Meltdown 2014

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James Lavelle's Meltdown
Concert by Unkle

James Lavelle curated Meltdown in 2014, with Unkle playing June 13. Other acts included DJ Shadow and The London Contemporary Orchestra.

Meltdown 2014 ran from June 13-22 2014, and included a MoWax exhibition.[1] Unkle performed as Unkle Redux on the 13th, while Lavelle played a solo DJ set on the 22nd billed as 'Sunday Come Down'[2].

Meltdown Sessions

As part of Meltdown, a series of workshops and seminars titled Meltdown Sessions, were presented by Ableton and CDR. These included talks with Mo' Wax artists such as DJ Shadow, and members of Attica Blues.[3] Some of these sessions were later uploaded to the CDR Vimeo account,[4] such as the DJ Shadow,[5] Attican Blues and Andrea Parker[6] talks. The Deconstruction of Rob D’s Clubbed to Death was also later uploaded to YouTube.[7]

Saturday, June 14

14:00 – 15:00 | Make Something New: Remix & Production Masterclass Presented by Ableton’s Jesse Abayomi

15:00 – 16:00 | Deconstructing a Classic Mo Wax track. (Rob D’s Clubbed to Death) Presented by Point Blank’s Ski Oakenfull[8]

16:00 – 17:00 | Recording Insight – Discussion with DJ Shadow Hosted by CDR’s Tony Nwachukwu[9]

Sunday, June 15

14:00 – 15:00 | In conversation with the Heritage Orchestra – The Making of Timeless (Sine Tempore) Hosted by CDR’s Tony Nwachukwu[10]

15:00 – 16:00 | Recording Insight – Mixing Masterclass with Sie Medway-Smith (Miloco Studios / UNKLE) Hosted by CDR’s Tony Nwachukwu

16:00 – 17:00 | Make Something New: Remix & Production Masterclass Presented by Ableton’s Jesse Abayomi

Saturday, June 21

14:00 – 15:00 | Circa ’95 – Music Creation Then and Now, featuring Mo’ Wax alumni Kirk Degiorgio, Attica Blues, Andrea Parker and Howie B (note: Howie B did not attend) Hosted by CDR’s Tony Nwachukwu[11]

15:00 – 16:00 | Recording Insight – Rocking Chair with Andrea Parker Hosted by CDR’s Tony Nwachukwu

16:00 – 17:00 | Make Something New: Remix & Production Masterclass Presented by Ableton’s Jesse Abayomi


Unkle appeared as 'Unkle Redux' and performed songs from across their albums. Unkle were joined by guests Liela Moss, DJ Shadow, Mark Lanegan, and Keaton Henson for select songs.

Unkle Redux Set List


Hold My Hand

Mayday (with Liela Moss)


Lonely Soul (with DJ Shadow)

Another Night Out

Ex-Factor (Lauryn Hill cover)

With You In My Head (with Liela Moss)

Burn My Shadow (with Mark Lanegan)

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Ewan MacColl cover) (with Keaton Henson)

Rabbit in Your Headlights (with Keaton Henson)

In a State

Heaven (with Mark Lanegan)

The Answer


Unkle Redux was billed as a “specially created, audiovisual show” featuring a whole host of guests ranging from Mark Lanegan, Liela Moss, Keaton Henson and ESKA to the “The London Contemporary Orchestra, Goldsmiths Vocal Ensemble and of course everybody’s favorite turntablist, DJ Shadow…

And very good it was too… I think because Unkle are something of an unknown entity in themselves we were unsure what to expect: would it be a set consisting of the slower and more orchestrated tunes from their 5 studio albums, or a more dance orientated set of tunes in the vein of one of Mr. Lavelles DJ sets?

It’s difficult to know how much Mr. Lavelle contributes in terms of playing/ writing/ singing/ designing etc. to the Unkle project as a whole, and for this show he was only on stage for the first and last tunes of the evening..

Perhaps unsurprisingly we got all aspects of his character: the lush strings of In a State, the haunted lyrics of Rabbit in the Headlights (sung by a very tortured soul by the name of Keaton Henson) and the huge noises of Follow Me Down and whatever the last track was called, and vast, stunning visuals accompanying each tune.

And to finish it off we had three hours of dancing in the foyer to the record collections of Don Letts and Paul Daley of Leftfield..

And I haven’t even mentioned the opening act. Philip Sheppard is a cellist who used a loop station and his undeniable skills to the most mesmerising effect.

The only criticism I have (more an observation really) is that there was almost no interaction with the audience. We sat there like sensible grown ups in our seats, the song stopped, we clapped, the next guest artist came out, the huge number of people of stage shuffled about a bit and then the band started… At the Siouxsie gig last year, everyone was standing up and dancing right from the off…

Anyway, a minor quibble at what was all in all a most enjoyable evening…[12]

Review from The Standard:

Known as an ideas man rather than a musician, he stayed off stage here apart from the first and last songs, when his nondescript singing was drowned out by Liela Moss of The Duke Spirit and a choir. Non-musical touches included a gripping selection of big-screen visuals and apparently scent diffusers, though I didn’t smell anything.

People cheered loudest for tracks from Psyence Fiction, the first UNKLE album in 1998 and quite the blockbuster in its time, with DJ Shadow heavily involved and guest vocals from Thom Yorke, Richard Ashcroft and Beastie Boy Mike D.

A new generation replaced them here, ESKA giving a soulful new take on Lonely Soul and a hunched and haunting Keaton Henson taking on Rabbit in Your Headlights with great success.

The overblown feel, aided by many strings and the hall organ, offered plenty to watch, though restrained covers from Henson and musical director Mara Carlyle were the startling highlights. The rest of Meltdown looks tempting — no one ever questioned Lavelle’s impeccable taste.[13]


See Also

Urban Archaeology: 21 Years Of Mo' Wax

External Links

James Lavelle's Meltdown - Souvenir Publication

Video of Bloodstain featuring DJ Shadow on YouTube

Audio and review by support act Philip Sheppard

Review of Unkle gig with images

Photos of Unkle gig on Getty Images

Unkle Gig on

Photos from Meltdown 2014 on Flickr

Videos from the Meltdown Sessions talks