A boundary-breaking, British soul vocalist beyond your wildest expectations, Jamie Lidell
is set to affirm his long-simmering musical ascendancy with his new album Multiply. With it, he has evolved into a prodigious performer, fusing elements that evoke several giants of the music world without ever appearing derivative. Jamie Lidell
has been shocking audiences for the past three years with his extraordinary live shows; which careen from glitzy Funkadelic
extravaganza to hard electronic avant-garde showpieces. He was top draw at Sonar (Barcelona) and Ether Festivals (London) of recent years, performing at Ether juxtaposed with the London Sinfonietta, a bill that has toured to sold out coliseums and major performance houses across Europe.
A peerless vocal performer; his largely improvised shows have won him thousands of fans from Belfast to Tokyo. Reviewers have likened him to "a 21st century reincarnation of Little Richard" with "a soul voice fried in honey like Sly Stone or Prince, and a beatboxing talent to make Muhammad Ali quake in his Everlast", delivering time and again "a thrilling, visceral performance", "pure, visceral power: a scintillating display of demented musical and physical energy", both "exhilarating" and "astounding". Jamie Lidell
is British music's best kept secret, about to be unleashed.
His genre-blending live experience is both captivating and passionate - building tracks by expertly sampling and layering loops of his voice and shifting effortlessly from deranged beat boxing to soulful funk. Those who have witnessed his skills can attest to the exhilarating and anarchic abandon of his risk-taking, daredevil vocal endeavours. To watch is to be privy to Lidell harnessing the essence of pure spontaneous creativity.
Be mindful that no Jamie Lidell
live performance is complete without visuals maestro Pablo Fiasco, a scion of the film underground. Using an array of samplers, cameras, electronic gizmos, costumes, masks, and film and video projectors, they cut up sounds and images in a pandemonious whirlwind, with Lidell manipulating and sparring with his own vocals, dressed in a range of "media suits" - costumes made of video tape, CDs, and even 16mm film. Each goading the other on to new and wilder heights, theirs is a true multimedia happening without parallel.
Some may also know Lidell from his previous work in Super_Collider, the tricksy techno-funk outfit he helmed with Cristian Vogel
. A good few will recall his smokey crooner vocals on Matthew Herbert
's Big Band project, where he took centre stage with the Big Band supporting Bjork, which included dates at Madison Square Gardens, and the Hollywood Bowl. And hardy warehouse rave survivors will have happy memories of his role in underground techno assaults in London.
But it is on Multiply that Jamie Lidell
has finally come into his own as a vocalist, songwriter and producer. Upon moving to the creative hub of Berlin in the early 00s, Lidell quickly fell in with likeminded artists based there, including the Canadian musician Mocky, who not only encouraged Lidell to follow his heart when it came to recording Multiply, but became an important songwriting foil.
Multiply is a pantheon to soul music, a panoply of melodic styles sparkling with soulful motifs. Assimilating tender ballads, funk, and dripping with honeyed street-corner harmonies, Multiply is a work of intensive retrospection, where Lidell deftly delves into the past and forges something fresh and uplifting - Multiply is seething with raw power and burning with sensitivity.
"What electronic music is lacking," states Lidell with quiet confidence, " is just a cool song that's not trying to prove anything or compete in a sonic space race." Jamie Lidell
has finally produced a set of delectable songs that highlight his myriad vocal talents, and these he has burnished with his electronic production wizardry that happily competes on a level playing field with any name producer you care to mention. The tracks acknowledge his strengths as a singer, fitting his voice like a soft glove; sometimes exuding a velvety voiced confidence, and other times admitting a brittle and very human frailty.
"a wonder to behold. remarkably for an Englishman in his twenties, he possesses a soul voice fried in honey like Sly Stone or Prince, and a beatboxing talent to make Muhammad Ali quake in his Everlast. Lidell constructs his tracks live, voicing and layering right in front of your eyes, effortlessly whipping them out of the air and forging them into clanking electro riffs and deathprod funk grooves. His maniac scat is deployed through vocoder, and his real-time arranging follows chaotic but gripping patterns." The Wire (SONAR Festival)