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Jimmy Edgar – Hush EP review

You never quite know what you’re going to get from Jimmy Edgar, but chances are it’ll be worth a listen. Edgar is a true musical chameleon, seemingly able to turn his hand to everything from scattergun electropop and wonky electronica to slick Detroit techno, deep house and bumping old skool electrofunk. More often than not, the results of these musical experiments are impressive – even if the attached artistic concepts can come across as a little pretentious.

This five-tracker for Glass Table is classic Edgar. It sees him impressively flitting between various dancefloor styles across 25 indispensable minutes. As ever, the production is deliciously warm, slick and emotive in the best traditions of the Motor City. It’s Edgar through and through.

Lead track “Hush” sets the scene magnificently. Bubbling along at little over 100 BPM, it fuses tightly programmed beats – think smacked-out 80s electro fused with Larry Heard style deep house – with rich pads, off-key chords and jittery vocal samples. Much-checked Detroit newcomer Kyle Hall takes on remix duties, turning in a ‘Detroit Retro Metro’ version that roughs up the beats and adds some wonderful analogue touches. Thankfully, he loses none of the original’s understated appeal, adding some subtle Detroitian strings of his own.

Flipside “BThere” is just as good. All intergalactic atmospherics, bubbly low end wobble, reverb-laden vocal hooks and retro-futurist stabs, it’s the year’s slowest dancefloor burner. It might only be 104 BPM, but it packs some serious late night punch. Then there’s “JNS-2000”, Edgar’s contribution to the evolution of dubstep and future garage. Think Jimmy Edgar meets Joy Orbison, and you’re close. If you like the latter’s sound, you’ll love this – especially since Edgar’s productions feature authentic Motor City machine soul, rather than the Anglicised version peddled by Orbison and co. There’s more steppin’ out action on final cut “Vrandaktor Hell”, an unassuming chunk of contemporary Detroit techno that’s unsurprisingly old skool in outlook. The beats are crunchy, the synths cosmic and the bass pleasingly heavy – just like it was in the good old days.

Review: Matt Anniss