He sauntered onto the scene from somewhere in the Midwest, an international ne-er do well maintaining a low profile as he filled listening rooms with Brazilia flavored beats and leftfield sound pastiches. A persona became a gag, then a serio-comic myth. While the masses partied, he played. Constructed. For years, as the rules changed and the music changed, the magic left and came back as magic often does. Such is the way of the electronic alchemists and new beat adventurers, always searching for the New Jazz Science.
Pimp Daddy Nash, a.k.a. Jon Curtis, is the scientist in question. The persona came about during the intitial organization of Eighth Dimension, an Orlando-based collective of adventurous alchemists from the fields of house music, hip-hop, underground rock and synth pop – a collective that provided a necessary antidote to Central Florida’s increasingly conformist rave culture. But while Q-Burns Abstract Message signed on with Astralwerks and DJ BMF ensures hip-hop don’t stop on Tuesday nights as his ferociously popular Phat N’ Jazzy night sprints toward a decade in existence, Pimp Daddy Nash rode out the Nineties with a single-minded pursuit of the electronic excellence. His music fit right in alongside the big beats, downtempos, noir-ish soundscapes and spy-themed samples that infiltrated electronic music in the mid-90s, and Pimp Daddy Nash found himself recording for Mephisto Records, Om Records, Delancey Street, and FFRR for the duration of the decade.
“Its almost became my alter ego,” says the PDN of his alternate identity. “Not almost, it is my alter ego. People call me Pimp when I’m walking down the street, y’know.” But as the Pimp evolved, his music became more sophisticated. More thought went to songwriting, rather than sample research. “I’m actually trying to create things that have a little more melody, a little more structure, but still have some of that, if you want to call it, dance element or the trip hop element. Its still there, but I’m purposely trying to push things forward a little bit. Just for me. If everybody else stays in the sample-heavy groove, wonderful. I’m trying to move ahead. I look at it as kind of a big jazz experiment anyway.”
Connosseurs of Fila Brasilia, Howie B. and DJ Shadow will consider Pimp Daddy a kindred soul on first listen, but peel back the layers and soon the seeds of sonic synthesis are apparent; a clashing of styles. A meeting of thesis and antithesis, gathered from a lifetime of musical experiences that originated in the electronically adventurous ’80 and matured as the world became wired. House beats and jazzy eloquence meet as Eno-esque ambience mingles with dada downtempo dossiers. Snare drums snap adds structure to absurdist electro, sinister synth lines trade off with turntable-scratching excursions, and esoteric effects flavor techno-pop tapestries.
The musical landscape is vastly different then when the Pimp first came around and introduced the bossa nova numbers racket. Electronic music permeates culture to the core, unprecedented, unstoppable. Unstoppable like the endless mine of musical ideas from the mind of Pimp Daddy Nash. Like the New Jazz Science about to be unleashed on an unsuspecting public. You’ll be hearing it sooner than you think, you just might not realize it… at first.