Jimmy Edgar’s imprint, Ultramajic, has released a new EP of previously unheard material from the mysterious Detroit electro artist Ashtar Lavanda.
The story goes like this, back in 2014, one of the Motor City’s finest exports, encountered a storage unit auction containing records and gear from Detroit’s rich history with electronic music. After discovering what was inside, which was 1000+ vinyl records and various recording equipment, Edgar stumbled across a large amount of DAT and 1/4″ reel tapes. One box was labeled as music from an unknown artist named Ashtar Lavanda. After two years of Jimmy and his Ultramajic buddies attempting to track him down and playing his music in their DJ sets, they finally managed to connect with him and got the all clear to release some of his tunes.
What they have shared, is a 6-track EP of classic Detroit techno & electrofunk, complete with 808s and modular bass galore, sounding very much like the work of Lavanda’s other Detroitian contemporaries like Drexciya and Dopplereffekt, Aux88, and Juan Atkins.
“Marfa Lights” is the standout track. Warm chords are layered over a chunky bassline and weird synths with a classic 808 drum machine rattling through the mix, making it a seriously potent tool for DJs to drop in their sets.
Ultramajic also dropped an hour long mix featuring mostly Ashtar’s unreleased tunes, put over footage of Detroit’s iconic 90s music show “The New Dance Show” which Edgar has previously cited as a huge influence.
While the story may sound too good to be true and this very well be yet another side alias from Edgar himself (who has previously tackled other genres under different names like Detroit techno as King Cheetah, acid house as Michael E and 909 workouts as Crystal Bandito), one can’t deny the authentic aesthetic conveyed in both the premise and music itself.
Edgar has been a busy man in terms of working on new material for his own name as well, producing “745” off Vince Staples’ “Big Fish Theory” and played out 30 mins of upcoming album material for Benji B’s show on BBC Radio 1Xtra too.