23 Aug 1998

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23 Aug 1998
DJ Set tour by DJ Shadow and James Lavelle
VenueHMV Oxford St
Associated albumPsyence Fiction

"The marketing campaign in the lead-up to the release of the UNKLE album enters its final phase tomorrow night at HMV's 150 Oxford Street, London store. There will be an album playback at 10pm, then James Lavelle and DJ Shadow, the pair behind the project, will hit the decks before the product goes on sale at midnight. During the evening, New York graffiti artist Futura 2000, who designed the figures used for the UNKLE sleeve plus associated toys and merchandise, will be making his mark on a canvas."[1]


report by Fiona (frognation UK), translation & remix by KEN = GO (note this has been translated to English by Google Translate)[2]

Even before the release, the media received favorable reviews such as "Best CD of the year", and a few days later than Japan, Uncle's album "Science Fiction" was released in his home country on August 23rd. To commemorate this, a Windows-like event was held at HMV in Oxford Street, London, selling the album as soon as the date changed to 23rd.

Despite no major announcements such as flyers, over 150 enthusiastic Mo Wax / Ravel / Shadow fans rushed into the store. Even though it was a late time from 11 o'clock, HMV, which is usually closed, has 1 hour DJ play of Shadow and Ravel and fans who want to see the live painting of Futura 2000 at a glance. I was sick with the heat.

More than an hour before the start of the event, there were already long lines outside the store. Hard-core fans who have already come from this point are mainly buggy pants, sneakers, and fashionable boys carrying a backpack, some of which have shaved and shaved just like James Ravel in recent magazines. There was also a “look-alike” who put in. The skin tones of the fans were various, and it was also symbolized by Uncle's worldwide-acclaimed sound.

At 10 o'clock, the shutter of the shop that was once closed opens about half way and you can see the inside of the shop. I can hear the sound of the sound check and feel excited. The store's shelves were already displaying Uncle's album, which will be released two hours later. Next to the DJ booth that was specially set in the store, at about 10:20, Futura started painting on a huge canvas using sprays of only two colors, red and black. Some of the guests gathered this day came just to see this live painting of Futura, which is rarely seen in Britain, and Mo Wax's visual side, which has powerful power as well as music. I can understand why so popular is so popular.

We were greeted by the loud cheers of fans who couldn't wait, and Ravel's play started at 11:00. James was a hip-hop bass song that was a mix of old and new, and every time a major force song or the new Beastie Boys song "Intergalactic" was played, the audience was excited. Especially the enthusiastic fans who took part near the stage seemed to be singing rap and lyrics while dancing, and the excitement that could not be felt in a record store was felt. "Check Your Mike" was played at the climax, and the 30-minute play ended. James's play on this day was full of service spirit, and the audience just had to dance. It was interesting that many heads shook in the hip-hop style in the store.

It was Shadow who manipulated the turntable. He played mainly songs from Uncle's album on this day, and overall the tempo was later than that of Ravel. So there were fewer people dancing than in the first half, but everyone enjoyed the play as if listening carefully. His amazing technique of scratching surprised the audience, and it was honestly surprising how he could listen to Uncle's new songs one after another using the analog of two albums and two turntables. At the end of the play, Shadow threw the record he had been using until then towards the guests, and the venue was in a fuss. Perhaps this is the first and last opportunity for Shadow to DJ with mostly uncle albums.

 When the clock ran around midnight, it was announced that the people who gathered there could finally buy the album. Of course, this is the only store in the UK that is open at this time, so fans can enjoy the sound faster than anyone else. The fans who ran to the shelf and got a record first line up in another place. Ravel, Shadow, and Futura had the privilege of signing only the person who bought the record. The enthusiastic fans, who had been waiting for a few hours, all got their autographs and took pictures of them, and went home satisfactorily. It was an unforgettable event for those who were looking forward to this release date.


See Also

Music Week 5 September 1998 - Review of album launch

External Links

Review in Japanese with photos(via Internet Archive)