INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Mojo SEPTEMBER 2003 - by Lucy O'Brien
UNKLE: NEVER, NEVER, LAND
James Lavelle forges a new partnership for Unkle's second album. Star-studded and cinematic.
After the rogueish, magpie feel of 1998's Psyence Fiction, Mo'Wax main man Lavelle has honed the sound of his pet project, Unkle. Teaming up with friend and former drum'n'bass DJ Richard File, he has created a rich, alternative Bond-style soundtrack. Beginning with womb-like thrumming and electronic distortion, the album soon opens out with mesmeric mood pieces and ethereal songs. File possesses a shivery falsetto of Thom Yorke-like proportions, and uses it to good effect on tracks such as Panic Attack and What Are You To Me. Guest stars appear, but unlike on Psyence Fiction, they don't overwhelm the record. Ian Brown, for instance, lends a discreet warble to Reign, while Jarvis Cocker and Brian Eno duel synths on I Need Something Stronger, and Massive Attack's 3D injects an edgy paranoia to Invasion. At points Unkle verge on Moby car advert territory, but judicious sampling and that deadpan sci-fi spirit keep the album the right side of experimental.