Access Rhythm harks back to the early days of Warp, predating the moment when Autechre brought their highly complex IDM to the board. Nineteen-year-old Jimmy Edgar grew up in Detroit at a time when the city’s techno scene was being revitalized by a new generation of hardcore techno folks, and listening to his first EP for Warp, you’ll know he was paying attention. Not to say that Edgar is a Detroit revisionist as such, but the musical patterns and the sizzling dark beats that define Detroit techno are all over this disc.
Access Rhythm is a more listenable than danceable affair, though, with Edgar clearly under the influence of Prefuse 73 — blatantly so on the opening track “No Static,” which is underscored by some rather undistinguished rap vocals. That track, as well as “Morris Nightingale,” are the most immediately pleasing and accessible tracks here: soulful in a clinical, sit-down manner, and perfect for the casual IDM fan’s Sunday breakfast.
The two following tracks are more intriguing affairs. Coupling the acerbic wistfulness of the two first tracks with a more scathing dub minimalism, Edgar adds Warp’s trademark glitches and slurs to “Urban Outtake” and “Re: City Alley.” The latter, in particular, hints at a more adventurous approach, proving that while Edgar has a long way to go before he comes fully into his own, he is already an artist worth paying close attention to.