J-E-T-S: 'We subscribe to the idea that there is no such thing as originality, we use that to our advantage to hybridise ideas'
- Kate Walker
- 19 April 2019
Producers Machinedrum and Jimmy Edgar discuss the debut of their collaborative project's full-length release
When Travis Stewart (aka Machinedrum) visited fellow producer and longtime collaborative partner Jimmy Edgar at his new home studio in the rural wilderness of Portland, the pair had the vague intention of making some new music together. After briefly playing around in the studio, they realised they were on to something exciting, and the ideas just kept coming. 'Every day we were making, like, four or five tracks,' says Edgar, 'we were just going with the flow, with the vibe.' This rich flow of musical experimentation produced ZOOSPA, the first full-length album from J-E-T-S.
Hybridisation is the central concept that keeps popping up when we chat about the album. Hybridisation of their respective sounds and distinct approaches to production; of an immense array of musical influences; of the creative visions of their many collaborators on the project. According to Edgar, entirely new creative domains can be reached through the fusion of disparate, pre-existing ideas. 'Travis and I both really subscribe to the idea that there is no such thing as originality … we use that to our advantage and sort of hybridise ideas that are already out there, to make something really new,' he says.
From Timbaland, to Detroit techno, to classic IDM, J-E-T-S were fully conscious of the specific sounds that inspired ZOOSPA, which they combined using postmodernist bricolage techniques. Through experimentation with authentic gear from different eras, the duo tip their hats to their influences, whilst cautiously avoiding any pastiche or imitation. Stewart says that being conscious of their inspirations brings strength to their sound, because 'the influence is more realised, not just half-assed.' He goes on to explain that it was the 'sound palette' they built up with the equipment in the studio that helped to retain some sort of consistency among such wide-ranging influences.