A visit to the electronic soul singer's Nashville basement studio

Electronic soul singer Jamie Lidell is an emotional man. It seems he always has been. And thus his soul shimmering albums always reflect what’s going down in his livid mind. His last LP was called ‘Compass’ and heard him try to make sense of a failed relationship and a burgeoning one as he fled Berlin for love in New York. Now his eponymously titled LP hears him move to Nashville and settle deeply into a calm historical setting, the security of his marriage, and a place where he can make a lot more noise: “The whole album was written in Nashville. And you know you feel the songwriting vibes here. It’s all porches and all the rocking chairs, and you’re like, ‘Man, there’s music in the air here!’”  Moving into an old rambling house meant Lidell suddenly could smash out his incredible range of soul vocals without worrying about the stacks of humanity lodged in Manhattan’s high rises.

“Having the space to set up my own studio for the first time in years was a big deal. Like, I didn’t have a studio in New York. It was all crammed into a tiny room and I had to apologise to the fucking neighbour all the time. When we got to Nashville I was nervous to turn it up to start with, but when I did everything just expanded. And my basement really rocked on this LP as it’s this higgledy-piggledy kind of stonework, that makes it sound like you’ve got a million quid going into your recording.”

Lidell also got addicted to a specific bit of kit that is Prince’s secret weapon: “Ah man, the Publison Infernal Machine! They were £20,000 when it came out, and Stock, Aitken and Waterman had one too. They used to use it all the time for like writing middle-eights because it was one the first things that could timestretch and sample so they’d do all this (sings) ‘wo bo-bub ba weh yey-yeh!’ It looks like a total piece of shit, like it’s got this weird face plate that’s all coming off and membrane pads and weird primary colours, it talks to you sometimes saying ‘Touch my buttons’ and all kinds of weird French humour comes out every now and again. They don’t make boxes like that any more.”

Jamie will be touching our buttons when the album drops early next year.

Album Title: ‘Jamie Lidell’
Release Date: February 2013
Recorded: Nashville
Songs Include: ‘What A Shame’, ‘You Naked’, ‘Do Yourself A Favour’
Fact: Jamie moved an old SSL mixing desk into his house to mix the whole LP. Previously it was used for Paula Abdul's ‘Opposites Attract’.


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