||This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011)|
Unkle in concert at Somerset House in London in 2008
|Genres||Trip hop, downtempo, electronica, trip rock|
|Labels||Mo' Wax, Global Underground, Surrender-All|
|Associated acts||UNKLESounds, Josh Homme, Queens of the Stone Age, Mark Hollis, South, Badly Drawn Boy, Mike D, Beastie Boys, Lupe Fiasco, Richard Ashcroft, The Verve, The Duke Spirit, Ian Brown, Autolux, Oasis, Gavin Clark, Robert Del Naja, Ian Astbury, Massive Attack, The Stone Roses, Alice Temple, Kool G Rap, Thom Yorke, Radiohead, The Black Angels, Men From U.N.K.L.E.|
|Past members||DJ Shadow
Unkle (also written as U.N.K.L.E.) are a British musical outfit founded in 1994 by school friends James Lavelle and Tim Goldsworthy. Originally categorized as trip-hop, the group once included producer DJ Shadow and have employed a variety of guest artists and producers.
First incarnation (1994–1996)
Lavelle and Goldsworthy were joined by Masayuki Kudo and Toshio Nakanishi of the Japanese hip hop crew Major Force (later Major Force West). They also brought on board a host of collaborating artists, including Money Mark (keyboard player for the Beastie Boys), the Scratch Perverts and Japanese clothes designer Nigo and Takagi Kan (both also of Major Force). Their first release in 1994 was the EP The Time Has Come, on Lavelle's recording label Mo' Wax.
In 1995, while working on their debut album, Lavelle and Goldsworthy disagreed over the direction the music was taking. Goldsworthy wanted to continue with the Mo' Wax house style of earlier tracks, while Lavelle wanted to bring in singers, hip hop and rock artists. Goldsworthy left the group and went on to work with Belfast DJ and producer David Holmes and also co-founded The DFA with James Murphy.
From these early sessions, Berry Meditation and several tracks with Money Mark and Beastie Boys producer Mario Caldato Jr. were subsequently released as singles, and several without Lavelle surfaced on the album Major Force West in 1997. In early 1998 three exclusive Japanese EPs were released, Last Orgy 3, marking the last of the early Unkle material to surface.
Second incarnation (1997–1999)
Lavelle drafted in DJ Shadow to work on the debut album, and essentially discarded all previously recorded material. Lavelle and Shadow released Psyence Fiction in 1998 to critical acclaim. The album included collaborations with an all-star lineup including Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Mike D (Beastie Boys), Kool G. Rap, Jason Newsted (Metallica), Badly Drawn Boy and Richard Ashcroft (The Verve). The album was mixed by Shadow's long-time collaborator, producer Jim Abbiss
Shadow left the group after touring Psyence Fiction and was replaced by turntablist group the Scratch Perverts, who deconstructed the album and performed it live on turntables in 1999. Also in 1999, former producer Rich File remixed the track "Unreal", adding vocals by Ian Brown, and the resulting track was released as the single "Be There".
On 1 February 1999, Lavelle and the Scratch Perverts appeared on the Radio 1 program The Breezeblock, utilising "5 turntables". The set was largely based around tracks from Psyence Fiction, with some of them reworked live by Lavelle for the live performance. The Scratch Perverts' contribution consisted of scratching over the top of the U.N.K.L.E. tracks, a deconstructed version of 'Be There', and some solo interludes.
Third incarnation (2000–2007)
In 2001, Lavelle and File resurfaced as Unklesounds.
Fourth incarnation (2008–present)
In January 2008 Unkle released More Stories, containing a mix of B-sides, remixes, unreleased War Stories session tracks, and music composed for the film Odyssey In Rome. The same month, Rich File announced he was leaving Unkle after 10 years' collaboration to pursue work with his new band, We Fell to Earth. In March the Lazarides Gallery in London showcased War Paint, an exhibition of artworks inspired by the recent Unkle album War Stories, with works from Robert Del Naja, Warren du Preez, Nick Thornton Jones, Will Bankhead and Ben Drury. Unkle began touring the UK with Zoot Woman and Sebastian and Mr. Flash from the French electro record Ed Banger Records. The concert, set across four acts, featured live performances from past Unkle contributors including Badly Drawn Boy, Liela Moss from The Duke Spirit, Gavin Clark and Joel Cadbury from South.
Unkle's fourth full album titled End Titles... Stories for Film was released in July 2008. It includes collaborations from Chris Goss, Black Mountain, Philip Sheppard, Dave Bateman, Joel Cadbury, and James Griffith (Lake Trout). The album is described in the sleeve notes by Lavelle as "not a new album in the usual sense, but new music that has been inspired by the moving image." As such, it can be considered a companion piece both to War Stories but also to the earlier Unklesounds mix, Edit Music for a Film.
15 December 2008, saw the release of “End Titles… Redux” (limited to 3000 CDs from official UNKLE stores and digitally from 14 December). This release features seven re-interpreted tracks from the album ‘End Titles… Stories For Film’ plus 2 never before released tracks “When Once It Was” and “A Perfect Storm”. The exclusive package is a 6 panel soft-pack with a 12 page booklet with images by Robert Del Naja.
Upon the release of the single Heavy Drug (Surrender Sounds Mix) in August 2009, Unkle disclosed they had already begun recording their next studio album, Where Did the Night Fall, which was released in May 2010. This also included an all-star cast of performers including: Mark Lanegan, Nick Cave, The Black Angels, Sleepy Sun, and Katrina Ford. As well as ELLE J and Gavin Clark. The album is also available as a digital download from UNKLE's site.
It was announced on 18 April 2011 that Unkle would headline the Dance Stage at the Reading and Leeds Festivals. They will be performing a world-exclusive audio-visual DJ set at the festivals, playing songs from their back catalogue alongside remixes of other artists' songs as well as Unkle's own material. They will be performing under the name UNKLE Sounds.
- Psyence Fiction (1998)
- Never, Never, Land (2003)
- War Stories (2007)
- End Titles... Stories for Film (2008)
- Where Did the Night Fall (2010)
||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Unkle discography. (Discuss) Proposed since February 2013.|
|Albums||Appearances in media|
|Songs||Appearances in media|
|Sunna - I'm Not Trading (UNKLE - In Utero)||
|God Moving Over The Face Of The Waters (ft. Moby)||
|Safe in Mind (Please Take This Gun From Out My Face)||
|Eye For An Eye||
|Queens of the Stone Age – No One Knows (UNKLE Remix)|
|Leap of Faith||
|Keys To The Kingdom|
|Price You Pay||
|Burn My Shadow||
|Hold My Hand||
|Mayday (featuring The Duke Spirit)|
|Broken (featuring Gavin Clark)||
|Awake The Unkind||
|Trouble In Paradise (Variation on a Theme)|
|With You in My Head (featuring The Black Angels)||
|Ian Brown - F.E.A.R. (UNKLE Remix)||
|Heavy Drug (Surrender Sounds Mix)||
|When Things Explode|
|Money and Run (featuring Nick Cave)||
- 2008 Unkle Live – UK Tour Stories
- 2008 Creamfields Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- U.N.K.L.E. vs Scratch Perverts Breezeblock session tracklist
- Noize Makes Enemies.co.uk - File leaves Unkle
- War Paint at Lazarides Gallery
- UNKLE Store - End Titles ...Stories for Film
- "Leeds Festival News | News and Announcements for 2012". Leedsfestival.com. 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
- "Leeds Festival Line Up | Official 2012 Line Up". Leedsfestival.com. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
- UNKLE to perform Euro 2008 theme BBC Press Office, 30 May 2008