THE BEST OF JAMES LAVELLE
The Mo’ Wax founder has always been hyperactively collaborative, from trip-hop innovations via widescreen epics to down’n’dirty rock’n’roll.
1 IF YOU FIND EARTH BORING UNKLE (1994)
Lavelle, Mo’ Wax co-founder Tim Goldsworthy and Kudo from Major Force launch UNKLE with a long, strange trip into instrumental hip-hop.
2 WHERE IT’S AT (UNKLE SITUATION) Beck (1996)
This none-more-’ 90s summit of Mo’ Wax, Beck and The Dust Brothers turns whiteboy hip-hop into a freaky decks-and-effects jam.
3 BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY (JAMES LAVELLE MIX) The Verve (1997)
Lavelle gives The Verve’s classic anthem a slow-burning breakbeat treatment. Wait for the strings.
4 UNKLE MAIN TITLE THEME UNKLE (1998)
A DJ Shadow collage from debut LP Psyence Fiction. The sample of Francis Ford Coppola reflecting on Apocalypse Now is a dark in-joke about ambition.
5 RABBIT IN YOUR HEADLIGHTS UNKLE (1998)
A Radiohead/Mo’ Wax collab that yielded a beautiful nightmare, achieving UNKLE’s aim of making music both genre-bustingly new and deeply moving.
6 REIGN UNKLE (2003)
UNKLE’s second and best collaboration with Ian Brown sounds like a thunderstorm closing in, with a threatening string arrangement based on Scott Walker’s Tilt.
7 BURN MY SHADOW UNKLE (2007)
Ian Astbury does his best Jim Morrison impression on this strikingly odd take on desert-rock, produced by Chris Goss. The peak of UNKLE’s rock phase.
8 FOLLOW ME DOWN UNKLE (2010)
A slinky, hypnotic Krautrocker featuring a Björkish vocal by Rachel Fannan of psych band Sleepy Sun. Great remix by UNKLE alumnus Goldsworthy, too.
9 …LIKE CLOCKWORK Queens Of The Stone Age (2013)
Lavelle’s working relationship with Josh Homme produced this rueful rock’n’soul ballad, the title track of QOTSA’s 2013 album.
10 SUNRISE (ALWAYS COMES AROUND) UNKLE (2017)
The Duke Spirit’s Liela Moss sounds dawndazed on this house track, written on the night of a group outing to see Underworld.