James Scott Tamborello, more commonly known as Dntel (pronounced DIN-tel), is an electronic music artist. He is sometimes cited as James Figurine, the co-programmer and vocalist for the electropop outfit Figurine. Other projects include Strictly Ballroom, Headset and The Postal Service. Tamborello has indicated that the name was not intended to mean anything. When asked to create a meaning for it, he quoted it as a shortened version of "Don't Tell" although he admits that this meaning is a bit of a stretch. There are some speculations on the name being based on the word Accidental (dntel), although, Tamborello has not confirmed this origination.
Tamborello first began creating music in 1989, when he was in Junior High School in Santa Barbara, California. His father — a jazz saxophone player and flutist — bought Tamborello a drum machine, a sequencer, a keyboard and an eight track recorder, primarily for the possibility to create music on his own. His mother, Joyce Menges was an actress in the late 60's and early 70's and starred in To Rome With Love starring John Forsythe, Kay Medford, Walter Brennon, Susan Neher, and Melanie Fullerton and later in Now You See Him Now You Don't. Jimmy's father was a key songwriter for many Santa Barbara bands including Skillet, Chia Band, and Monkeydogg (with David Figurine, Lael "Scraps" Waqeneck, and Marc Hawthorne of the Onion A/V Club). He recorded an album under the pseudonym Antihouse in 1993, and released it in 1994. He began work on the first Dntel EP in 1994, which was not released until later. During these years, Jimmy was a DJ and music director at KXLU, and engineered on several albums recorded at the station including "KXLU LIVE: Volume 1," for which he also designed the album artwork.
Around 1994, Jimmy Tamborello was also the bass player for a band known as Strictly Ballroom. The band was often described as "Emocore," short for "emotional hardcore." Strictly Ballroom recorded one album, titled Hide Here Forever, which was released in 1997 on the Waxploitation Records label. They released a single in 1995 titled "Dear XXX" on the Chou Chou records label.
A collection of the demos during the period of 1995-1997 titled Early Works for Me If It Works for You (1999) was released on the label Phthalo. The work on the first Dntel EP was released as Something Always Goes Wrong (2000), also on the Phthalo label.
As a pioneer of contemporary glitch and electronica, Dntel gained a cult following. After writing a track for the Voices In My Lunchbox collaboration for the Plug Research label, he was asked to work with them. He first released Anyone Anywhere (2000), a 12-inch EP.
He released his full-length album Life Is Full of Possibilities (2001). The album featured several guest artists on vocals, guitars and other instruments, including Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, Mia Doi Todd, fellow Figurine member Meredith Figurine, Chris Gunst of Beachwood Sparks, Brian McMahan of Slint and The For Carnation, and Rachel Haden of that dog. Probably the most well-received song was the Ben Gibbard collaboration "(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan", which led to a single in 2002, and later, the forming of the band The Postal Service with Ben Gibbard. Tamborello is also credited for programming "Take It Easy (Love Nothing)", a Billboard chart topper for Bright Eyes.
On April 24th 2007 Dntel released his third album Dumb Luck on Subpop Records to generally positive critical reception. This, coinciding with Death Cab For Cutie's latest release, Narrow Stairs has moved any future plans of The Postal Service recording past the end of the decade.
Tamborello is also the host of a regular music show called "Dying Songs" heard on the internet radio station Dublab.
Tamborello is also part of Figurine, an electro-pop band consisting of Tamborello, now in character as James Figurine, Meredith Figurine and David Figurine. The three were high school friends and created music based mostly on the theme of long distance love, with an inventive electro-pop sound.
Tamborello also released an album under the "solo name" of James Figurine, entitled Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake. This album is more of a downtempo electronica album which, despite the moniker, sounds more like a slightly less glitchy version of his Dntel work than his work with Figurine.
|1999||Early Works for Me If It Works for You||Phthalo|
|2001||Something Always Goes Wrong||Phthalo|
|2001||Life Is Full of Possibilities||Plug Research|
|2007||Dumb Luck||Sub Pop|
|2007||Dumb Luck Remixes||Sub Pop|
|2001||Anywhere Anyone||Plug Research|
|2002||"(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan"||Plug Research|
|2006||"Rock My Boat bw Everything's Tricks"||AIM Records|
- Giardini Di Mirò - Little Victories (Dntel Remix) (2002 · 2nd rec)
- Barbara Morgenstern - Aus heiterem Himmel (Dntel Remix) (2003 · Monika Enterprise)
- Bright Eyes - Take It Easy (Love Nothing)) (2004 · Saddle Creek)
- Bright Eyes - Digital Ash in a Digital Urn (2005 · Saddle Creek)
- Grizzly Bear - Merge (Dntel Remix) (2005 · Kanine Records)
- Nobody & Mystic Chords of Memory - Feet Upon the Sand (Dntel Remix) (2006 · Mush)
- Gudrun Gut - The Wheel (Dntel Remix) (2007 · Monika Enterprise)
- Idiot Pilot - Cruel World Enterprise (Dntel Remix) (2007 · Reprise Recordsfor the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S.)
- Why? - By Torpedo or Crohn's (Dntel Remix) (2008 · Anticon)
- He had a cameo in the music video for "Rise Up with Fists!!" by Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins.
- A song referring to Dntel on the Rilo Kiley CD More Adventurous is entitled "Accidntel Deth." Jenny Lewis is a member of Rilo Kiley.
- Contributed to the UNICEF benefit song, "Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?" in 2005.
- "Last Songs", from the album "Life is Full of Possibilities", was featured in a Cadillac commercial with Andy Garcia in May 2007.
- "The Dream of Evan And Chan" also from the album "Life is Full of Possibilities", is repeatedly referenced in the Daniel Handler book "Adverbs".
- Jimmy Tamborello - The main Jimmy Tamborello site.
- Dntel Music - The Dntel site.
- James Figurine - The James Figurine site.
- Sub Pop - Dntel's new label
- Plug Research - Dntel's old label
- jimmy - Jimmy's Dublab page
- Dntel at MySpace
- Dntel at Last.fm
- Dntel at Allmusic
News and media
Biography from Wikipedia