About The Artist
Jim Reaper is a musician, pleb and Britcoiner. Actually, scratch that. Though Princey coined that term a long time ago it has to be retired now that the Bank of England have decided to use it for their digital funny money. Their panopticon slave notes. Anyway he is an English Bitcoiner who writes, mixes and remixes music, mainly dance, for independent record labels.
He is a man of many interests and because of this his path in life has been long, winding and varied. At the time we recorded Jim had just quit his fiat job because it no longer aligned with his values. A brassy move that I see more and more Bitcoiners make.
We sit down to talk music, life and of course Bitcoin. Go give him a follow @JimReaperMusic and listen to our rip.
Peace and prosperity
Interview Part 1/3
Jim Reaper. Pleb, modular synth geek, musician, remixer and Twitter Reaper creeper.
While I can’t quite remember at what point on the Bitcoin timeline we first got to know each other I do know sats were an awful lot cheaper than they are now. It was long before nation states talked about mining Bitcoin with volcano power. After China ban 1 but before China ban 4, 5, 6 or whatever we are up to now. Trace Mayer hadn’t yet disemboweled himself by way of Mimble Wimble harakiri. For the noobs who wonder what that last phrase means, let it be a timely lesson in shitcoinery. By messing with them you run the risk of spilling your guts on the floor, undoing any good work you may have done and before very long at all no one will even remember the name of the coin in question.
"After 2008 I had a real chip on my shoulder about the banks. I still can’t believe that heads haven’t rolled. I don’t know about everyone else, I don’t know why people aren’t out in the streets but I’m still absolutely livid and I want to take every banker out with Bitcoin."
The Reaper and I are the same vintage. We’re of a similar age. We both experienced the 2008 financial crisis up close and it indelibly marked us for the rest of time. This is one of the key experiences and memories we hold that made us clock the use case for Bitcoin when we did.
We’re also both class of ’17, baby! We’ve seen the same things, got the same battle scars and had the same opportunities to stack what now seems like RIDICULOUSLY cheap sats. Like most of us Jim had several touches with Bitcoin before he bought in. In 2015, when Bitcoin was trading at around the $200 mark, his boss informed him that he’d bought $1million worth of Bitcoin (insert big eyes emoji) and while he wrote it off because his boss was a bit of a loose canon, an untrustworthy and strange character, the memory of this brassy trade stayed with him. When he heard about it again in ’17 he started looking into it and spent months researching the shit out of it before he finally took the plunge. Like almost all of us do he took the hero’s journey through the shitcoin wastelands. He navigated the hills populated by anti-bitcoin orcs, goblins and trading group scammers and while he did have to yield his scythe once or twice to kill off incoming threats he came out on the other side unscathed and strong in his conviction that DCA’ing Bitcoin was the only right thing for him to do.
"The world is a crazy and amazing place and a complete kaleidoscope. Nothing is completely what you think it will be. If you can have that kind of mindset for music and for life it can help you develop a more open mind."
Interview Part 2/3
Jim and I started following each other because of Bitcoin but it quickly also became apparent that there were musical interests in common. Jim started sending me mixes to get a second pair of ears on them before delivering to record labels. I was excited to discover that there are more music producers in the space. He works in a genre I am not familiar with at all, to be honest, but it was always obvious that his productions as well as his mixes were well played, well arranged and well balanced. This genre wasn’t always familiar to Jim either, in fact – his love in music started with guitars, finger tapping, fretboard shredding guitar heroes and metal. I grew up in a similar time and remember this side of music well. Every guitar playing, metal loving kid wanted a B.C.Rich Warlock like Nikki Sixx or Slayer guitarist Kerry King. I don’t know if this is where Jim’s avatar was born but it fits like a glove. The decaying skull of Iron Maiden fame, the flirtations with death and the occult of Sabbath and the like could well be what spawned this pleb.
It wasn’t until he moved to Calgary with his family at some point in the nineties that he discovered and fell in love with dance music. As a family they had moved around a lot due to his father being an oil engineer and exposure to new music and other culture had been one of the advantages of this lifestyle. The Reaper quickly killed off the idea of being a DJ though. Despite trying his hands at it he realised that it wasn’t being on stage that held the appeal, it was making the music. Creating the soundscapes that people would lose themselves in.
Where previously his travels had exposed him to music, music would now determine his travel. He moved to the US to do an audio engineering degree which in turn lead him back to England where he started an internship in the studio of a famous UK musician. It didn’t take too long for him to realise that facilitating and assisting other people’s musical creations perhaps wasn’t for him. While he worked on great and successful projects he ended up getting pulled in by the world of hiphop. It possessed some of the electronic elements he had fallen in love with in dance music and it was as diverse in its musical make-up as Jim himself had become through moving around the world. More than anything though it was the one genre of music that possessed a political lilt and communicated a desire for change. He found himself starting the main music agency in the UK for beatboxing. Killa Kella, Rahzel had laid the ground works for the genre and more and more beatbox artists and forums to host them were popping up and Jim was at the centre of it.
"I’ve never put work ahead of my life. I’ve taken a lot of risks. I’ve never gone the normal path that most people do."
The Interview Part 3/3
As well as being involved in music Jim has also worked for several tech start ups over the years.
In fact, when we spoke he had only just handed in his notice to his boss. The tech startup he is just about still working for has taken a turn towards fin-tech and as a Bitcoiner he’s just not up for spending his most precious asset, time, on that so rightly he wielded his scythe again.
I get it. I’m the same. Fuck the idea of climbing career and/or corporate ladders. They’re arbitrary as fuck. Do things that inspire and interest you and then they no longer do that for you it’s probably time to sling your hook, as the cockneys would say. Jim is now able to refocus on the things that really get him going. Whatever you do in life, focus on the ‘why’. Too many people focus on ‘what’ they do and ‘how’ they do it but not enough people ever focus deeply on the ‘why’.
What the world needs now more than ever are people who are highly motivated and highly principled. Fuelled by virtue and purpose. Perhaps this is what Bitcoin helps with for so many of us. Distills our focus right down. A spiritual first principles approach to life, perhaps.
It requires bravery to act on it but if you do it will pay dividends. I am sure Jim Reaper will continue to let his ideas lead the way. He knows to let his ‘why’ navigate the hills of the fiat wastelands and he will undoubtedly take his scythe to any fiat trolls and monsters that threaten to come in-between him and his destination.