UNKLE have announced their new album which is set for release through James Lavelle’s label, Songs For The Def!

A forefather of trip-hop and linchpin in bringing street culture to a state of universal celebration, James Lavelle has spent over 25 years keeping a colourful universe alive – one made of music, art, technology and fashion through the game-changing label Mo’Wax and his many multimedia endeavours (see the recent documentary The Man from Mo’Wax). He’s an artist who thrives in the act of remixing culture itself; honouring the past but with the intent of elevating the most exciting flourishes of the now. In this free-for-all playlist culture that we find ourselves in, Lavelle is truly in his element.

“My work has always had an eclectic essence and soundtrack-influence in its structure,” says Lavelle. “If you go through the back catalogue, there’s a continuity between the motion and the ambition of the sound. Ideally, you’re constantly collaging and sampling elements of what’s relevant at the time to create something new. Now, there’s a lot more freedom. When I first started, the walls between genres in front of you were a lot greater to climb. We’re at a much more open-minded and eclectic place with music now.”

“I started doing a show on Soho Radio last year, which made me think about playing records in a different way,” says Lavelle of his life after ‘Part I’. “It wasn’t about trying to make people dance in a nightclub. It was a breath of fresh air, and about playing a more eclectic mix. ‘The Road Part 2’ was made in the same way – it’s a mixtape and a journey. You’re in your car, starting in the day and driving into the night. The language of it was for it to be the ultimate road trip.”

‘The Road: Part II/Lost Highway’ welcomes The Clash’s Mick Jones, Dhani Harrison, Editors’ frontman Tom Smith, The Duke Spirit’s Leila Moss, Mark Lanegan, Keaton Henson, Queens Of The Stone Age’s Jon Theodore and Troy Van Leeuwen, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds vocalist Ysée, Brian Eno collaborator Tessa Angus, producers Justin Stanley and Chris Goss, BOC, Philip Sheppard and artist John Isaac among others – as well as spoken-word contributions from legendary Scottish actor Brian Cox (who used to be Lavelle’s landlord) and Stanley Kubrick’s widow Christiana, who leant her trust and voice to Lavelle following his acclaimed exhibition to the seminal director. The two names who crop up most throughout the record, however, are rising West London singer and producer Miink and experimental rapper Elliott Power.

“I started doing a show on Soho Radio last year, which made me think about playing records in a different way,” says Lavelle of his life after ‘Part I’. “It wasn’t about trying to make people dance in a nightclub. It was a breath of fresh air, and about playing a more eclectic mix. ‘The Road Part 2’ was made in the same way – it’s a mixtape and a journey. You’re in your car, starting in the day and driving into the night. The language of it was for it to be the ultimate road trip.”

‘The Road: Part II/Lost Highway’ welcomes The Clash’s Mick Jones, Dhani Harrison, Editors’ frontman Tom Smith, The Duke Spirit’s Leila Moss, Mark Lanegan, Keaton Henson, Queens Of The Stone Age’s Jon Theodore and Troy Van Leeuwen, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds vocalist Ysée, Brian Eno collaborator Tessa Angus, producers Justin Stanley and Chris Goss, BOC, Philip Sheppard and artist John Isaac among others – as well as spoken-word contributions from legendary Scottish actor Brian Cox (who used to be Lavelle’s landlord) and Stanley Kubrick’s widow Christiana, who leant her trust and voice to Lavelle following his acclaimed exhibition to the seminal director. The two names who crop up most throughout the record, however, are rising West London singer and producer Miink and experimental rapper Elliott Power.

While we wait for the end of the triptych on ‘Part III’ in the years ahead, this bittersweet and hyperreal soundtrack to the journey of UNKLE is every bit the odyssey you’ve come to expect, affirming that maybe it’s best when the journey itself is the destination.

Tracklisting

DISC 1
01. Iter VI: Prologue
02. Requiem (When You Talk of Love)
03. Ar.Mour
04. Iter VII: Lost
05. The Other Side
06. Feel More / With Less
07. Nothing to Give
08. Iter VIII: However Vast the Darkness
09. Long Gone
10. Only You
11. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

DISC 2
01. Iter IX: Epilogue / Tales of the City
02. Crucifixion / A Prophet
03. Powder Man
04. Kubrick
05. Sun (The)
06. Find an Outsider
07. Iter X: Found
08. Days and Nights
09. Reprise
10. Iter XI: In Your Arms
11. Touch Me

UNKLE ‘The Road: Part II’ will be released on 2CD on the 29th of March through Songs for the Def.

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About the author

Director and DJ, Ian French (Naif) is passionate about every genre of music from Breakbeat, to Drum & Bass, to Techno and Progressive House. If he was to describe his preferred style of music he would probably describe it simply as electronic music. Besides his love for music and DJing his other passions are fine cuisine, wine, and travel.

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