Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD)
You never know what to expect from Jimmy Edgar. The Detroit wünderkind has built a lengthy and accomplished career by following whichever path his creative arrow points to, restlessly ping-ponging between various electronic subgenres with a wide range of collaborators. His discography encompasses house music, down-and-dirty electro, low-slung hip-hop, and foggy R&B—sometimes all appearing on the same release. Over the last few years, Edgar’s been especially prolific beyond his solo releases, from collaborating with futuristic bass producer Machinedrum as J-E-T-S to production work for artists like Vince Staples, Adamn Killa, and BANKS.
On Cheetah Bend, his first proper solo album in nearly nine years, Edgar is a long way off from the night-lit bass music and techno of 2012’s Majenta—which isn’t a bad thing, of course. Assisted by like-minded electronic vanguards like Hudson Mohawke and the late, great visionary SOPHIE, Edgar expands on the sound he’s established while working in the hip-hop world over the last several years. Atlanta rapper B La B laces the serene keys and squelchy bass of “TURN,” while on “GET UP,” Edgar links with fellow Motor City legend Danny Brown to create sounds as cavernous and elastic as Brown’s inimitable flow. Meanwhile, his collab with SOPHIE, “METAL,” is the perfect merging of the pair’s production styles—winding and unpredictable, just like the myriad sonic detours that Edgar’s taken before arriving at the latest satisfying statement that is Cheetah Bend.