Always Moving: Jimpster, Session Victim & Black Loops in conversation

5 Minute Read
Written by Sharon Andrews

Ahead of the launch of a new party.

Freerange Records and Delusions of Grandeur co-head, Jimpster, aka Jamie Odell, founded the labels alongside his old school friend and entrepreneur Tom Roberts back in the 90s. The pair started the label as an outlet for Jamie’s productions with a loan from his mother-in-law. It’s fortunate that she did as over 25 years later these solid friends and business partners have built some landmark labels on the UK scene.

Freerange Records, Delusions of Grandeur, and new label, Cyphon Recordings, are committed to uncovering new talents and nurturing their growth each in their own musical way. At the same time, loyalty to their label family is paramount, releasing records with some long-established members and globally renowned artists.


Session Victim – Mathias Reiling & Hauke Freer- have been with Jamie and Tom since the beginning of the Delusions of Grandeur days, and the highly innovative Italian maverick, Black Loops aka Riccardo Parfetti, has had many outings on Freerange. It seems only fitting that all forces should join together at a new London party, The Drop, its first edition lighting up the London skyline at Omeara, SE1 on 9th March.

Ahead of this highly anticipated event, we get the artists to ask the artists a few Qs.


We’ve had the opportunity to play together a few times over the years and I’m always really impressed with your selections which introduce me to brand new music as well as older stuff I’ve missed which I know you dig deep for. We are really excited to have you play at The Drop in March, and it’s great to see you continually busy and playing some excellent events. What have been some of the highlights of your last year and any unexpected surprises which stick in your mind?

First of all, thanks for the nice words, it means a lot coming from a heavy champion like yourself Jamie.

Some of the highlights of last year are definitely the b2b’s with Harrison BDP. We’ve had the chance to hit some of the best venues together like DC10, REX, VILLAGE UNDERGROUND, and it was always top notch, especially because we get to play a wider range of styles and looks like people totally get it.

A place that surprised me it was definitely TBILISI in Georgia, I knew already that there was a solid scene there but didn’t really know what to expect. It’s probably my favourite at the moment.

You currently live between Italy and Berlin, and I can imagine this being a really nice balance between the energy and inspiration of a big city but with the sanctuary of a rural location to retreat to after lots of travels and parties. How have you seen Berlin change over the last 5 years or so and do you see it as still being the electronic music and clubbing capitol of the world? When it comes to working on your music do you find one or the other more inspiring to be in?

In the past five years, gentrification has affected Berlin’s art and electronic music scene, pushing out many artists and musicians due to rising rents. Unfortunately, I’m having a hard time to still see it as the capital of electronic music in the world. Lately I’ve been in places where the scene is definitely more sincere and vibrant than it is Berlin now.

When it comes to finding inspiration for making music, I’m not gonna lie, Berlin played a significant role in it for me, but sadly, it’s not like that anymore, that’s why lately I find myself chasing the Tuscan hills of my homeland.

You are a very talented drummer and I find it interesting that a musician from a drumming background turns to making electronic music which could be seen as the antithesis of live playing. Your house productions do always have a certain bounce and groove to them but how much do you think being a drummer informs the way you approach your releases? Do you also play any other instruments or in any band projects that we should know about?

Well, the first thing that comes to my mind is that being a drummer definitely helps in terms of shaping a beat quickly. Around 20 years ago, when I first started making beats, my approach was as a live drummer, which somehow made it kind of easier. In the end of the day the roots of house music comes predominantly from disco, and I was playing a lot of it as I was part of a big band for about 5-6 years.

I play a bit of bass too, but I’m not as good at that.

You’ve been working on your debut album for Freerange this past year and we’re really excited to see how you stretch out with the long format. Have you been enjoying the album process, and do you think LPs are still a relevant format in today’s world of diminishing attention spans? Who are you working with on the album, and can we expect something different to what people know of your regular club-focussed releases?

I’m not gonna lie, the making of this album it has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Somethings didn’t go as expected, some others have been pleasant surprises. Overall, I’m starting to be very happy with the results and sonically all tracks are shaping the way I wanted them to. There will be some vocal tracks (which I don’t really do so often) and a lot of instruments played live (especially my beloved drums), and most of all, it will be an album of songs, and not tools.

I’m really looking forward to putting it out there, and I’m very happy to have Freerange as the outlet for it.

We have come to know you as an innovative producer who has bought a modern spin to the deep house blueprint. How would you describe your sound signature in your music and what are the essential elements and mood which you strive for when working on tracks?

I’d say when I make music, I try to have an “always moving” dynamic within the song, even though it could sound loopy at first, there’s always a certain element moving underneath and not repeating itself. It could be a textured sound rather than a percussive element, or a subtle arp or vocals chops.

If you could put together a fantasy super-group made up of artists and musicians past or present, who would the members be and what instruments would they play?

Yussef Dayes on drums, Flea at bass, Mark Speer (Khruangbin) on guitar, Herbie Hancock on keys. Can you imagine that?

“When it comes to finding inspiration for making music, I’m not gonna lie, Berlin played a significant role in it for me, but sadly, it’s not like that anymore…”



I’ve always loved how your music feels quite fuzzy around the edges, with dusty samples and not obviously punchy drums and yet, you’ve done many tracks which I’d consider peak time club bangers! How do you get energy and intensity into your music when it’s not all about the most in your face drums?

What, our drums aren’t in your face? We need to Cassius Clay them up for the next record then, boom! But seriously, there are so many ways to approach making a beat or writing a song and what to bring into focus when doing it – and given the fact that there are a million beatmakers like you and us out there, this is way more of a blessing than a curse isn’t it? Now how do we get the intensity and energy that we have – I don’t have an answer for that really, and I don’t think I want to find one either. I do believe that if we feel strongly about something while we create it, chances are that we might be able to transport that to the listener, one way or the other. That being said, it makes no real sense to me why, for example, Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” hits me harder than any Slipknot record I ever heard – but it certainly does.

I’ve always admired your commitment to playing vinyl and love watching and hearing you play together. Personally, I think it really brings something special to your sets both visually and sonically. Do you ever have moments where you consider switching to digital or are you vinyl heads until the end?

Ah Jamie, there’s so much stuff we do digitally when it comes to music. We use computers and DAWs when composing, depending on the age of the instrument we look on big or very small screens when chopping samples and such – and I love all of that. Also, I don’t think the format you play from is a key factor in how good of a DJ someone is. Most of all, we love going to the record store to discover new music. Our brains have more than enough music to process there anyway – and the bottomless pit of browsing digital music does not challenge or help us to become better DJs at all.

You released your album Low Key Low Pressure last year and I loved it. How much did you enjoy being in laidback hip hop mode? Are we going to see more of Session Victim in this zone and is this where you feel most at home?

Yeah, we love it. Always have, most likely always will. It really is just a question of tempo after all and the longer I do this the less I care. If something brings out the goosebumps at 128 bpm – great. If it’s 64 bpm – just as amazing. Oh, wait a second… those two are the same anyway, aren’t they? Hahaha.

Who do you think is really doing it at the moment? What artists are you keeping your eyes on and who is inspiring you at the minute?

Talking DJs, I think DJ Koko is an amazing and very necessary reminder of how much room there is for all of us to push ourselves and work on our skillset – which leads me back to your earlier question – Why does anyone of us really need (or deserve) those fancy DJS9000 MP3 spaceships, when someone like Koko is able to do way more with his two technics than anyone I’ve ever seen mixing with any CDJ, MP3J or whatever else there is. When it comes to albums, I find inspiration in all sorts of places, old and new. Recently I fell back in love with a lot of the early 2000s indie rap, Def Jux, Anticon, that kind of stuff.

With our new event The Drop launching on March 9th, we’ve been thinking about our dream line ups, locations and sound systems. Give me an idea about what your ideal fantasy party would look like.

To be honest I’m pretty happy with the lineup we got in March and am very much looking forward to that! Fantasy line up hmm… Well, I wouldn’t mind the late 60s Booker T & The MGs for a live set, joined by David Porter for a few tunes and maybe Carla Thomas for a few more. All that in a small club with good sound and not too much light, how about bringing David Rodigan to play a few records after that?

“Our brains have more than enough music to process there anyway – and the bottomless pit of browsing digital music does not challenge or help us to become better DJs at all.”



Hey Jamie. You know that we are huge fans of your Napalease Bliss remix. We came across it when we first started DJing. Tell us something about how this remix came together back then? Any funny Mixmaster Morris anecdotes are welcome too.

Ah yes, I remember you saying you like that remix from back in the day!

This was from 1999 and a couple of years after I’d done some production and keys on Coldcut’s Let Us Play LP so was already connected with Ninjatune through the Coldcut sessions. I was still living in Manchester at this time and soaking up the inspiring and very eclectic club and live music scene, going to live jazz and Latin gigs one night and then techno, house, hip hop or DnB nights the next. In fact, you could go to several clubs where you could hear all these genres played by one DJ in one night which seems like a bygone era by today’s standards.

These wide-ranging sounds I was hearing in the clubs informed my own productions and the fact that I’d just finished studying music at university meant I was also hanging out and jamming with other musicians, so it made sense to incorporate more live elements into my own music along with chopping up beats and samples on my trusty Akai sampler. Don’t tell anyone at Prestige, but the break I used for the Nepalese Bliss remix is from an amazing Jack DeJohnette track called Epilog.

As for Morris, he’s a legend and an enigma! We had played together at some gigs in Japan around this time which I think is how we originally met. One particular gig I remember playing with him was out in the mountains a couple of hours outside Tokyo. It was a small, trippy, underground thing with just a hundred or so people stumbling around, unable to see more than a meter in front of them due to being completely engulfed by clouds. Good times!

Having been in your musical orbit for quite a few years now there are several things about you we admire and find inspiring. We wondered, where do you see your biggest personal, professional, and artistic strengths are?

Thank you! Well personally I always feel like I’m spinning plates and juggling making my own music with running the labels, gigging, and trying to raise a family, but I can’t imagine it any other way.

I do really enjoy the A&R aspect, working with artists and hopefully nurturing their music, offering critique with fresh ears and helping ideas get over the finish line. That’s probably why I also enjoy remixing so

much, adding my own spin, and moulding existing ideas within a set of parameters provided by the labels and artists I might be working with.

In the same way that I impose my own ideas on artists I work with for the labels or on remixes, I like to think I also take constructive criticism well on my own original projects, which hopefully means I’m easy to work with, and we end up at a common goal that everyone is happy with.

You have always got your finger on the pulse of dance music. What other music has given you a kick recently?

I recently played a gig in Johannesburg and got introduced to a new genre they’re calling Three Step. Essentially, it’s a hybrid of Afro-house, Amapiano and South African Deep House with the defining factor being a missing kick drum on the second beat of what would be a four on the floor groove, making it three kicks instead, hence Three Step.

In typical South Africa style, the BPMs are low with most tracks being around 115bpm with melodic flute and marimba loops adding interesting cross rhythms and huge sub bass. There’s a particular track by Atmos Blaq which is about to drop on Stay True Sounds which sounds absolutely massive on a big system, and it went down a treat at the party I played there the other week.

Some people say that two Germans contributed to push you to finally perform solo as Jimpster. Being a great producer and keyboard player, what were the biggest obstacles and doubts that you had to take your music live?

Ah yes, thanks for pushing me into a world of stress and lost baggage! There have been many obstacles and doubt with the live set so how long have you got?

Seriously though, it’s been a positive experience getting the live set together as it’s pushed me outside the DJ comfort zone and has even inspired me to experiment with more hardware in the studio. It took quite a while to get my head around sequencing on the MPC and still I find it quite a slow and cumbersome process. My main aim with the live set was to avoid having a laptop on stage so I knew I wanted to pursue things with the MPC, and once I’d found a nice way to work with the different bits of gear and had a few gigs under my belt, I can now say I’m feeling pretty comfortable with it all.

I try to keep certain elements to each different piece of gear so drums on the TR8S, vocal samples on the SP404 MKII, basslines and chord stabs on the Korg Monologue and shorter musical loops and samples on the MPC. Once I’d ironed out some technical things like sync issues, midi patch changes and stuff like that it all felt quite manageable and natural, and when I’ve been able to add Andy Gangadeen on drums that definitely adds an extra level of energy and improvisation which the audience really appreciate.

I still can’t imagine ditching DJing in favour of the live set as I love the flexibility that DJing gives me, and the live set is definitely more intense in terms of pressure and amount of work behind the scenes. At the moment I’m playing around one live set every couple of months which works nicely for me. It keeps it special but with enough momentum to not forget what I’m doing and have to prep for weeks before each gig. Looking forward to going head- to- head with you boys on 9th March at Omeara. The gloves are off!

More detail on the party HERE.