From: - T (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Aug 27 2002 - 20:59:31 CEST
The man from UNKLE
By Vivienne Chow (Email:
It's been seven productive years since his last
''not so good'' DJ-ing experience in Hong Kong,
but James Lavelle, founder of Mo'Wax Records
and one of the masterminds behind music
project UNKLE, isn't put off. He's returning to
the city with his trademark blend of hip-hop
and breakbeats tomorrow night.
''Last time [the party in Hong Kong] wasn't so
good. There were not many people and it was
a bit underground,'' says Lavelle, speaking
from Kuala Lumpur, one of the stops of his visit to Asia.
''But why not check it
out? It was seven years ago, and the scene has developed
more. Ultimately I
want to share new things and new music with people.''
Lavelle started buying records by the bucketload and
providing soundtracks to
his home town Oxford's own block party scene. At 15, he put
on his first party
and made enough money to get a pair of decks. But that
wasn't enough. In 1992,
the then 18-year-old borrowed £1,000 (HK$11,330) from his
boss at Honest Jon's
Records in London to set up the hip-hop and breaks label
While the dance floor was dominated by acid jazz at the
time, Mo'Wax's music
direction - blending elements of jazz, instrumental
hip-hop, electro, techno and
drum'n'bass on original tracks and remix work - discovered
room to work outside
categorisation. With the label's epic, DJ Shadow's 1996
Mo'Wax was catapulted into the spotlight.
Apart from releasing albums for the likes of Attica Blues,
Andrea Parker, DJ
Krush and Money Mark, Lavelle is also an established DJ and
by DJ Shadow, Lavelle initiated a music project titled
contributions from former Stone Roser Ian Brown, ex-The
Verve frontman Richard
Ashcroft and Thom Yorke from Radiohead on its acclaimed
Lavelle says he doesn't just work with the big names.
''It's a weird process,'' he
says. ''I meet people through DJs, people from bands, and
hanging out together
late at night at clubs. The next minute they become the
greatest band in the
world. We just grow up together. It's quite a small scene.
I've been quite fortunate
to have relationships with great people over the past 15
One of the names Lavelle is closely associated with is
Nigo, founder of Japanese
clothing label A Bathing Ape. ''I've known Nigo since the
day he started printing
the first T-shirt. His passion and gracious appetite for
fashion and art inspires me
a lot,'' he says. ''It's not like 'Oh my God! It's gotta be
the biggest T-shirt [label].'
The Japanese street culture is like 'Oh, you make T-shirts.
I'm into T-shirts. I
make records. Oh you are into records. Let's hang out.'
This is how the
Though Lavelle - who plans to release a new UNKLE album
next year - believes
Japan is the world's creative epicentre, he rates local
artists Michael Lau and
Eric So highly. ''Their work has individuality and Hong
Kong identity. I would love
to work with them one day,'' he says.
James Lavelle will spin at tomorrow night's International
Breakbeat Showcase No
3 presented by Disuye Records and The Boutique at Club Ing
Plaza, Wan Chai, entrance via Renaissance Harbour View
Hotel). Also featuring
DJ Touche (The Wiseguys), Johan and Stisch (Sound Of
Habib), Ewan (Disuye
Records) and Blackjack (Way Out East). Tickets $220 at the
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