Warp – 2005 - 40 minutes
It starts with an eerie, almost atonal glitter of keys. So far, so Warp Records. But before long, 'Multiply' reveals itself as the most unlikely of Warp releases, a raucous soul album for the 21st Century.
The title track showcases Lidell's instinctive feel for the stylings of classic soul, and the power of his terrific voice. For an artist that forged his reputation on the basis of storming and decidedly avant-garde live performances, the warm colours of this song are a major change of direction. The track could be a Stax or Motown release, that's how authentically he reproduces the sound of 1960s soul.
Perhaps 'Multiply' is Lidell's attempt at a trip through the history of soul. Certainly, 'When I Come Around' fast-forwards 10 years from the 1960s with its keyboard wiggles, choppy electro samples and succulent slap-bass, coming on like a rare Herbie Hancock/George Clinton collaboration.
The first sign of Lidell's familiar cut'n'paste technique is the vocal phrase used as the rhythmic underpinning of 'A Little Bit More'. The building up of a drum track from snatches of vocals is the trademark of Lidell's incendiary live show, and it works a treat on record too.
Lidell's previous releases were mostly in collaboration with Christian Vogel as Supercollider, and one obtuse, difficult solo release. By comparison, 'Multiply' is a joyous celebration of a gifted singer, who happens to love electronica and experimental music. The backing musicians, drawn from Lidell's East Berlin neighbourhood, acquit themselves perfectly. The overall effect is like Jamiroquai fighting Prefuse 73 in Stevie Wonder's original, valve-driven analogue studio. And in a good way. A soul star is born.
Tracklisting: Yougotmeup - Multiply - When I Come Back Around - A Little Bit More - What's the Use? - Music Will Not Last - Newme - The City - This Time - Game for Fools