Perfume and alternative healing: the influences behind Jimmy Edgar’s ‘Cheetah Bend’

"I always ask the universe to bring me things that will change the way I look at reality and this discovery was no exception..."

26.02.21 Words by: Felicity Martin

Detroit native Jimmy Edgar has never been one to focus on simply one style of music. Over fifteen plus years in the game, the producer has continually chased bleeding styles of electronic music, leading to early releases on Warp before coming to start his own Ultramajic imprint, as well as contributing left-field productions to the hip-hop world. Now living in LA after a stint in Berlin, the producer today releases solo album ‘Cheetah Bend‘ via Innovative Leisure, a glistening blend of textures in hi-def.  The album pools together fresh styles, with the weirdo metallics of opener ‘Crown’, wonky hip-hop on the Danny Brown-featuring ‘Get Up’, melodic mumble rap and the late, great SOPHIE features on ‘Metal’.

“The value I bring is hybridisation,” Jimmy has said of his approach. “I think about different universes of sound coming together to create an entirely new domain of knowing.” With so many disparate styles running together yet somehow working as a whole in tandem, we called on the producer to find out more about the influences behind the 14-track LP. From oud oil to game-changing supplements, Jimmy Edgar taps into some of the wider things that have guided his work.

‘Scent From Heaven’ documentary

“One of my great discoveries during the process of creating ‘Cheetah Bend’ is artisanal oil fragrances. My favourite being Oud, which is typically coming from an Agarwood tree that has been bleeding thick gooey resin after having been struck by lightning. This oil is one of the most rare and precious gifts from the earth and is endangered of becoming more rare from deforestation. Luckily, now there are sustainable projects to cultivate this oil, however there is a large black market for both the wood and resin of this magical substance.

“I have now collected over 30 bottles of this, ranging from Southeast Asian varieties, Indian and Middle Eastern distills. The smell is otherworldly with a large range. What I love about this oil is that it puts me in a particular state of appreciating, it’s often difficult to describe briefly. I used it all throughout the process of creating new music as a fragrances and incense versions. I really have a keen sense of smell and I love the dichotomy between people on this particular type of smell. Some people actually cannot stand the scent and I feel as challenging as it is, it’s as challenging as my music is.”

Patrick Flanagan’s Neurophone

“I am passionate about alternative healing, especially different kinds of devices. I have been a user of the Scenario Cosmodic 715AG for electro simulation healing and have had amazing results with me and my friends. Another one that I discovered is Patrick Flanagan’s Neurophone. It’s an amazing device that simulates the brain via electrodes. This device encourages alertness and helps me get into the zone in the studio. It also has the ability to help deaf people hear through sound conductivity via the skin, which can pick up vibrations much like the ear. You may know Patrick Flanagan from his groundbreaking book Pyramid Power from 1975, in which he discovered many energetic properties of the pyramidal shape. He also has released some interesting research on water and hydration.”

Max MSP design

“Part of my final process of ‘Cheetah Bend’ was the texture elements. Cycling 74 Max/MSP was the final program I went to for some of these sounds. I would bring my ideas to some of my programmer friends and brainstorm how to achieve them for Max4Live. One of such was the ‘ZIGZAG’ resonator (based on the time-variant orthogonal matrix feedback delay network), which I had given away when we dropped that song.”

“My programmes are mostly different kinds of low-level delays, resonators, and Karplus–Strong synthesisers. The whole album was influenced with a relatively untapped kind of synthesis called “Slipstick” which is like Karplus but simulating resonate bodies and the material used to resonate them. For example, an oily hand on a window or a tube hitting a sheet of metal. For this I also used the Pacarana Kyma system, which is a specialised DSP hardware.”

Gospel harmony

“Here is an example of one of the many hundreds of composition lessons I went through to get the particular harmonic sound of ‘Cheetah Bend’. I go in and out of phases of learning music theory. Most of the songs from my process were created one piano first, as I feel that can be a solid foundation for a harmonic song. I love this teacher as he goes into a lot of detail on different techniques. A big part of the harmonic process of ‘Cheetah Bend’ is Modal Interchange, Quartal Harmony, Secondary Dominants, Passing Chords and interesting types of substitutions.”

Bashar Formula

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“I always keep open to information, even if it is strange at first. I always ask the universe to bring me things that will change the way I look at reality and this discovery was no exception. Bashar is this alien entity channeled by Darryl Anka, he’s been doing this for like 30 years. I always thought channeling was funny and kind of written it off as crazy. However, I’d known about Bashar for a few years until I really started to see what he had to say. Whatever judgement you might bring to the table, this information is totally relevant to anyone, especially artists. The premise is that you follow your highest excitement, to the best of your ability with no insistence on the outcome. This is the best tool as it can lead to getting in your zone and creating/attracting success. If you can get past the boisterous channeling there is some very useful information here. This indeed was the catalyst to believe I could create the album I wanted to with the artistic ideas that I had in my imagination.”

Zeta XR

“I never thought I would be promoting a supplement (I am not affiliated in any way!) Zeta XR is actually incredible. The story is quite fascinating as the proprietor of this substance, Emery Smith, has come forward as a military whistleblower with fantastic stories about dissecting extra-terrestrial and cloned genetic material. I became very interested in his story and have watched hundreds of hours of his testimonials.

“Emery Smith has many patents in the medical field and its heavily credentialed academic so his claims feel as though they have weight to them. He claims to have co-developed this synergistic formula of basic ingredients into a supplement that was designed for Air Force pilots so that they can get the effects of amphetamines without the shaky side effects. This is exactly the effect for me, and it was quite profound the first couple times I did it especially. It’s made with a blend of organically-derived ingredients and compounds, including sassafras, aniracetam, green tea leaf, theobromine, L glutathione and guarana.”

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