Jim-E Stack is not someone who blends into a crowd. At well-over six feet it’s hard to miss him, but even despite his size, his presence is refreshingly understated, much like his music. When you think electronic music, it is more and more becoming about the “big drop.” That pulsing, pounding moment as the music climbs and ultimately reaches what I like to call anxiety attack levels. Jim-E Stack is not making that kind of music, mostly because Jim-E Stack is making music. His production is refreshing. It’s not a reinvention of dance music, but he’s managed to create an album that has a little bit of something for everyone. From the pop-infused “Without” to the mellow, beautiful “Reassuring,” Stack has made a beautiful piece of cohesive music; an album that isn’t just tracks on the same disc, but a well-produced, thought-out whole.
Stack has been around for a minute. In 2011 he released a bootleg of A$AP Rocky’s “Purple Swag” that not only caught the attention of the bloggers, but Rocky himself. He’s released a constant stream of bootlegs and remixes all that fit into his understated, but never boring, personal sound. He makes the kind of music that pairs well with a great joint and comfortable couch. Music that you can melt into.
Today marks the release of his stellar debut album Tell Me I Belong via Innovative Leisure. The album is truly a work of art. A collection of tracks that form a story, his story. Stack explains: “The music ended up being a reflection of where I was at personally having moved from San Francisco, to New Orleans, ending up in New York and feeling pretty detached through it all. I tried to convey the same feeling with the visual element, sometimes using the scenery I wrote my album in.” Although Stack personally went for the big picture with his debut, he doesn’t necessarily think it’s always the way to go. “I only think it’s important if there are real ideas and feelings to be put forth and expressed, otherwise it’s kind of unnecessary. That goes for all kinds of music really.”
The music ended up being a reflection of where I was at personally having moved from San Francisco, to New Orleans, ending up in New York and feeling pretty detached through it all.
Stack chose to approach the two weeks before his album dropped in a unique way, dropping one of the ten songs every weekday until the release with an accompanying cinemagraph image. Stack has also made up TellMeIBelong.Com, a website that plays the album in full using accompanying visuals that he pulled from various security camera’s around New York creating a mind-melting experience. “I felt that a united visual element would really help to communicate the feeling behind my album better, so I sought out imagery that reflected that feeling and found a few different ways to frame it,” he explains.
The Brooklyn resident just finished up a nation-wide tour supporting Shlohmo, another artist doing great things in the electronic world. As a DJ, Stack is excellent—his taste in music and flow never feels forced—but recently he’s traded in the mixer and Mac Book Pro approach for a more organic show. Stack plays live, making his show feel more personal as you watch the young producer create the music. “Lately, instead of DJing, I’ve been re-piecing parts of my songs together live using Ableton and playing the vocal chops and leads on my MP. I’ve still been DJing here and there though.”
I feel like there’s a pretty diverse group of artists working out of New York which is really cool, but everyone seems to do their thing independently and I like that. We’re not all caught up in some fleeting trend or scene.
An up-and-comer in the electronic scene, Stack has found himself in the company of some of the most successful kids out there, and they are all Jim-E Stack fans. He is, for lack of a better term, the DJ’s favorite DJ. An artist with immense talent and drive who most-defintiely deserves to be counted as one of the best young producers of the moment. When asked about the scene in New York Stack explained, “I feel like there’s a pretty diverse group of artists working out of New York which is really cool, but everyone seems to do their thing independently and I like that. We’re not all caught up in some fleeting trend or scene.”
Stream Jim-E Stack’s debut album below and if you like it, support the artist and buy it here.