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Jamie Lidell

Jamie LidellAKA Jamie Alexander Lidderdale

Born: 18-Sep-1973
Birthplace: Huntingdon, Cambridge, England

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Singer, Electronic Musician

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Multiply

British soul singer Jamie Lidell started out making electronic music in Brighton In the mid-90s he was associated with the group Subhead, but after meeting musician Cristian Vogel and discovering their mutual admiration for each other's music, Lidell and Vogel formed the group Super_Collider. After their first group effort Head On (1999), and Lidell's own Muddlin Gear (2000), they focused for the next two years on crafting the somber concept album Raw Digits (2002), which provides a distinct midpoint between Lidell's early techno efforts and his breakaway soul album Multiply (2005). Foremost a showcase for Lidell's voice, Multiply is warm, joyful pop, recorded live yet still informed by his glitchier work -- each song yields up troves of subtlety with closer listening.

In a 2005 interview with Wire magazine (issue 257), Lidell articulated the dilemma of composing on a computer:

I'm often sitting there with [Multiply co-producer] Mocky and a lot of people who are using computers have that issue of, you've done a track... [We] had a lot of these problems with this album, with drum tracks and so on, where the feel and everything was good but obviously it's off, and you spend so much time nudging these little Lego bricks around on screen, and me and Mocky would always look at each other and sort of sing this song, like, "Is this music?", Is this what music is, now? Because sometimes it gets so bizarre, you're just looking at this arrangement on the screen, and going... It's usually when you've been in the studio a bit too long, and you're going a bit delirious, it's just these little blocks are meant to be your music. And you can of course infinitely shunt them around, and that's the nudge, but it's just you're stuck in this little world of "to nudge or not to nudge", you know? It's like this infinite dilemma, it's crazy -- if you do nudge, it's gonna take a long time... I mean, Super_Collider was all nudge, for example. Very much like concrète in the way it was... drawn. Not much of it was played -- very much sculpted. Whereas you're playing with Mocky and the musicians, I was just like, "Man, the whole reason we're rocking so hard is that we're playing this stuff. So let's play it. Why do we have to cut it up?"
Lidell is also praised for his innovative live performance -- remarkable for an electronic musician. Using a handmade Max/MSP patch to loop his beatboxing, Lidell is able to improvise multi-layered beats as a backdrop for his singing, continually reinterpreting his familiar songs for each audience. The video of Lidell's performance at the Royal Festival Hall in 2004 is an impressive document of this process.

    Jamie Lidell
    The Matthew Herbert Big Band Singer 2003
    Endorsement of Target 2007

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