Jim Abbiss is a British music producer, best known for his work on records including Arctic Monkeys' Mercury Music Prize winning debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, Ladytron's Witching Hour, Sneaker Pimps' debut Becoming X, and both of Adele's albums 19 and 21.
He started his music career playing keyboards with Peterborough band The Pleasure Heads, on Red Rhino Records, before getting his first studio job at Spaceward Studios near Cambridge, in 1986. It was here that he trained under maverick engineer & producer Owen Morris (Oasis, Ash). He moved to become an assistant engineer at Power Plant studios, London in 1988, and witnessed first-hand the acid house movement through countless remix sessions.
He went freelance in 1990, and Steve Hillage (System 7,The Orb) became a regular collaborator on remixes & album sessions. He then met producer Nellee Hooper, and worked as his engineer on albums for Björk (Debut), Massive Attack(Protection), as well as the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack & many more remixes. This association established Abbiss and led to a meeting and future collaborations with James Lavelle & DJ Shadow. More remixing (The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony) and the critically acclaimed Psyence Fiction album by Unkle led to him being offered more production work. He co-produced the Sneaker Pimps debut, Becoming X, and the debut LP by Mono. At the same time, song-writing with singer Laura Mohapi led to a publishing contract with Chrysalis music, and a short-lived return to the world of the artist with the band Darling.
He has also worked with Stateless on their self-titled debut album Stateless. Other work includes both EPs and debut single by Bombay Bicycle Club, as well as on their debut album I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose. He has also mixed DJ Shadow's albums The Less You Know, the Better. and The Private Press.
Mixing tracks for Kasabian in 2003 led to co-producing 2 albums with them (the self-titled Kasabian and Empire) and gave him the first of 3 nominations for "producer of the year" at the Music Week/MPG awards. He then worked on Editors (The Back Room), The Noisettes (Wild Young Hearts) and The Temper Trap (Conditions). While producing the track "My Yvonne" for Jack Peñate, he met singer Adele, whom Jack had asked to do some backing vocals. He was immediately blown away by her voice and asked if she had her own demos. She had just signed to XL, and shortly afterwards Abbiss began work on her debut 19, producing eight tracks. Producing two tracks for her phenomenally successful follow-up 21 led to a Grammy nomination.
In 2011 Jim Abbiss worked on The Kooks third album, Junk of the Heart.
In 2012, Jim Abbiss produced The Unified Field for former Sneaker Pimps vocalist and founding member Chris Corner's project IAMX. Abbiss has continued studio productions with Emeli Sandé, The Family Rain, Birdy & KT Tunstall and maintains ongoing projects with a variety of artists.
- Growing up in a Glasgow music studio helped hone songwriting skills, Scottish Daily Record, 12 February 2010. URL accessed on 7 September 2010.
- Tom Elmhirst: Recording Adele 'Rolling In The Deep', Sound on Sound, September 2011. URL accessed on 25 December 2013.
- The Kooks to release Jim Abbiss-produced album in early 2011, NME, 23 August 2010. URL accessed on 7 September 2010.