For the past 30 years, James Lavelle has been at the forefront of global club culture. Known as much for his eclectic DJ sets as for his production work with UNKLE, Lavelle has been lauded as a highly influential tastemaker and musical curator.
Alongside a successful DJ career Lavelle continues to produce albums under his UNKLE moniker, working with a myriad cast of musical collaborators including Thom Yorke, Michael Kiwanuka, Mark Lanegan, Massive Attack, Brian Eno and Josh Homme.
The most recent full length UNKLE album, The Road: Part II / Lost Highway topped the Billboard Electronic Album chart in 2019. With UNKLE, Lavelle has won the MPG Award for remixer of the year four times in the past seven years and has reworked tracks for artists as diverse as Beck, London Grammar, Radiohead and Wu-Tang Clan.
In 2014, Lavelle was asked to curate the iconic Meltdown on London’s South Bank, joining a long list of musical luminaries such as David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Massive Attack, Nick Cave and John Peel, amongst others, something he described as one of his career highlights.
Lavelle’s long interest in the visual arts led him to create the ‘Daydreaming With…’ exhibition series back in 2010. This celebration of creativity and innovation in all its forms, aimed to create a unique and multi-sensory experience pairing music with art in a wide range of disciplines, including film, photography, fashion, performance, painting, street art, sound, and sculpture combined under one roof to create the ultimate multi-sensory environment. One such incarnation saw Lavelle curate ‘Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick’, a blockbuster exhibition at London’s Somerset House in 2016, that featured contributions from artists such as Anish Kapoor, Sarah Lucas, Gavin Turk, Thomas Bangalter and many more.
2018 saw the release of ‘The Man from Mo’Wax’, a critically acclaimed documentary film about Lavelle’s career, that saw a major release with the BFI, as well as showings at several international film festivals.
In 2019 James, together with Punchdrunk creatives Colin Nightingale and Stephen Dobbie launched ‘Beyond The Road’, a ground-breaking immersive exhibition deconstructing an exclusive soundtrack and featuring world renowned and award-winning contemporary artists, filmmakers and photographers at London’s Saatchi Gallery, described by NME as an ‘album you can walk around’. The exhibition visited Asia for the first time in 2021, running in Seoul for four months. This hugely popular show was Korea’s first multi-sensory immersive exhibition, attracting over 85,000 visitors, despite the global pandemic.
March 2021 saw UNKLE release the first in a two-part mixtape project, Rōnin I, which featured the singles ‘Do Yourself Some Good’ and ‘If We Don’t Make It’, both A Listed at BBC Radio 6Music. The second part of the project, Rōnin II will be released this summer.