Florida label Merck signed him and put out his debut album, My Mines I, which was attributed to his "dual alter ego," Kristuit Salu vs. Morris Nightingale. The next year, the Dutch label audio.nl released his second album, %20, this time under the alias Michaux. These two works, which were fairly experimental and can be classified with the glitch or clicks + cuts genre that was prevalent at the time, received favorable reviews and attracted the attention of powerhouse electronica label Warp, which signed him to a worldwide deal. His debut release for the label, in 2004, was the four-track Access Rhythm EP, which had more of a hip-hop sound and featured, in a nod to his former alter ego, the "Morris Nightingale Theme." Later the same year, he followed up with the Bounce Make Model mini-album, which first crystallized the erotic electro-funk sound for which he would become well known.
Edgar spent the next two years working on his debut Warp full-length. The result was Color Strip, a breathtakingly original album on which Edgar attempted to "capture the essence of Detroit." Inspired by sex and drugs, made using a selection of software custom-built by Edgar himself, and recorded to analog tape, it had a sleazy urban feel that combined techno, electro, R&B, glitch, and hip-hop influences and was an immediate success, invoking a slew of critical acclaim.
In the four-year gap following the release of Color Strip, Edgar was involved in several other projects including Black Affair, Her Bad Habit, and X District, and was rumored to be part of the mysterious electronica outfits Plus Device and Creepy Autograph. In 2008 he moved from Detroit to New York City, which had an influence on the music he was to start making next. When his follow-up album, XXX, was allegedly rejected by Warp, he signed with the German jazz-house label K7, which released it in July 2010. While in a similar vein to Color Strip, it had a somewhat more straightforward and "live" sound, with Edgar playing bass guitar on a number of tracks, and collaborating with female guest vocalists. ~ John D. Buchanan