Jimmy Tamborello, aka James Figurine, started crafting his left-of-center electronic sounds in 1994 when he was still plucking the bass in the emo band Strictly Ballroom and struggling to get his current full-time project Figurine off the ground. Tamborello has spent years staring at colorful computer screens, manipulating his sequencer, sampler, and keyboards into complex series of heartwrenching melancholy. He channels passionate, emotionally driven musicality into a space too often filled with lifeless technology and mindless knob-twiddling elitism. His styles range from minimalist techno to experimental cut n' paste glitch art, to straight-ahead (by Dntel standards) pop songs.
With the release of his most recent album, Life Is Full Of Possibilities (Plug Research), Tamborello opens the door to a whole new dimension of expression by inviting guests such as Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard, Mia Doi Todd, Figurine collaborator Meredith Figurine, That Dog's Rachel Haden, Beachwood Sparks vocalist Chris Gunst, and Slint/For Carnation honcho Brian McMahon to contribute their vocals, lyrics, and guitar skills to his compositions.
After Life is Full of Possiblities came out in 2001, Tamborello enlisted a bevy of remixers in touch with his unique glitch-pop aesthetic to remix the glorious "(This Is) the Dream of Evan and Chan" featuring Gibbard's uniquely strained and pensive vocals. His label mates Safety Scissors offer one twitchy electro-spiked reinterpretation in which Kings of Convenience vocalist Erland Øye's laid-back, accented croon replaces Gibbard's vocals while Lali Puna offers a typically languid and trippy take on the tune; other remixers include Barbara Morgenstern and Superpitcher. There is also one weirdly dreamy new track, "Your Hill."
Tamborello has continued to collaborate with Gibbard in a highly regarded Sub Pop project The Postal Service.