Born in San Francisco, CA and now based in Brooklyn, electronic artist and producer James Harmon Stack, better known as his production moniker Jim-E Stack, was initially a jazz drummer – until he entered the world of solo production at 16. And through production, Stack found the freedom he needed to write and record in the way he saw fit.
Stack first won attention for a remix of Nguzunguzu’s “Mirage” and then won even more attention for the Come Between EP, which was critically applauded by tastemakers across the blogosphere and internationally by countless DJs. But after some time in New Orleans, LA, Stack had relocated to Brooklyn and began working on his soon-to-be released album Tell Me I Belong.
Interestingly, the album was recorded in a deliberate fashion with Stack creating sketches and repeatedly refining ideas. For most of the album, ideas were fleshed out by looking simultaneously forward and backwards – after all, he was inspired by the likes of Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Steve Reich, Detroit techno legends Omar-S and Robert Hood, as well as Onoehtrix Point Never and others.
So when you hear the album’s first single “Somewheres,” it shouldn’t be surprising that it has an understated, deliberate beauty which comes from the use of piano chords, chimes, swirling electronics and propulsive beats. Although the song is deeply personal, it manages a cinematic feel – it feels as though it should be the soundtrack of a very peculiar indie bildungsroman in which the protagonist learns about life and art through an eccentric, college professor.