It’s hard to pin down Jim‑E Stack’s sound with genre names, but you sort of know it when you hear it. The LA-via-NYC-via-New Orleans producer drifts between robotic funk, emotive electronica and easygoing hip-hop that always feels ready to soundtrack bittersweet moments under pink-orange skies at sunset.
It’s a talent that has put Jim‑E in high demand. Over the years, as a producer and songwriter, he’s collaborated with Caroline Polachek, Charli XCX, Haim, Bon Iver and Octavian – on his recent Future-featuring single Rari – to name a few. There’s a new album on the way, so far from which we’ve heard two singles: Note to Self (featuring Empress Of) and Sweet Summer Sweat – a collab with Brockhampton affiliate Dijon.
In the meantime, though, delve into Jim‑E Stack’s world with his Face Mix.
What’s the vibe and direction of your Face Mix?
The mix is basically made up of my YouTube history – some songs I’ve produced this year, some my friends have made, some friends have put me on to, and some recent favourites of mine.
How, if all at, have this year’s lockdown restrictions affected your relationship with music?
Initially, I was super productive. I was making a ton of music with Justin Vernon over iMessage. I was feeling it every day, just waking up and working on stuff at home. After a month or two though I really started to slow down. I felt completely uninspired being unable to actually live a life outside my apartment. I just didn’t have anything to say. Since then, it’s been up and down. I’ve loved having more time to work in isolation – that’s where my shit really comes together. At the same time, I miss being able to work with other people as freely as I used to. Now I feel like everything has to be scheduled and planned ahead of time which stops things from flowing as naturally.
Who are some of the other musicians who are really inspiring you right now?
Dijon continues to blow my mind, whether it’s stuff he’s dropped this year or just random beats or song ideas he sends me. He finds a way to smash programmed and live music together in a messy way that always feels so human and honest. Danielle Haim also makes some crazy stuff when left to her own devices. She has this folder of demos from the last couple years that I want so badly. Danielle’s songwriting naturally lends itself to rock music, but she produces her demos all in GarageBand without any live instruments. The resulting demos are these fucked up, super dirty, electronic-sounding rock songs that are like nothing else.
What can you tell us about your forthcoming album?
The album is purely a product of making a bunch of music for other people’s projects over the past couple years and never once thinking about my own. Every stretch of studio days yielded song ideas or beats that didn’t quite make sense for that artist, but there was always magic in those leftovers and I couldn’t help but go back and keep working on them. Eventually, I found myself with all these songs collaged together and I realised I had an album. Even though different people contributed to it, the songs don’t sound like anyone but me.
Skee Mask – Frogsplash (reshape)
Ontology – Trees & Stuff
Bon Iver – AUATC
Dijon – sweet thing
Hovvdy – I’m Sorry
Sade – Cherish The Day (edit)
BennY RevivaL – WATER BAPTISM
Quadry – Bluegrass
Pen Pals – Dynasty
Prince – Extraloveable ’83
Shola Ama – Imagine (garage mix)
Octavian – Rari ft. Future
Bruce Springsteen – One Step Up
Grimes – Delete Forever (edit)
David Gray – Babylon