Jimpster’s lockdown LP was made throughout 2020 and finally sees the light of day at the end of February 2022 having been delayed around 6 months due to the ongoing vinyl pressing hold ups. Birdhouse is the revered producers seventh full length LP and can be considered a full circle as he takes a step away from the dance floor to revisit his early inspirations of jazz, 70’s fusion, library music, ambient and sample-based downtempo electronica. With its soulful touches, vocal and live musician features and trademark warm Jimpster production, we also think it could be his most accomplished and accessible yet.
The opening title track sets the tone for what’s to come with rustling percussion, widescreen choral samples, dub FX and drifting pads all coming together to create a sense of optimism. The first of six vocal features comes next. Ascension with UK vocalist Oliver Night (featured on IG Culture’s recent Earthbound LP) is a simple soul jam with live bass from Nick Cohen and Jimpster’s beloved Fender Rhodes joining the lo-fi drum groove.
Next up we’re treated to Voodoo featuring brilliant young NYC MC/poet/producer who first grabbed Jimpster’s attention with his mind-melting track Signs, released in 2020 on Youngbloods. Yoh’s sung (not sung) vocal flow adds a new dimension to the Jimpster sound and is hopefully the first of many more collaborations to come with this perfect pairing. Still Believe takes us on a tripped-out journey into slo-mo, lopsided MPC beats punctuated with otherworldly vocal samples, live bass and Rhodes making for an immersive late night mood.
The first of two tracks on the LP featuring London vocalist and songwriter Cairo drops next entitled Beautiful Day. Another incredibly talented young artist introduced to Jimpster through a mutual friend, Cairo adds a deep and uplifting vibe making for a track you’ll come back to time and time again. A slow-burning nu-soul groove which will draw you in with its warm glow. Lazarusman is a Johannesburg-native poet and vocalist known for his collaborations with Stimming, Joris Voorn and Booka Shade. Here he delivers a poem called Heavy, perfectly punctuating the haunting reverb-drenched horn, Detroit-esque chord stabs and filtered drums.
Future Paradise drops the BPM’s further still for a slow-stepping synth ride mixing up rising arpeggios, dubby flugel horn FX and the lushest of strings. It’s been 15 years since Jimpster and Capitol A last joined forces on Left n Right from Jimpster’s Amour LP. Known for his work with Jazzanova, King Britt, Mark De Clive-Lowe and 2008 club anthem Serve It Up on Mantis, the San Francisco native MC delivers his inimitable flow to a blunted jazzy hip hop groove making for one of the LP highlights.
Up next, Rain is an intimate and understated slice of contemporary soul music which pushes another spellbinding Cairo vocal front and centre, underpinned by loose, crunchy beats, dusty keys and moogy flourishes. Picking up the pace, Doors Of Your Heart sees Jimpster get busy chopping up a funk groove whilst Nick Cohen lays down another killer live bass line. Lush keys, modular synths and some crazy FX processing take this into the stratosphere and call to mind some of his earliest productions in the late 90’s on his seminal LP Messages From The Hub.
Winding things down, Jimpster continues to revisit some of the sounds and flavours of his earliest work on Tell You, which goes seriously deep with touches of cinematic big band horns and a looped up vocal sample. Closing out the LP we have the aptly titled Full Circle complete with sublime Metheny/Mays-style pads, muted synth arps and subtle FX to drift away to.