tech-house producer jim-e stack on benji b, a.g. cook and spiritual journeys

Introspective and insightful, Jim-E Stack has matured his sporadic sound to produce an accomplished debut album that represents his deep thinking nature.

by Milly McMahon
05 August 2014, 1:10pm

Moving from state to state, in search of a physical place to belong, Innovative Leisure signed, relaxed tech-house producer Jim-E Stack creates atmospheric sound bubbles. Layering jarring BPMs over haunting and affecting vocals, sampling a cappellas and littering high hats progressively, San Fran raised Jim prefers to produce alone. Eating healthily, touring the world, listening mainly to Hip Hop and playing out pulse raising electronic dance rhythms, Jim-E is only 22 yet his brave music and open minded conversation portray an older man. Releasing ten layered, melancholic tracks last month, the debut LP Tell Me I Belong should be filed next to techno, trance and deep house, but expect to explore his music the same way you might a symphony, conceptual chill out mix or movie soundtrack. Travelling to London to headline his first show outside of North America, the legendary Benji B summoned Jim to play out last weeks Deviation session. Getting the party popping, dropping Starburst by Pearson Sound and hanging out till 5am, a super chill Jim-E shook off his jet lag down at Shoreditch's Ace Hotel and chatted to i-D about A.G. Cook, PC Music and Louis Vuitton tattoos. 

How was last night, had you connected with Benji B before?
It was so much fun, it's never like that in America. It was crammed. Me and Benji hadn't met before last night but he's played my songs and put me onto Deviation. Towards the end I ran out of music, I had some Hip Hop and Grime, and I played Arca and Schlomo, Low Deep and DJ Odds, Future.

How was the show you put on with NTS last week?
That was cool. For that l was playing less straight dance stuff and more of what I'll just listen to. Approaching the square there was a guy walking down the street with his shirt off and a whole sleeve of Louis Vuitton pattern tattooed on his arm. The whole pattern...

Oh wow. Thats terrible. Bad life decisions. Are you into A. G. Cook?
Some of that stuff is really cool, I like how some of those kids just go for it. They don't hold back, they make really crazy stuff and I respect that. 

Do you think PC Music represents a significant shift in the direction of trends electronic music is now taking? The sound is so off-kilter but it is becoming popular in the main stream.
I'm not that up on a lot of the PC Music stuff. I only have a few A. G. Cook things and some stuff by Sophie. But I think they are both cool. I wasn't aware of the two of them before Sophie put out his track on Numbers a year ago. I think its really cool that people are getting into stuff that is weird and out there on a larger scale. 

When you are making music are you more solitary or do you need to be around people to feel inspired?
I'm definitely solitary. I have to be alone. For me writing and producing tracks is just so personal to me. Its a recent thing for me but music has just become a much more personal expression, so it makes the most sense to be alone.

What's your favourite movie to watch and music to listen to when you're just chilling out?
It depends, sometimes I listen to trippy stuff like Arca's latest mixtape or some free jazz kind of stuff. Sometimes my housemate and I will just really bang House music records. Head High is one of our favourites, and Anthony Naples too. I just watched Dazed and Confused. I've been watching action movies recently, stupid ones like Pacific Rim - thats so bad, the new James Bond was alright.

I was listening to the new album for the first time when l went on a long bike ride in the countryside. I feel like the whole thing fits together like a journey, does the album signify a journey you took before, during or after its completion?
I didn't do that on purpose but I think it just ended up reflecting that. Spiritually it's a reflection of where I was at spiritually after having moved from San Francisco to New Orleans and then New York and finally finding where I fit it. But in the music itself I really didn't mean that. Im glad you think it's like a journey, that makes me really happy but I didn't mean it, I just tried to be free.

Where did you end up feeling like you belonged?
I guess New York. I don't even know why, maybe just because you can get 24 hour delivery on food. 



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tell me i belong