JAMIE LIDELL at Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor West), Monday (April 8), doors 8 pm. $15. HS, RT, SS, TM.
A mischievous lilt in Jamie Lidell's voice conveys the idea that not everything the UK futuristic soul singer says should be taken seriously. For example, he hasn't actually made music with Bryan Adams, contrary to what he told Exclaim magazine recently.
"I'm sorry, I was joking," he admits. "I wish I could have done something with the Adams. All joking aside, I grew up with his music. I've heard he has one of the best studios in the world, with moving walls."
Lidell isn't having a laugh about his widely reported love for Prince, though, which can be heard in the sleazy, tripped-out funk on his new self-titled album (Warp). Its alien electronic textures and off-kilter grooves will be familiar to those who've followed him since his early work with Cristian Vogel as Super_Collider. Still, it's a big leap from the Motown-influenced throwback soul of his solo recordings, a now overcrowded genre that's made him a lot of fans over the past decade.
"Everyone was jumping on that bandwagon," Lidell says. "I love that music, but there's so much more to me than that. It's just not my lineage. I mean, I'm a white soul guy in a way, but I'm also a crazy electronics nerd, too. I couldn't keep doing that just because I could smell some green to be made."
Accordingly, his current show finds him leaving his band at home and performing solo. That allows him not only to revisit the innovative live vocal loop improvisations he initially built his career around but also to explore new approaches to performance.
"Some of it is looping from the ground up, à la Jamie Lidell circa 2002. Improvised and raw but not overdoing the masturbatory aspect. Other parts are played in classic Ableton fashion: lingering on some sections for a while, involving myself with various electronics and obviously singing the whole time. And then sometimes I'm just playing back the track and singing and being part of the visual spectacle. I welcome all approaches."