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Bios showcases innovation in electronic games, sounds December 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Festivals, Music Life Live Gigs.

The Modern Pioneers festival focuses on groundbreaking British ways

DJ and producer Jimmy Edgar, a leading figure on the electronica circuit, plays at Bios tomorrow as part of the monthlong Modern Pioneers series, showcasing musical innovation.

Back for the second year running, the Modern Pioneers festival, a monthlong series co-organized by the British Council and the downtown Athens venue-cultural center Bios, was launched last Friday and continues tomorrow with a DJ set from Jimmy Edgar, a prominent figure on the electronica circuit.

Staged with the aim of showcasing British innovation, this year’s series will focus on the theme of electronic games and will include various live shows to demonstrate an innovative trend in music today, the circuit-bending technique, or transformation of electronic games into seminal music instruments.

Though Edgar is an American artist from Detroit, his work is currently being marketed by a British record label, Warp Records. At 23, he ranks as one of the most promising producers and DJs of the electronica circuit.

Edgar, who dropped out of studies in fashion and design to concentrate on making music, has a background in art production that carries a heavy urban landscape influence. Influenced by various aspects of his native Detroit, such as the city’s decay, urban fashion, as well as the city’s eclectic music scene, Edgar has created unique and provocative ultra-modern sound environments.

Influenced mostly by jazz, funk, street-beat and R&B during his earlier years, Edgar launched his musical endeavors by playing drums in experimental bands and by making tape recordings.

«At first it was mostly experiments in sound, acoustic space, pretty minimal stuff, things like tape loops and tape manipulation,» Edgar noted on his website. These efforts formed the basis of his learning process as a producer. His keen musical interest also led Edgar to learn how to play any instrument he could get his hands on, including string instruments, saxophone and percussion.

A little over three years ago, Edgar released his first full-length release, «My Mines I,» on a Miami label, M3rck Records. This album helped generate some attention for Edgar and led to touring in the US. His live shows, which incorporated visuals such as synchronized projections, were well received.

Having grown up in Detroit, the birthplace of techno, Edgar has developed an affinity with the style, and, considering his work so far, is well placed to help its development and that of new branches emerging from techno such as «intelligent dance music» and electronified hip-hop.

Other upcoming Bios club events for this year’s Modern Pioneers festival include the British avant-garde group Die Trip Computer Die and the cross-media artist Kaspar Koenig on December 27. Koenig will also conduct a circuit-bending workshop in which participants will be encouraged to creatively «bend» circuits of old machinery for noise production. The festival, which runs through January 14, will also feature screenings of two classic British television series, «The Prisoner» and «Doctor Who,» as well as special installations that reinterpret popular video games through new media tools.

Jimmy Edgar, tomorrow, 10.30 p.m., Bios, 84 Pireos Street, Athens. For festival info, call 210 3425335.

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