Discounting the sometimes juvenile spoken lyrics on Color Strip, Detroit electronic musician Jimmy Edgar brings funked-out glitchy beats for occasionally stimulating electro disco on his debut full-length. It’s not exactly a crisp, charged rush all the way through, and it suffers from vocal silliness and flat direction. But it has its merits in the darker tracks, when it’s obvious Edgar’s thinking dirty, even if he doesn’t say it.
Following a few EPs and his various contributions including some work on the Poker Flat series, Color Strip is laden with choppy software-type glitches, taking only minimal elements from Detroit techno and more from R&B. The deep, pulsing synth stabs on “My Beats” may generate the type of sexual aura that Matthew Dear was going for with Audion’s Suckfish last year, but it’s quite different from the cavernous clicks explored on that album. Edgar relies more on silly bedroom metaphors in “My Beats” instead of the flashes of ’80s R&B in his nostalgic keys tones, with his monotone vocal delivery killing any kind of dirty mood he might have been trying to create. The stuttering thumps of “I Wanna Be Your STD“ lend a smoky atmospheric effect to Edgar’s high-sped pseudo emceeing on this one, acting as an adverse pre-cursor to his moans in between the nasty, subtle funk of the subsequent (and far more interesting) “LBLBDetroit.”
Color Strip‘s more experimental cuts offer a peek into Edgar’s stronger (leisure) suits. Though “Personal Information” looks unforgivably to roller-rink birthday parties in 1985, with delay in the drum programming, tremolo-type effect that counters the synth melody, and some pesky swirls, Edgar’s ’80s fixation helps him sculpt more of a sci-fi TV program score on “Hold It Attach It Connect It.” The title suggests just as much about Mr. Wizard’s after-school antics as the icy claps and laboratory bass bubbles do in “Hold it,” establishing that Jimmy don’t need to be all happy-’80s-sex-funk all the time; we like it much better when he’s weird sex funk.