[acid-jazz] James Lavelle Article (scmp.com)

From: - T (takanonami@hotmail.com)
Date: Tue Aug 27 2002 - 20:59:31 CEST

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                     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
    Mo'Wax Records.

                     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
    debut Entroducing,
                     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
    producer. Joined
                     by DJ Shadow, Lavelle initiated a music project titled
    UNKLE involving
                     contributions from former Stone Roser Ian Brown, ex-The
    Verve frontman Richard
                     Ashcroft and Thom Yorke from Radiohead on its acclaimed
    album Psyche

                     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
                     relationship works.''

                     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
    (4/F, Convention
                     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
    door only.

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