Jimmy Edgar and Travis Stewart, AKA Machinedrum, have both been enjoying unprecedented success over the last eighteen months, boasting an impressive succession of shapeshifting projects and stellar releases between them. While Jimmy Edgar has found a new home for his raw, sexualized grooves on Hotflush, delivering widely praised fourth LP ‘Majenta’ back in May, Stewart has hit a rich vein of form unleashing a wave of new music under his many guises, from the saccharine sugar rush of the Dream Continuum project to the otherworldly footwork experiments of the lauded ‘Room(s)’ LP for Planet Mu.
Now they have teamed up for their latest project, the highly anticipated Jets collaboration, which they are inaugurating with a four-track EP on Berghain club night turned label Leisure System. The self-titled EP is the culmination of four years of intermittent studio sessions between the pair, but there is certainly nothing stilted about the results. The four tracks on offer here showcase a dynamic alignment of their respective sounds that glimmers with their many recent shades while sounding resolutely unique.
‘In Her City’ ushers the EP in easily, building from the propulsion of its hollow chords into a swirling, weightless groove, tied only by the precise percussive swing and looped vocals before ‘Sin Love With You’ injects some of the sleazy glamour of Edgar’s recent productions into proceedings, bulking out the structures of the last track with lush chords, processed vocals and a laid back groove. Raising the tempo for the second half of the EP, ‘Meu’ is driven by the kind of tumbling, rhythmic syncopations that have been a primary occupation of Machinedrum’s for the last twelve months. Far from a predictable offering, the digitized arpeggios and counterpoint snares give it a sharp shuffle imbued with Edgar’s inimitable machine funk. Rounding off the EP is ‘Lock Lock Key Key’, a joyous patchwork of lush synth stutters, pitch-shifted vocal chops and light-footed percussion that works itself up into a sweat.
What is so impressive about this EP is how organically the two producers seem to assimilate into one entity. While clearly referencing their individual efforts across the four tracks, this EP manages to effortlessly defy any simplistic collision and the results are often brilliant. With their increasingly busy schedules lets just hope we don’t have to wait another four years for the next installment.
The ‘Jets EP’ was released on October 29 by Leisure System.