Funk, soul and rhythm: An insight into Jim


Jamie Lidell



“I was one of those kids that liked the beat. The Cure and The Smiths were popular and I could get into it, but it just didn’t have the beat. I was searching for that when I was younger.”

Jamie Lidell rocks. It’s plain, simple and true. His funk and soul are energetic and exhilarating. His new album, Jim is a follow up to 2005’s Multiply, which earned him many fans from around the world. His classic influences are fused with genuine songwriting, meticulous production and a powerful voice. This has set Jamie Lidell apart from the rest. In between launching the new album and tour, Aesthetica were fortunate enough to catch up with him.

Jamie grew up in Cambridgeshire, “I was separated from the world and influenced by my sister. Eventually I bought a guitar and became interested in music. I was doing it for a laugh, played in some bands, played the trombone, and did some acting — you know, kids stuff. Then I went to college in Bristol and started raving, and played a lot of electronic music as a hobby. I left Bristol and made my way to London — did a lot more raving and made 50 tracks under the name Subhead, and then moved to Brighton.”

After a decade of electric experimentation, which brought Jamie from the underground techno scene to the science-funk of Super Collider with Cristian Vogel, and into his blistering live shows, few people expected Jamie to make a downright funk and soul album. “Christian was a big influence on me and in 2000, I moved to Berlin and I’ve been there ever since, making music, except in one month I’m moving to Paris. My life is like an episode of Sesame Street.”

Jamie’s music is a mixture of Little Richard, Credence Clearwater Revival, Marvin Gaye, Sly Stone and Stevie Wonder. These influences make Jim a truly special creation. “I was one of those kids that liked the beat. The Cure and The Smiths were popular and I could get into it, but it just didn’t have the beat. I was searching for that when I was younger. It just wasn’t hip when I was a kid, but it was my world.”

Jim kick starts listeners with groovy gospel song, Another Day, which is soon followed by Wait For Me, carrying on the gospel flavour with a heart stopping pounding piano riff by Gonzales. One of the main highlights on the album is, All I Wanna Do. This track is a slow burning ballade that gradually builds up to a beautiful harmony, with even some of the lyrics being inspired by William Burroughs — you’ve got to love a guy that knows his Beat poetry.

With the influences that formed Multiply still present in Jim, the soundscape has evolved and something bigger, bolder and better emerges. Jim came out on 28 April 2008 on Warp.

www.jamielidell.com

Shirley Stevenson