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Old 4th August 2002   #8
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Berlin
Posts: 2,986
From URB Magazine (U.S)

Super_Collider's Jamie Lidell and Cristian Vogel have said that their debut collaboration, 1999's Head On, was intended to be a house album "shot through with echoes from funk past." The lead single from that album, "Darn (Cold Way O' Lovin)," certainly hit that mark with an electro-lastic bass line and sssss-hot warbling by Lidell that fell well within the P-Funk/Gap Band rubric. That being the case, Raw Digits is by all accounts some slicked-up R&B — which is damned funny when you think about the fact that Lidell's last solo album, Muddlin' Gear, was glitch-y experimental rhythm, while Vogel sports a reputation for punching techno among other things.

It's all laid out for consideration on the first track, just like Head On, and goes downhill from there; "Messagesacomin" oozes all the soul Stevie Wonder might muster thanks to Lidell's tawny, echoed vocal delivery. Harmonizing synths beam backup atmospherics and a rubber band bass around the room like nobody's business. There's certainly a nod to Timbaland wrapped up in Raw Digits as well — both these guys put technology to work with Matthew Herbert's bass piano assistance on the sexy ballad, "Gravity Rearrangin." "Bug Trackin'" and "Radianations on the Rise" are most like Head On, both consisting of scratchy, dense sound textures playing off one another as cambering bass and melody parts sprawl across the stereo image like a cat in an afternoon sunbeam. But you can't escape Lidell's vocals on Raw Digits, and that together with the R&B touches makes it a solid step forward from Head On.

Heath K. Hignight

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