||"When I Come Back Around"
Following his Warp debut Muddlin' Gear--a noisy yet soulful
album of reassembled jazz and collapsing beat collages--UK singer/producer/remixer
Jamie Lidell moved to Berlin and entered a new phase of creativity.
He recorded the second Super_Collider album (his collaboration
with producer Christian Vogel) and sang two songs for Matthew
Herbert's Big Band, each a world apart from the other. He also
began a now-infamous trail of solo live shows, celebrated for
their funky exercises in sound, voice and visuals--a bit of noise,
and a lot of soul. Regardless, or not, of how disparate these
recordings and concerts have been, they were all merely hints
of what was to come.
With Multiply, Lidell stands directly underneath the glaring
spotlight, picks up a microphone, and croons like no one else
currently around. His voice effortlessly channels greats like
Sam Cooke, Al Green, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Prince and Stevie
Wonder--you might even detect a lil' R. Kelly. It's white boy
soul at its most inspired and certainly equal to Phoenix, Air
and local boys 33hz' abilities to duplicate the sound of classic
soul (c. '65 to '88). You'll also detect similarities to Jamiroquai
(Space Cowboy), Damon Alborn's Gorillaz (minus the guest
rapper) and even an un-ironic, Midnight Vultures-era Beck,
but Lidell surpasses all of these references by offering something
unique and individual. Yes, he might have been an electronic underdog,
but with Multiply, he emerges under the guise of a great
soul singer, and it works. It's an exciting shift in direction
from his earlier dubby and jazz influenced IDM, and quite frankly,
his new album changes your perspective on how modern technology
can be utilized in a fresh way--Multiply mirrors a classic
feel but through 21st century means.
Avoiding the often self-absorbed trap of endlessly slicing and
dicing together sonic constructions, Lidell has created a unique
and energetic fusion of house, doo-wop, soul and funk-making.
Self-produced, and with some help from Mocky (who was "discovered"
by Peaches), the duo utilize a live band for the musical foundation
and enhance the overall recording with the wave of a magic digital
wand. Like Herbert, Lidell bridges technology with soul, house
and pop and the results are fresh, slightly freaky but still accessible,
and very much enjoyable. 21st century soul? No doubt! [DG]