Original Headz

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Original Headz
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MaterialDigital
Present locationUK

In January 2021 UNKLE announced a new newsletter would be coming soon alongside an "UNKLE ARKHIVE SALE"[1] The first issue arrived on January 29 2021 and makes mention of several releases for "later this month", which presumably means February. Following the main message there were several images with some text promoting various recent UNKLE releases.

Vol 1, Issue 1 - January 29 2021

Transcript:

Welcome to Original Headz, the new monthly Studio:UNKLE newsletter, about all things UNKLE related, where you will be the first to get news, updates and exclusive access.

Whilst we've found ourselves in and out of lockdowns, I’ve had the opportunity to go through my archive in more detail. During this process I've found a selection of UNKLE and Mo'Wax related items, which are on sale from today. These are the last remaining stocks I have of these products, and you have first access.

Already hitting the ground running this year with new single Exodus / Revisited, the next 12 months looks to be a productive year. This month we are dropping new remixes: Leila Moss' Atoms At Me and Japanese Television's Falling Spikes, as well as a new UNKLE single to be announced shortly from the first Ronin mixtape.

We have also been working over the last six months with All Purpose Studio, developing a new UNKLE website, which I'm very excited about. This will launch soon and will be a constantly evolving space, featuring new work as well as building an online archive where all of my work will eventually exist in one place.

Living In My Headphones will return later this month, and we will also continue to release new and retrospective DJ mixes on Mixcloud.

Studio:UNKLE will continue to release regular limited edition apparel, merch, collaborations and charity drops. We are constantly trying to push the levels of quality, as well as looking into new recycling techniques to be as green as possible. Over the next year we will continue to re-release archive and unreleased material, including the Surrender-All catalogue, as well as new remixes from The Road, and a series of new UNKLE records, starting with two Ronin mixtapes. One of these is more club orientated, in collaboration with Steven Weston, while the second is more after-hours, and was produced in collaboration with Miink. I'm really excited and will keep you posted as the projects unfold.

Your continued interest and support is extremely appreciated as we try and chart a new course and adapt in this unique and challenging time, where music and art is threatened due to the unimaginable change in our landscape. We are extremely grateful for your help.

Thank you and take care, James and all at Studio:UNKLE

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The Arkhive sale is now open. As Original Headz subscribers, you are the first to know. The sale features a range of T-Shirts, Hoodies, Toys, Prints, Brochures, and Music from the UNKLE archives.

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UNKLE kick off the year with a brand new track, featuring long-time collaborator and Mercury Prize nominee, ESKA.

With a year of cancelled touring, James found his way back to his DJ roots. He compiled a series of mixes inspired by his That's How It Is night, run with Gilles Peterson at London's Bar Rumba. The tracks played there, as well as at the Dusted sessions at the Blue Note, serve as the inspiration for this unique take on a classic.

Collaborating with West London multi-instrumentalist Miink on production, James delivers a track with the classic Mo' Wax soul, given a contemporary twist.

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For the latest set of remixes of UNKLE's The Road: Parts I & II, James has enlisted the help of Kentucky-born LA-based producer Amtrac. Having met due to a mutual love of each other's work, James reached out to Amtrac, who set about crafting two unique takes on album opener Farewell.

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James: "Really pleased to be sharing with you a new DJ mix for the dope Keinemusik crew. I haven't done a club mix for a while so I focused more on that tip, with old and new cuts from disco to techno, as well as my new remix of Ar.Mour (out now). The Ar.Mour Ronin Dub, which I did with Steven Weston (whom many of you will know from UNKLE:LIVE) is taken from the forthcoming Ronin mixtape project (details to come soon)."

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Ronin studio sessions (James Lavelle, Steven Weston, Alex Thomas, Jack Leonard)... The Road Not Taken - coming soon.

Vol 1, Issue 2 - February 26 2021

Transcript:

Welcome to the second issue of Original Headz.

Tomorrow (Friday) sees the launch of the final chapter of the Arkhive Sale featuring a selection of Prints, Records and T-Shirts uncovered during the recent lockdowns. This is the last stock available of these items. As Original Headz subscribers, you once again have first access.

We realise that there were issues with the timings of our last sale for some of you, particularly those in the US. It can be difficult to manage sale times across the different time zones but we have taken on board your feedback. This sale will launch at the later time of 5pm UK time, exclusively to you - as subscribers, you are getting a 24 hours heads up of the on-sale time. Visit this link at 5pm UK tomorrow - you can use the links below to save a reminder to your calendar. The sale won't be advertised elsewhere until 8pm or later on Friday. We hope this works better for everyone.

We also understand there were some issues with Russian and Singaporean shipping being unavailable last time; our warehouse has advised that this is now resolved.

We appreciate your support and are grateful for the feedback.

It's been a great start to the year especially with the recent release of Do Yourself Some Good, the new single (taken from the forthcoming Rōnin I record) which has had some amazing support from radio, in particular BBC 6Music and club DJs. We will be sharing more information later this month on the release of the mixtape, which I finally mastered last week with the amazing Matt Colton. I am very excited to get this out into the world and share it with you.

I’m currently working on the finishing touches to the 2nd part of Rōnin with Miink, which is going great and will follow later this spring.

With the new announcements here in the UK of a more optimistic year ahead, the spring starting to brighten our days and the prospect of performing this summer things seem to be looking more positive.

I wish you all well.

Love and thanks, James and all at Studio:UNKLE

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The Arkhive Sale Part 2 will go live tomorrow Friday at 5pm UK time. The sale features a range of T-Shirts, Prints, and Records from the UNKLE archives.

The sale will go live here, and you can use the following links to add a reminder to your calendar - plus we'll send you an email at 5pm.

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UNKLE return with the uplifting new track, 'Do Yourself Some Good'. The single is taken from the forthcoming mixtape, 'Rōnin I' set for a March 26th release on Studio:UNKLE.

James was inspired by his early DJ roots, playing at clubs like 'That’s How It Is', (which he ran with Gilles Peterson) and Dusted (at the Blue Note), the Mo' Wax Period, and his love of breaks, samples, Super Disco Breaks and edits. Experimenting with these influences to create something new, the track is rooted in the classic Mo' Wax spirit and given a contemporary twist through the use of modern production techniques. The track was produced with long-time UNKLE collaborator Steven Weston.

The track has been supported by Mary Anne Hobbs, Lauren Laverne, Shaun Keaveny, Jason Bentley, Laurent Garnier, Ross Allen, Bill Brewster, DJ Harvey, Ashley Beedle, Don Letts, Jarvis Cocker, Nick Warren and more.

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Atoms At Me - [UNKLE Reconstruction] is a brand new remix for long-time UNKLE collaborator Liela Moss. Having first worked with UNKLE during the War Stories sessions, as part of her band The Duke Spirit, Liela has featured as a vocalist on every UNKLE album since, and regularly performed as part of UNKLE:Live. This remix is the first to be taken from her forthcoming album Who The Power (Reformed).

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Following the release of their III EP in September of last year, psych-rock band Japanese Television have enlisted UNKLE to remix their track Falling Spikes, taken from the forthcoming EP III Remixed.

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Living in my Headphones returns to Soho Radio from March 17th for its monthly residency. Tune in here.

Vol 1, Issue 3 - March 26 2021

Transcript:

Welcome to the third issue of Original Headz.

I'm pleased to announce that today sees the digital release of Rōnin I, the first of two forthcoming Rōnin mixtapes rooted in club culture. If you pre-ordered, check your inbox for your digital download code.

Rōnin was an idea that started in the first lockdown, where Steven Weston and I started doing some remixes for a new set we thought we would be playing later in the year. We had a busy schedule of touring planned, which was going to be based around a more dance-orientated show that had premiered at Fabric for their 20th-anniversary celebrations.

We assumed that summer shows would be postponed by a few months but as the lockdown continued and any hope of live shows disappeared, we decided to work on it as a mixtape series. This meant we could create an hour’s worth of new remixes for each mixtape and incorporate brand new tracks in the spirit of a new live show, but give it a proper release due to the circumstances.

The record is meant to be like a night out at a party or club from the beginning of the night to the end, or a new UNKLE:Sounds show. It’s the set I dream of playing out in a festival or club when we finally get to come together and dance again.

I’m currently in the studio finishing Rōnin II with Miink, which will follow later in the year.

New announcements about Rōnin merchandise will follow in April and new remixes are in the pipeline.

Wishing you all well.

Love and thanks, James and all at Studio:UNKLE

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UNKLE's Rōnin I mixtape featuring the brand new singles 'If We Don't Make It' and 'Do Yourself Some Good', as well as seven brand new UNKLE remixes is out today digitally.

The album will be released in a variety of formats including a deluxe limited edition splatter vinyl in a tip-on sleeve, as well as clear and transparent orange vinyl editions.

The album will be released in a variety of formats including a deluxe limited edition splatter vinyl in a tip-on sleeve, as well as clear and transparent orange vinyl editions. There’s also a deluxe 2CD edition in a tip-on sleeve, as well as a standard cd edition, and two cassette editions. 20 hand signed and numbered test pressings of the album have already sold out. Every order includes an exclusive signed postcard. Available to pre-order here now.

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Track listing for Rōnin I:

  1. 初登場
  2. Ar.Mour (Rōnin Dub) [Feat. Miink]
  3. The Other Side (Rōnin Def Mix) [Feat. Tom Smith]
  4. On My Knees (Rōnin Def Mix) [Feat. Michael Kiwanuka]
  5. If We Don’t Make It (Rōnin Throwdown)
  6. Do Yourself Some Good (Rōnin Throwdown)
  7. 初幕間
  8. Find An Outsider (Rōnin Reconstruction) [Feat. The Big Pink]
  9. Days and Nights / Reprise (Rōnin Re-Edit) [Feat. Dhani Harrison]
  10. Feel More / With Less (Rōnin Reconstruction) [Feat. Liela Moss]
  11. Catch Me When I Fall (Rōnin Vocal Mix) [Feat. Callum Finn]

On Wednesday, March 31st at 9pm GMT, UNKLE will join Tim Burgess for Tim's Twitter Listening Party, to discuss the album. Head to UNKLE's Twitter then to follow live.

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Big thanks to Mary Anne Hobbs of BBC Radio 6 Music who has supported the Rōnin project from the beginning, and invited James to do a guest mix which airs today. Click to listen back here.

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To celebrate the release of Rōnin I, UNKLE have made a free phone wallpaper. Simply save and upload to your device.

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BAPE vs UNKLE. Return of the Original Headz. Released to commemorate the opening of the new BAPE London store. In collaboration 1995 to 2021. Available now at A BATHING APE® locations and BAPE.COM.

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James returned to Soho Radio last week, after 6 months off, premiering new material, as well as the usual eclectic mix. Listen back over on the UNKLE Mixcloud.

Vol 1, Issue 4 - April 30 2021

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to issue four of Original Headz.

The last month has been amazing, thanks to everybody's support on the Rōnin release.

Continuing on that theme, we have numerous new remixes coming out over the next few months. The first two are of Do Yourself Some Good. Demi Requismo's remix lands on the 7th of May, and the second by Lost Souls of Saturn follows later in the month.

I'm still in the studio putting the finishing touches to Rōnin 2 and working on other new music!

We also kicked off our first new merchandise drops of 2021 last week, and the last few tees are available on the Rōnin store. We will be doing a second more expansive drop on Friday 7th May at 5pm UK time - head to the Rōnin Store then when the products will go live. There are links below to add a reminder to your calendar.

I'm also really excited to launch phase one of our new website in collaboration with All Purpose Studios. This is a work in progress with phase two following in the next few months. See below for more information.

As things start opening up in the UK and with spring finally here, we are optimistic about the chance to hopefully get out and perform live later in the year. We look forward to being able to share more information as things develop.

Once again thanks for all of the support.

Love and thanks, James and all at Studio:UNKLE

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Last chance to enter the competition to win a bundle from the UNKLE archives featuring rare and exclusive UNKLE merchandise, collaborations and test pressings.

Pre-order your physical copy by 11.59pm UK time today Friday 30th April 2021 to be in with a chance of winning. Five winners will picked at random and receive one of the following prize packages:

  • Test Pressings of End Titles... Redux, UNKLE x Girls Of The Internet and a bonus Psyence Fiction 7"
  • A sweater and tee from the recent UNKLE x BAPE capsule collection
  • Five Studio:UNKLE T-shirts, including Summer series and Psyence Fiction merch
  • Five Studio:UNKLE T-shirts, including War Stories and Camo prints
  • Bundle of exclusive Studio:UNKLE stickers

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is pre-order a physical copy of Rōnin I from the UNKLE official Rōnin store by 11.59pm UK time tonight 30 April. If you've already ordered, you're already in the draw. Winners will be contacted by email next week.

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RŌNIN I - PRE-ORDER

We'll be opening the pre-order for a second brand-new limited merch drop, next week on Friday 7th May at 5pm UK time.

This drop will feature a limited run of new Rōnin I designs. Use the links below to add a reminder to your calendar:

Apple Calendar | Google | Yahoo | Office 365 | Outlook

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RŌNIN MERCH DROP - 7 MAY 5PM UK

If We Don’t Make It (Rōnin Dub) is available to buy and stream now.

As premiered on James’s Friday Guest Mix for Mary Anne Hobbs on BBC Radio 6Music, and supported by Richard Dorfmeister, Sean Johnston, Bill Brewster, Richard Sen, Jagz Kooner and more.

LISTEN AND DOWNLOAD HERE

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We're pleased to reveal the new home page for phase one of our new website build, developed in collaboration with East London based All Purpose Studios.

VISIT NEW UNKLE WEBSITE

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UNKLE recently scored the music to a short film showcasing a new body of work by longtime collaborators and furniture designers Clarke & Reilly and directed by Alexa Karolinski, featuring David Cruz. The work was presented at 7000 Romaine, West Hollywood with the film premiering in AnOther Magazine.

CLARKE & REILLY SHORT FILM

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This month's episode of James' Soho Radio show Living In My Headphones is available to listen back on the UNKLE Mixcloud now, featuring exclusives, remixes and the usual eclectic mix. Listen back on the UNKLE Mixcloud.

LIVING IN MY HEADPHONES

Vol 1, Issue 5 - May 29 2021

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to issue five of Original Headz, and greetings from Florence, Italy.

After a year of lockdown I've finally managed to get out and work on a new soundtrack with my long term collaborator friends Planet Funk. We are working from a beautiful studio in Tuscany, surrounded by olive groves and amazing scenery. I am so happy and grateful to have this opportunity to finally travel and get some new inspiration after all that has happened over the last year and all that the world continues to go through.

I am pleased to say we have finally received Redux stock which is being sent out as we speak. As we have said before, it has been difficult with vinyl manufacturing of late - more on this below. We really appreciate your patience. We've put a lot of love and work into the package and design so we hope it has been worth the wait.

On another positive note, we have now received the test pressings for Rōnin 1 which sound absolutely amazing, so production is finally underway.

Congratulations to the five winners of our recent competition, all the prizes shipped last week so the winners should have these now or very soon. We'll be running more competitions over the coming months so watch this space.

Record Store Day (12th June) will see the release of three UNKLE related tracks on vinyl for the first time with various different labels.

First, the previously unreleased UNKLE Reconstruction of Texas and Wu Tang Clan's recent single 'HI' drops on yellow vinyl from BMG.

Second, Japanese Television's 3 (Remixed) will be released by Tip Top Recordings on neon green vinyl, featuring the UNKLE Reconstruction of 'Falling Spikes'.

And third, the Still Life remix of UNKLE's Heaven will be released as part of a 2LP compilation on Stella Polaris Music in the July RSD drop.

Visit recordstoreday.co.uk for a list of participating stores.

On the merchandise front, we've been experimenting working with some different printers in order to produce the best quality products possible. This is taking us a little longer than we had first hoped as these are the first orders we are doing with them, but stock is in production and this will be shipping soon.

Lastly, I have finished mixing Rōnin 2 and we're currently commissioning more remixes for Rōnin 1 which I'm excited to share with you over the coming months.

Again thanks so much for your continued support. We will continue to put as much love and creativity into the work whilst ironing out the issues (especially regarding production) as we navigate the hurdles of the current situation.

Stay safe.

With love, James and all at Studio:UNKLE

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Seth Troxler and Phil Moffa's Lost Souls of Saturn rework recent single Do Yourself Some Good, taking the track off into the realm of deep cosmic Techno, replete with swirling synths, skittering 909s and vocal samples that appear out of nowhere before reverberating off into the distance. The remixes are available to buy and stream now.

LISTEN AND DOWNLOAD

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If We Don't Make It has been added to the BBC Radio 6 Music A-List. Thank you to all the fans and DJs for continuing to support the single.

LISTEN AND DOWNLOAD

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The final drop of Rōnin I merchandise is available now on the Rōnin store. The collection includes tees, hoodies, totes and a limited edition collaboration with Ocean Bottle, available in Obsidian Black and Sun Orange.

The sale of each Ocean Bottle funds the collection of 11.4kg of plastic, equivalent to 1000 plastic bottles and invests in people-powered waste management. Head to the Ocean Bottle website to find out more.

RŌNIN COLLECTION

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The latest episode of James' Living In My Headphones show is available to listen back now on the Soho Radio Mixcloud.

Tracklist:

  • Rotary Connection - Respect
  • Kathleen Emery - Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
  • Les DeMerle - A Day In The Life
  • Preacher - Black Moses
  • Ghetto Priest - Hercules
  • Sisters Love - Gimme Your Love
  • Willie Wright - Right On For The Darkness
  • Wu-Lu - Times
  • Jimmy Abney - Come Go With Me
  • Little Simz - Introvert
  • UNKLE and Michael Kiwanuka - On My Knees (Rōnin Def Mix)
  • Tony Allen - My Own (Feat. Marlowe)
  • Czarface, MF Doom, Del The Funky Homosapien - Jason and the Czargonauts
  • A Tribe Called Quest - Footprints
  • Madison McFerrin - Hindsight
  • Sharada Shashidar - Messages
  • Depart, Okuma - Reign (Okuma Remix)
  • Lukas Lehmann - Juno Cuts A Caper
  • Impérieux - Smooth Skinned Prince
  • UNKLE - Do Yourself Some Good (Lost Souls of Saturn - Fathers Mix)

LIVING IN MY HEADPHONES

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Once again we want to apologise for the delays in getting vinyl stock shipped.

On top of the issues with vinyl pressing generally, a late-stage problem with printing the numbering caused Redux to be delayed even further. That said, we are pleased to let you know that Redux finally made it through customs and has now landed at our UK warehouse where it is being prepared for dispatch to customers.

We hope it was worth the wait. We can't wait for you to receive it.

Test Pressings for Rōnin 1 have now arrived and sound great. This means the next stage of manufacturing can now take place. We are printing all artwork and packaging at the same factory, so CDs will be going out at the same time as vinyl. Current indications are that we are now 13 weeks away from when these will ship from the plant.

You can read more about the vinyl pressing issues facing artists and labels here.

Thanks so much for bearing with us.

Vol 1, Issue 6 - June 25 2021

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to issue six of Original Headz.

I'm thrilled to announce we'll be playing Terry Hall's home sessions at Coventry City of Culture in July. This will be our first show since the start of lockdown, especially for those who want to come together and dance into the night - something I've been dreaming of for a long time.

Since the last edition, I have been at home self-isolating, following on from a great trip to Italy. I was working on a soundtrack for a forthcoming Italian computer game set for release next year. I'll keep you posted with more details when I have them, plus some exciting news on the remix front later in July.

One of the benefits of lockdown is that I have had more time to go through my never-ending archive. Slowly going through everything in more detail has allowed me to create more individual archives based on projects and products, specific albums, Mo' Wax, exhibitions, toys, records, paintings - the list goes on.

So we thought it would be good to start sharing some of these amazing memories and historical artefacts and ephemera with you in a new feature called Urban Archeology, below.

Until next time, stay safe and hopefully we'll get some more nice weather!

With love, James and all at Studio:UNKLE

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As promised on social media earlier this week, the new drop is now open here. This is a secret link especially for Original Headz subscribers.

This is the first brand new Mo' Wax drop in nearly two years. We decided to give it some love with a puff print and it features some of the classic slogans in Gio Estevez text.

If you're waiting on a merchandise order, t-shirts from Ronin drop 1 are on their way to you right now, and we're getting the parts from drop 2 together as well to ship in the near future.

MO' WAX T-SHIRT DROP

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UNKLE will be playing Terry Hall's Home Sessions as part of the Coventry City of Culture 2021 series, performing one of only two Midnight at the Ruins sessions. The show will take place on Friday 30th July in the beautiful and dramatic setting of the bombed ruins of Coventry Cathedral.

James Lavelle and Steven Weston will be performing a bespoke, site-specific AV show based around UNKLE's critically acclaimed Rōnin mixtape, which was recorded during the lockdown.

The show features exclusive edits and reworks of both classic and new UNKLE tracks, creating an unique journey through club culture.

HOME SESSIONS - TICKETS AND INFO

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Texas & Wu-Tang Clan - Hi (UNKLE Reconstruction) - OUT NOW.

"I've always had mad respect for both Texas and the Wu-Tang Clan. I've known Sharleen Spiteri for over 20 years, and I sold the first Wu Tang 12" the weekend it came out on import, when I worked at Honest Jon's Records.

Their records became a massive part of the soundtrack to my early trips to New York in the 90s, and the clubs where I DJ'd like That's How It Is and Dusted. With the remix, I was keen to work with a hip-hop vocal, and to try something new with old skool super disco breaks, combined with electronic production to take the track on a hip hop / club fused hedonistic trip."

LISTEN HERE

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Episode XXXV of Soho Radio’s Living In My Headphones is available to stream on Mixcloud now.

  • RAMP - Everybody Loves The Sunshine
  • Adriano Celentano - L'Unica Chance
  • Nuova Compagnia Di Canto Popolare - II° Coro Delle Lavandaie
  • Serge Gainsbourg - Bonnie And Clyde (Herbert's Fred & Ginger Remix)
  • Quantic - I Won't Fade Away (feat. Alice Russell)
  • Not Waving - Last Time Leaving Home Part 2 (feat. Mark Lanegan)
  • Martina Topley-Bird - Pure Heart
  • The Avalanches - Tonight May Have To Last Me All My Life (MF DOOM Remix)
  • Jay Electronica - Exhibit C
  • Jungle - Talk About It
  • Prequel - I Said I Wasn't Gonna Fall In Love No More
  • Steven Weston - The Solent
  • Abel Ray - Saudade
  • Impérieux - Still Minus
  • Rampa - The Church
  • Sueño Latino – Sueño Latino (Paradise Mix)

LIVING IN MY HEADPHONES

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The celebrated DJ mix "Do Androids Dream of Electric Beats" will be uploaded to Mixcloud tomorrow. Follow us there to hear it.

UNKLE ON MIXCLOUD

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Welcome to the first instalment of Urban Archeology! This is a new feature exclusive to Original Headz, where James will share artefacts and ephemera from both the UNKLE/Mo' Wax archives and his own personal history.

"I've been going through DAT tapes in the last week, and I stumbled upon the first DJ Shadow release 'In/Flux' and 'Hindsight', which brought back floods of memories as it was such an important moment in mine and Mo' Wax's history.

I first discovered Shadow on a trip to LA where I was DJing at Delicious Vinyl's Brass club-night. I was given a 12-inch promo by Zimbabwe Legit on the late Dave Funkenklein's label Hollywood Basic, featuring an unreleased remix sampling Loran's Dance on the B-side. The track (DJ Shadow Legitimate Mix) was truly mind-blowing. This unique cut-and-paste sampling remix, which had pretty much nothing to do with the original, was like a record I'd always wanted to hear!

I then started playing it religiously at That’s How It Is at Bar Rumba as a part of my early-night DJ sets. Here, I was starting to forge a new beat-head sound from all these obscure and underground records I was discovering and collecting. The club was the perfect environment for this new sonic journey, which became the foundation of the Mo' Wax sound, and later became known as trip-hop.

I had tracked DJ Shadow's number down from my friend Albee who worked at Tommy Boy Records in New York. He had worked with Josh and thought we would get on well due to our love of collecting records, and having a different more open-minded hip hop approach. This was at a time when hip hop was very New York-driven, and not so accepting of outside, more alternative influences.

I called Shadow that night and we instantly hit it off, talking for hours about samples, international hip hop records from the UK, Tokyo and beyond, the unreleased Ultra Magnetic MCs and Hijack albums and rare records.

I explained about my new record company Mo' Wax, and how I loved his remix, and would he be interested in making music like that for me. This took him by surprise because at the time there were a lot of New York big beat-style hip hop breaks records coming out, like Kenny Dope, and that's what people expected and wanted him to make rather than appreciating the direction he had been trying out.

Even more to his surprise, I asked him to go deeper and explore that world further, and he agreed and the result of that first conversation was this DAT arriving a few months later at the first Mo' Wax office. We shared the office with Rene Gelston of Black Market Records, Fraser Cooke who was selling Pervert clothing, and music journalist Tony Farsides on the Lillie Road in Fulham.

In the office we had a central sound system, and I remember sitting down on my own that evening and listening to The 8th Wonder hand-drawn DAT of two proposed tracks for our first release.

It was a moment I'll never forget, hearing those two mind-blowing pieces of music. If you're ever lucky enough to truly experience magic, that's what happened that evening. It was like hearing something I wished for my whole life - the perfect soundtrack to my world - something truly extraordinary. There is no feeling quite like it in music.

I recall then cutting it on to acetate and playing it for the first time at That's How It Is, at peak time, and again it was one of those moments when everything freezes; everybody in the club connects on a track. There's no energy quite like it. Gilles Peterson ran over shouting at me, "What the fuck is this!" It was a moment when I knew something special was about to happen - a new sound was in town and things would never be the same again."

Vol 1, Issue 7 - July 30 2021

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to issue seven of Original Headz.

We've had another full month here at Studio:UNKLE.

First up I worked remotely with Virgil Abloh to score an exclusive mix of UNKLE tracks for the Off White 'Laboratory of Fun' 2021 show at Paris Fashion week. This was a special Rōnin Off-White turntablist mix, featuring scratching by Nonames (Foreign Beggars), and additional production by Steven Weston.

I had been asked to DJ in person, but unfortunately due to the ongoing Covid restrictions this wasn't possible. Whilst I would have loved to attend and perform in person I was really happy to be asked to collaborate.

I've also been busy rehearsing and by the time this lands in your inbox we'll be in Coventry getting ready to play Terry Hall's home sessions tonight at midnight at Coventry City of Culture.

This is our first show since the start of lockdown and we're really excited to finally play the Rōnin release out in the world.

Finally we're pleased to tell you more about some of the remixes we've recently commissioned. First up is Diplo which came out on Wednesday. The super-producer has taken 'Do Yourself Some Good' and pumped it up with a rework aimed squarely at the dancefloor.

On August 6th we release the edit of the third single from Rōnin 1: 'Catch Me When I Fall (Rōnin Vocal mix)', closely followed by three remixes of 'Catch Me' by producer Abel Ray, coming on Wednesday 18th August.

Keep your eye on our social media to find out more about where you can listen to these.

Until next time, stay safe.

With love, James and Studio:UNKLE

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Very excited for the return of 'Beyond The Road', the celebrated exhibition which ran in London in 2019. It heads to Seoul, to The Hyundai, from 23rd July to 28th November: an immersive experience based around music from UNKLE's The Road: Parts I & II, produced in collaboration with Colin Nightingale and Stephen Dobbie. For more information follow Beyond The Road Korea on Instagram.

BEYOND THE ROAD: KOREA

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James will be joining Gilles Peterson on Thursday 19th August for a That's How It Is reunion at We Out Here Festival. Listen to a playlist featuring an extensive track selection from the seminal London club night over on the UNKLE Spotify page.

LISTEN HERE

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James has done a new mix for Crosstown Rebels, featuring an upfront selection of tracks, as well as an exclusive VIP Dub of 'Do Yourself Some Good'. Listen on Soundcloud, Mixcloud and Apple Podcasts.

LISTEN HERE

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UNKLE presents a brand new remix of 'Do Yourself Some Good', the A-listed lead single from the recent Rōnin 1 mixtape.

This time it's the turn of American super-producer Diplo to work his magic on the track. The link-up, which came about through a long time mutual appreciation of one another's work, is aimed squarely at the dancefloor. Diplo takes the Super Disco Breaks inspired track, and sprinkles it with his signature studio flair, creating a driving behemoth of a track, perfect for that special peak time moment.

LISTEN HERE

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R.O.W-1 - UNKLE x Off-White for Virgil Abloh's FW21 show 'Laboratory of Fun' in Paris. A special Rōnin Off-White turntablist mix, featuring scratching by Nonames (Foreign Beggars), and additional production by Steven Weston.

WATCH HERE

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We're happy to reveal this exclusive artwork for the ONE OF A KIND exhibition, curated by Tom Hingston in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust. 21 works by 21 artists, musicians and designers, screen printed and signed as one-off editions. See the exhibition at Maddox Gallery, London W2. Auction is live until July 31st, visit givergy.uk/oneofakindshow to view and bid on the works. All proceeds go to Teenage Cancer Trust to make help make sure no young person faces cancer alone.

VIEW AUCTION

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AR.Mour is to be a multidisciplinary lifestyle brand for creative outsiders from James Lavelle and Kuzuki Kuraishi. By building relationships across fashion, music and art, the aim is to build a creative community around the world. From London to Tokyo and beyond. The first drop will be available in Japan this weekend. Follow the UNKLE instagram for more information.

UNKLE INSTAGRAM

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This is the second instalment of Urban Archeology - a feature exclusive to Original Headz, where James shares artefacts and ephemera from both the UNKLE/Mo' Wax archives and his own personal history.

"As I mentioned before, lockdown gave me the opportunity to spend more time with my archive, which includes a large part of my record collection. This month, I thought I would share one of my personal holy grails from the 'diggin in the crates' era.

This is a photo of the Blue Lines instrumentals used on the first Massive Attack tour, which was given to me by the band and their manager.

Throughout the nineties, I spent a lot of time trying to collect and acquire DJ instrumentals from live hip hop shows, including records from artists like the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, DJ Shadow, etc. These records would generally be created for the band DJ to use in live shows, usually containing instrumentals and alternative versions. These were extremely rare, usually pressed in very small quantities - on average around 25 copies. Likewise, we had our own instrumentals for the first UNKLE shows.

Blue Lines is one of my favourite albums of all time, and I was desperate to get an instrumental of the title track, as it was one of my most played cuts in the early sessions of That's How It Is at Bar Rumba. I wanted the instrumental so I could mix between the two versions and extend the mix into tracks like Photek's 'Into the 90's', which also sampled Tom Scott's classic 'Sneaking in the Back', another one of my favourite beats. These are the kinds of records that I'm looking forward to sharing at We Out Here for the That's How It Is reunion session with Giles Peterson and Ben Wilcox and more."


Vol 1, Issue 8 - August 27 2021

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to issue eight of Original Headz.

It has been a really great, action-packed month.

It's amazing to finally be out playing again, starting with the UNKLE presents Rōnin show in Coventry at the end of July, in the incredible setting of the burnt out ruins of Coventry Cathedral.

Steve Weston and I performed tracks from the Rōnin 1 mixtape, with a bespoke visuals and laser show by Patrick Krause. We want to thank everyone that came to see us and braved the weather, and a big thank you to Terry Hall and his team for inviting us and for their hospitality.

Next up I travelled to Liverpool to talk at Laces Out: Liverpool's celebrated sneaker convention. I want to thank Paddy and the crew from Liverpool's original skate store Lost Art. This was a follow up to the Size Sessions DJ mix from last year, which is available on the UNKLE mixcloud. We then decamped to the Merchant for the afterparty where I DJed and got to warm up for my next adventure.

Then last weekend I was at We Out Here festival in Cambridgeshire, where Gilles Peterson and I got to play our long awaited "That's How It Is" revival session. It was great to be reunited with founding members Janine Neye and Ben Wilcox and guests Mr Thing (Scratch Perverts) and Bristol's finest DJ Krust and DJ Die with original stage banners by Mode 2. It was an explosive five hour festival opening session. It was such a joy to play these kinds of records again with Gilles for the first time since Meltdown in 2013, with an incredible crowd at what has to be one of my favourite UK festival DJ experiences in many years. Hopefully we will be doing a club session in the not too distant future.

In between being on the road, I finally finished Rōnin 2 in collaboration with Miink, which I am excited to share more information about in the coming months.

I'm also looking forward to some more Rōnin remixes dropping in the near future.

Elsewhere it has been amazing to see the immersive album experience Beyond the Road, Seoul open to rave reviews. One of the artists appearing in the show is NANA, with whom I recently collaborated on two T-shirt designs. The show is running until the end of November, so go and check it out if you are in that part of the world.

Until next time, stay safe.

With love, James and Studio:UNKLE

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To celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the release of Psyence Fiction this month, there will be an exclusive merch drop this Tuesday at 5PM BST. As Original Headz subscribers, you have exclusive first access. Use the links to add a reminder to your calendar, or click to below receive an email reminder too.

Apple Calendar | Google | Yahoo | Office 365 | Outlook

CLICK FOR A REMINDER

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Following a series of remixes from the recent Rōnin mixtape, UNKLE presents a brand new reworking of 'Sick Lullaby', a track that originally featured on 2017's The Road: Part I. Featuring haunting vocals from Keaton Henson, the track has been morphed into a liquid drum and bass roller courtesy of Polymod. Having had critically acclaimed releases on both Pets Recordings and Last Night On Earth under his Polymod alias, Simon Neale (AKA Shadow Child) delivers a highly atmospheric rework inspired by the early Metalheadz releases, that is aimed squarely at the dancefloor. Out just in time for the bank holiday weekend!

LISTEN HERE

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James Lavelle and Kazuki Kuraishi's second Ar.Mour drop is available now in Japan, featuring designs by Giovanni Estevez. Follow Studio Ar.Mour on Instagram for more info.

FOLLOW STUDIO.ARMOUR

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Marrakesh-based producer Abel Ray delivers a set of brand new remixes for UNKLE. This time, it's the turn of 'Catch Me When I Fall' to receive the remix treatment. A standout track from the recent Rōnin 1 mixtape, 'Catch Me' features North Londoner Callum Finn on vocal duties. Abel Ray gives a hypnotic tribal take on the track, turning it into an epic journey through layers of electronic production. The highly percussion-lead track builds through its eight minutes to an epic crescendo.

LISTEN HERE

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Limited edition screenprinted t-shirts celebrating the opening of the immersive Beyond The Road exhibition at The Hyundai in Seoul, and produced in collaboration with NANA, one of Korea's most prolific graffiti writers. Her tagging forms a central part of the Beyond The Road show. Each tee is limited to an edition of 50 in each colour and features a pack of two stickers.

Please note this is a pre-order. Products are being manufactured currently and are expected to ship from the week commencing 13th September. Orders are not part-shipped so if you wish to order other items, we recommend you place a separate order.

NANA x UNKLE T-SHIRTS

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Listen back to Living In My Headphones, episode XXXVI over on the Soho Radio Mixcloud.

  • La Funk Mob - La Doctoresse
  • Portishead - Strangers
  • Blackalicious - Alphabet Aerobics
  • Shirley Bassey - Light My Fire
  • F.B.I. - Talkin' Bout Love
  • Sault - Bitter Streets
  • Abstract Mindstate - A Wise Tale
  • Tyler The Creator - HOT WIND BLOWS (feat. Lil Wayne)
  • Blackalicious - Swan Lake
  • Sylk 130 - Gettin' Into It
  • Krust - Hegel Dialect (UNKLE Reconstruction)
  • Studio Pressure (Photek) - Fusion
  • SHERELLE - 160 DOWN THE A406
  • UNKLE - Do Yourself Some Good (Diplo Remix)

LIVING IN MY HEADPHONES

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This is the third instalment of Urban Archeology - a feature exclusive to Original Headz, where James shares artefacts and ephemera from both the UNKLE/Mo' Wax archives and his own personal history.

"Celebrating the 23rd anniversary of the release of Psyence Fiction I wanted to share some never before seen footage of the UNKLE Pointman (Futura) characters. These were developed in collaboration with a company called Wonderland, for an animation project to accompany the record. Unfortunately for reasons I can't recall the project didn't actually materialise. I suspect this was due to budgets; at the time animation was super expensive as the technology was still being developed. I did however develop the characters further in collaboration with Channel Four Films for our second album Never Never Land in a short film called Shin Gi Tai, created in Japan.

I recently uncovered a video tape of these test shots of the characters, which I had been searching for, for nearly two decades!

I wanted to share with you an example of what I was trying to create around the record at the time. Unfortunately not all dreams came to fruition but this is a great example of how creative our vision was, some 23 years ago."

Watch On YouTube -

Vol 1, Issue 9 - September 24 2021

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to issue nine of Original Headz.

September has been a relatively quiet month. I took some time out abroad which was great, although I perforated my eardrum on day three; pretty painful, and unfortunately means I will be unable to work on music for a little while.

Meanwhile everybody at Studio:UNKLE has been focused on dealing with the ongoing Rōnin 1 physical stock issues.

The team and I are really grateful for the patience of those of you who have purchased Rōnin 1. The long delays have been frustrating for us too, and your supportive messages sent to us and our supplier 88 Music have meant a lot as we navigate all the holdups and setbacks with a small team this end.

Following on from 88 Music's shipping update on 2 September, we're really pleased to tell you that the test pressings and cassettes have now shipped and are looking great, and the deluxe CDs are currently being packaged.* We are still pushing for more info regarding vinyl and standard CD release dates. Thanks so much for your understanding.

While I spend some time recuperating, I will be working on an audio version of the Beyond The Road exhibition and designing new merchandise for a forthcoming autumn drop.

I hope to be back on my feet soon so I can get back in the studio.

Until next time, lots of love James and Studio:UNKLE

  • Please note that if your order contains any other products (vinyl or standard CDs) which are still subject to delays, then it will ship as soon as all the remaining items are available.

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Last week, the super-limited-edition Psyence Fiction sweatshirt and hoody drop sold out fast. We understand some of you were disappointed to miss out, so we want to be open: our system for first access to sales is a work in progress. Most of the time, first access goes to you, Original Headz subscribers, and we're experimenting with the best ways of letting you know.

We don't want to bombard you with emails, so sometimes we give you an advance heads up on social channels, then share the sale link via email. Sometimes we'll announce the whole thing via social channels. Other times, we send you calendar links so you can have advance notice with all the details to hand. We're looking into enabling push notifications for those of you that want them.

We'd love to hear what you think - how would you prefer to hear about limited merchandise drops and other time-sensitive news? Hit reply and let us know what would work for you.

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Coming next week, Friday 8 October at 5pm BST: Arkhive Sale no. 3!

It's your last chance to pick up t-shirts from Studio:UNKLE's 2020 merch drops. These are the last remaining sizes from James's personal collection, discounted and with exclusive first access to Original Headz subscribers. If you missed out on a design last year - this could be your best chance to pick one up! Please note that some designs have limited sizes available, so be quick.

This sale includes the last remaining Psyence Fiction Kickstarter backer consolation packages, including cassettes, t-shirts, and 7" vinyl: there are only a few of these and this is your only chance to purchase them.

Original Headz subscribers get first access at 5pm BST on Friday 8 October - click below to save to your calendar, and we'll send an email reminder on the day.

Apple Calendar | Google | Yahoo | Office 365 | Outlook

ARKHIVE SALE - 5PM BST ON 8 OCT

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Announcing a giveaway for the collectors!

The immersive album experience Beyond The Road is currently running at The Hyundai in Seoul, South Korea. We have a small amount of Beyond the Road gallery merchandise, so we're running a giveaway on Instagram.

We have four bundles to give away, each containing two magnets, a notebook, a mirror, two A3 digital prints and two small and two large postcards plus a 15% discount code to be used on your next merchandise purchase from the UNKLE store.

Here's how to enter:

  • Make sure you're following @unkleofficial on Instagram.
  • During the month of October, post a photo of yourself to your grid wearing your favourite UNKLE clothing or holding your favourite UNKLE accessory or record.
  • Tag our account @unkleofficial in the image, and use this hashtag in your caption: #studiounkle. Remember we'll only be able to see your image if your account is public.
  • By entering, you are giving your consent to us reposting your image to Instagram and/or to the Original Headz newsletter.
  • We'll announce the winners on our grid and in our stories on 4 November and DM the winners around that time to collect info to post and email out the prizes.
  • Please be aware of and ignore and report scam accounts and do not give them your personal info. Please note this competition is not linked to Instagram in any way.

UNKLE INSTAGRAM

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We're proud to announce our first NFT, Brave New World, in collaboration with multi-disciplinary artists Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones and the Evening Standard's ES Magazine.

This landmark project is the first ever moving NFT piece of art produced by a fashion magazine. It features the LGBTQ+ campaigner, poet and fashion model, Kai-Isaiah Jamal. The piece was launched at London Fashion Week and the NFT is currently on display at the Annka Kultys Gallery. The three-dimensional audio-visual artwork runs on a 40-second loop and features Jamal reciting one of their poems. The project aims to raise up BIPOC non-binary voices across the music, art, and fashion industries. A still from the shoot formed the front cover shot for the ES Magazine's biannual fashion edition, published on 16 September.

The auction of Brave New World by Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones is in association with Phillips, and will be hosted by Foundation today Friday 24 September from 6pm. Bidding will be open for 24 hours, with proceeds from the sale to be donated to The Felix Project, a charity fighting hunger across London by rescuing surplus food from suppliers and redistributing it to local charities, schools and foodbanks.

Artwork by Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, with music by UNKLE featuring Kai-Isaiah Jamal⁣. Special thanks to Steven Weston (Co-producer) and Chris Allen (Mix Engineer)

VIEW FOUNDATION

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Check out the full version of the mix of UNKLE x Off White (R.O.W - 1) for Virgil Abloh's FW21 show 'Laboratory of Fun' in Paris. This special Rōnin Off-White turntablist mix was compiled and mixed by James Lavelle, featuring music by UNKLE, scratching by Nonames, and additional production and editing by Steven Weston. Available to stream now on Soundcloud.

STREAM ON SOUNDCLOUD

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Future Utopia's 'Nature or Nurture? / Am I Built Like This (UNKLE Reconstruction)' was released on 8 September. The remix was Mary Anne Hobbs's Future First play on BBC 6 Music, and you can listen back here.

James noted, "I was interested in doing this remix because I've heard a lot of good things about Fraser T Smith. I like a lot of his work and was excited by the project with its interesting collaborations and great remixes.

The original track was more of a hip-hop track with Jelani Blackman and Ghetts on vocals. The week I was working on this remix, I was getting ready to play my first show of the UNKLE Rōnin 1 mixtape and I was in more of a club headspace. I wanted to strip the original back and do something which was a bit more for the dancefloor, sort of deeper which hopefully takes you on a bit of a journey. There was this interesting gospel sample in the track which I used as the centrepiece of the track and built my remix around that."

LISTEN HERE

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Listen back to Living In My Headphones, episode XXXVII over on the Soho Radio Mixcloud.

  • Lee 'Scratch' Perry - Woman Dub
  • Lee 'Scratch' Perry - Disco Devil
  • Biz Markie - Nobody Beats The Biz
  • Biz Markie - Benny And The Jets
  • Neşe Karaböcek - Yali Yali (Todd Terje Edit)
  • Low - More
  • Sylvan Esso - Make It Easy
  • Abstract Mindstate - I Know You
  • VANO 3000 - Settle The Score
  • Jungle - Can't Stop The Stars
  • Loose Ends - Forever More
  • Lady Blackbird - It'll Never Happen Again
  • Cleo Sol - Sunshine
  • UNKLE - Sick Lullaby (Polymod Remix)
  • Bruise - Theme (Future Beat Alliance Remix)
  • Keinemusik - Confusion (Feat. Ali Love)
  • Sofia Kortesis – La Perla (Tourist Remix)
  • UNKLE - Catch Me When I Fall (Abel Ray Remix)
  • Caribou - You Can Do It
  • Bruise - Joy

LIVING IN MY HEADPHONES

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Instalment four of Urban Archeology - a feature exclusive to Original Headz, where James shares artefacts and ephemera from both the UNKLE/Mo' Wax archives and his own personal history.

"I've been getting a really positive reaction to the That's How It Is Spotify playlist posted recently, following the fantastic reunion session held at We Out Here Festival.

In the last couple of days I've been copying some old VHS cassettes and unearthed a promo video edit from 1998 for That's How It Is.

I can't recall what we made it for, but it's a great montage of original footage of the club night including myself, Gilles Peterson, Ben Wilcox, Janine Neye, Swifty, In The Studio, and Mode 2 painting original banners, featuring an amazing collage of photography by Peter Williams. Not something I have seen in nearly 23 years - and it brought back so many great memories.

Hopefully I'll be doing another club session at some point in the future.

Check out the regularly updated playlist on Spotify featuring tracks played at the seminal Monday night club session held weekly at Bar Rumba.

Watch On YouTube

Vol 1, Issue 10 - October 29 2021

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to issue ten of Original Headz.

I've spent this month pretty quietly, healing my perforated ear drums which fortunately now seem to have recovered.

I am getting back into the swing of things and looking forward to mastering Rōnin II.

There are two new remixes of 'If We Don't Make It' coming In November that I am really excited about. One from a hero of mine: DJ Nature (formerly DJ Milo of The Wild Bunch) and another from the amazing Melbourne based Prequel, whose album was one of my favourites this year. More information to follow!

We have a Halloween drop coming later today, and then another one following later in November, which will be the final merch drop of 2021.

I'm working on some other exciting projects which I hope to update you on soon, and I am clearing some headspace to start working on new music.

Until next time, stay safe.

James and Studio:UNKLE

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We're down to the last few days to enter the Beyond the Road competition. Get your entries in by Sunday 31st October at 11.59pm to be in with a chance of winning.

The immersive album experience Beyond The Road is currently running at The Hyundai in Seoul, South Korea. We have a small amount of Beyond the Road Gallery merchandise so thought we'd do an Instagram competition.

We have 4 bundles to give away. Each bundle contains 2 magnets, 1 notebook, 1 mirror, 2 A3 digital prints and 2 small and 2 large postcards, plus a 15% discount code to be used on a merchandise purchase from the UNKLE store.

To enter:

  1. Make sure you're following @unkleofficial on Instagram.
  2. During the month of October, post a photo of yourself to your grid wearing your favourite UNKLE clothing or holding your favourite UNKLE accessory or record.
  3. Tag our account @unkleofficial in the image, and use this hashtag in your caption: #studiounkle. Remember we'll only be able to see your image if your account is public.
  4. By entering, you are giving your consent to us reposting your image to Instagram and/or to the Original Headz newsletter.
  5. We'll announce the winners on our grid and in our stories on 4 November and DM the winners around that time to collect info to post and email out the prizes.
  6. Please be aware of and ignore and report scam accounts and do not give them your personal info. Please note this competition is not linked to Instagram in any way.

UNKLE INSTAGRAM

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As promised this week on social media, the penultimate drop of 2021 goes live today, Friday 29th October, at 5pm BST here. As Original Headz subscribers, you have first access to this collection.

MERCH DROP - 5PM BST TODAY

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James returns live to the Soho Radio studio for another episode of Living In My Headphones next Thursday 4th November.

You can listen live here on the 4th from 6pm to 8pm.

After it airs you'll be able to listen back to the latest episode over on the UNKLE Mixcloud.

LISTEN LIVE - 4 NOV 6PM GMT

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Instalment five of Urban Archeology - a feature exclusive to Original Headz, where James shares artefacts and ephemera from both the UNKLE/Mo' Wax archives and his own personal history.

"I've unearthed more VHS tapes from my personal archive. This one shows some interesting footage of a promo video made for the first Mo' Wax Urban Archeology exhibition. This was a two-part event held as part of Popkomm, a music industry event held in August 1997.

Part one was Mo' Wax Recordings live and Part 2 was A Visual Review of Mo' Wax Recordings 92-97'. We held the exhibition at Galerie Schuppenhauer Bismarckstr 70, 53225, Cologne.

The exhibition was designed by Ben Drury, Andy Holmes and me, with an assortment of Mo' Wax imagery from artwork to covers to graphics presented on cubes in the gallery.

Downstairs was a short animation piece for the seminal New York, Post-Punk band Liquid Liquid who were reissued on Mo' Wax.

The gig featured live acts and DJs Andrea Parker, Attica Blues, James Lavelle, Peshay, Psychonauts, and DJ Shadow.

I remember it being a hilarious trip. Good times on the tour bus, driving from the UK to Germany. I believe it was the first time Peshay and DJ Shadow met; such a mad and eclectic mix of talented people all coming together and connecting from drum and bass and hip hop to techno and street soul. It was exciting.

For the exhibition, we produced a set of around 20 poster prints and postcards. The video features appearances by myself (aged 22 rocking a dyed mohawk!), DJ Shadow and Futura 2000.

Urban Archeology - exhibition promo video from 1997 (Watch On YouTube)

Vol 1, Issue 11 - November 26 2021

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to issue eleven of Original Headz. We have a lot to share with you this month.

Throughout November I have been working on a new exhibition in Beijing, which opens in December. The exhibition is based around the history of streetwear from its inception in the early 80s to its current place in popular culture.

I've been collaborating with one of my oldest friends, original streetwear OG and connoisseur Fraser Cook (Nike, Mo' Wax) curating music, archive pieces and my own space.

We're now getting the creative wheels in motion for Rōnin II which I am very excited about. I'll keep you posted as the story unfolds.

Pleased to announce that Beyond The Road Seoul has been extended for another month into January due to popular demand. We've had more than 45,000 visitors - which is extraordinary given the circumstances - with Seoul being in a partial lockdown for most of the exhibition period. I am very grateful to all the team involved in putting this together and running the show in South Korea, and I've been so pleased to hear the overwhelming positive response to the exhibition. I am investigating releasing the audio of the show so watch this space.

There have been great DJ reactions to the latest remix of 'If We Don’t Make It' by DJ Nature, and we're looking forward to sharing the forthcoming Prequel remix with you, coming on December 8.

Looking forward to playing tonight at Spiritland in London and I'm really excited to be playing with DJ Food after all of these years. Always great to be back at the Southbank. Hopefully see some of you there.

Finally, we're so pleased to see that the Rōnin vinyl has started shipping and to see such a positive reaction to the finished products. It has been a long road to get this one out - thank you for bearing with us.

Until next month, take care and lots of love,

James and Studio:UNKLE

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James will DJ at a one-off party tonight at Spiritland Royal Festival Hall, London, alongside DJ Food.

There are only 250 tickets to this unique double bill. Join us for this one-off night of beat-heavy musical travels on the Southbank. Tickets available here.

SPIRITLAND TONIGHT - TICKETS

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Thank you for all of your entries to the Beyond the Road - Seoul competition. We loved seeing your UNKLE merch in the wild! We announced the four winners on Instagram at the start of the month, and in case you missed it here they are: congratulations to Mark, Joe, Tim and Robert.

We'll be sharing more of the entries over time as there were so many good ones.

Keep tagging @unkleofficial and #studiounkle in your UNKLE-related posts as we love to see them - and we'll pick a winner to receive a 15% merchandise discount each month.

UNKLE INSTAGRAM

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UNKLE return with the next batch of remixes from Rōnin I. This time two heavyweight producers give their spin on the BBC Radio 6Music A-Listed single 'If We Don't Make It'.

First up, underground House legend DJ Nature (AKA DJ Milo of The Wild Bunch) ramps up the disco elements, taking the track into dark chuggy territory. Listen now.

Rhythm Section regular Prequel strips the track back to its percussive elements, creating a nine minute beat-heavy dub of the track, reprising the strings and vocals at the crucial moments. Out December 7.

LISTEN HERE

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We're not quite sure how we're here already, but the final merch drop for 2021 will go on pre-sale Tuesday November 30 at 5PM GMT. As Original Headz subscribers, you once again have exclusive first access. Use the links below to add a reminder to your calendar, and we'll also send a reminder on the day:

Apple Calendar | Google | Yahoo | Outlook

As well as designs featuring classic UNKLE logos and imagery across T-Shirts, Hoodies, and Sweats, this pre-order will also include a special T-Shirt supporting Crisis. Crisis is the national charity helping people directly out of homelessness and campaigning for the changes needed to solve it altogether.

Each year the charity runs the Crisis at Christmas campaign providing warm meals, shelter, support and companionship at Christmas to those experiencing homelessness. The impact of this annual campaign lasts long after Christmas; guests are introduced to Crisis’ year-round training, education and support to leave homelessness behind for good. All profits from the sales of the Crisis Ts will go towards supporting the charity’s vital work.

The collection will be available here on Tuesday November 30 at 5PM GMT.

Please note that this is a pre-order. Items are in production and are expected to ship in the week beginning January 17.

FINAL 2021 MERCH DROP - NOV 30 - 5PM GMT

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Starting this weekend, we'll be uploading a weekly mix from the archives to Mixcloud, to help us through the dark northern hemisphere winter months. First up, keep an eye out for Where the Wild Things Are, from 2002.

MIXCLOUD

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Listen back to Episode XXXVIII of Living In My Headphones now, over on the UNKLE Mixcloud.

  • The Doors - Riders On The Storm
  • Redbone - The Witch Queen Of New Orleans
  • The Turtles - I'm Chief Kamanawanalea
  • Dexter Wansel - Life On Mars (Mike Maurro Remix)
  • Dj Format - Brainstorm
  • Gabriels - Blame
  • Souls of Mischief - 93 'til Infinity
  • Damu the Fudgemunk - Four Better or Worse (Pt.4)
  • Black Box Recorder - Uptown Top Ranking
  • BADBADNOTGOOD - Beside April Ka - PWH
  • DJ Earl - BAAAAAA
  • Bonobo - Rosewood
  • Future Utopia - Nature or Nurture (UNKLE reconstruction)
  • Joy Orbison - Better (w/ léa sen)
  • Myd - Whether the Weather (feat. Juan Wauters) [Laurent Garnier Remix]
  • Disclosure - In My Arms
  • Sofia Kourtesis - Juntos (Laurence Guy Remix)
  • Sherelle - Jungle Teknah
  • Caribou - You Can Do It
  • Kalipo - Toni

LIVING IN MY HEADPHONES

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Instalment six of Urban Archeology - a feature exclusive to Original Headz, where James shares artefacts and ephemera from both the UNKLE/Mo' Wax archives and his own personal history.

"This month I want to share a collaboration I designed with Converse to celebrate the 21st anniversary of Mo' Wax.

We made 30 pairs of a special "friends and family" edition of a Converse Jack Purcell sneaker. They were released in conjunction with the Urban Archeology Mo’ Wax Rizzoli book and exhibition at Meltdown held at London’s Southbank. We made 25 low-tops and 5 high-tops.

The soles of the trainers joined up to create a Mo' Wax logo and the inner soles were printed in MWA camo. The onglets on the laces said Mo' Wax and the toe caps were embossed with the words Build and Destroy. The low-tops came in white with MWA camo embossing and the high-tops were in a blue faux stingray scale.

Each pair came in a limited edition gold, black and white MWA camo print box. We really tried to push the details and technology at the time to create a high end product. We looked into releasing these but sadly it wasn't commercially viable at the time as these details were expensive!

It was a great opportunity to collaborate with one of my favourite sneaker brands and styles of shoe. As the 30 year anniversary approaches we hope to share more new and interesting collaborations."

Vol 1, Issue 12 - December 31 2021

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to the last issue of the year.

It's been a roller-coaster ride for us, as I am sure it has for everyone, trying to navigate these unique and strange times. Reflecting on the past year though, I realise how much we have done despite on and off lockdowns.

There have been some great highlights: being able to release Rōnin I, the reaction to the record, all of the support we have had from our amazing remixers: everyone from Diplo to DJ Nature. We're so grateful to have this support from all the talented and amazing artists who have been part of the journey.

I've played some fantastic gigs. It was an honour and a privilege to play Coventry City of Culture as curated by Terry Hall. DJing for Spiritland at Royal Festival Hall in November was great fun, and a highlight for me was finally doing a That's How It Is session with Gilles Peterson and crew at We Out Here festival.

Seeing the success of the South Korean edition of Beyond the Road has been humbling. Being able to prepare and launch an exhibition of that scale during a global pandemic was no mean feat and I'm really proud of the team and what we've achieved. Also in the art and exhibitions world, I supported Teenage Cancer Trust with their One of a Kind art auction and exhibition, collaborated on a charity NFT project with long term collaborators Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, and performance poet, trans-visibility campaigner and model Kai-Isaiah Jamal. I've ended the year working with my dear friend, Fraser Cooke on the history of streetwear exhibition: Style In Revolt exhibition in Beijing.

Unfortunately there has also been a lot of sadness and loss within the creative community including close friends and collaborators Steve Strange (X-Ray agency), Justin Cosby (Inertia), Lee Scratch Perry, Claudio Coccoluto, The Gift of Gab, Phil Asher and Virgil Abloh, for whom I was humbled to work on his final show for Off White. All of these people have been huge influences on my creative journey.

Elsewhere musically I produced DJ mixes for Cross Town Rebels, Off White, Goodhood and Maryanne Hobbs to great reaction on social media. We remixed other artists including Texas vs Wu Tang, DJ Krust, Future Utopia, Japanese Television; and Leila Moss and I are currently working on parts of the score for a video game soundtrack - more news on that to follow in 2022.

I feel even more optimistic about the next year, and excited about what is coming up. My team and I are working hard on lots of great new and retrospective projects; it is a time of celebration for Studio:UNKLE and Mo' Wax.

I want to thank my incredible team for all of their support and hard work. It has been a difficult year managing all of the hurdles presented by Covid, Brexit, impacting on supply and demand amid an ever-changing landscape. I know it has been frustrating for you to wait for products - please know that I am very grateful for your support and patience. We will continue to work on ironing out the inefficiencies and striving to make the best possible music and most beautiful products. I have invested a lot of time in the last year looking at better ways of producing vinyl and merchandise both operationally and in terms of quality.

Whilst we are a boutique business doing everything ourselves and often punching well above our weight, we always strive for the best possible results and shoot for the moon. With your support we can keep on creating; there is so much more we are trying to do and bring into the world.

Which brings me to the most important thank-you of all: I want to take this opportunity to thank every one of you. Without you we could not do any of this. Every penny you spend with us goes back into building the independent creative community that is UNKLE. Your support means that throughout this challenging time we have been able to continue to create.

I wish you a happy holiday season and look forward to a brighter 2022.

Until next month, take care and lots of love, James and team UNKLE. X

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You should all have received your Rōnin I products by now, or they should be on their way to you. Thank you so much for your patience whilst we have navigated the tricky situation with vinyl manufacturing. We were delighted to see the finished products and were pleased with how they have turned out.

Keep tagging @unkleofficial and #studiounkle in your UNKLE-related merch and record posts as we love to see them - and we'll pick a winner to receive a 15% merchandise discount each month from our Sandbag store.

UNKLE INSTAGRAM

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A few months ago we were contacted by our US merch store (which had not had any love from us for a very long time) to say that they had uncovered a batch of unsold stock all from the Surrender All era of UNKLE. We have decided to run another ARKHIVE Sale but this time directly out of the old US store.

The sale will go live on Friday January 7 at 5pm GMT - find the time in your timezone here - until then the store will be empty. The sale will include many items at newly discounted prices, including vinyl, pin badges, posters, T-shirts and CDs. The store ships worldwide to most locations; and this is a great opportunity for our friends in the USA and surrounding areas to take advantage of US shipping.

As Original Headz subscribers, you get exclusive first access. Use the links below to add a reminder to your calendar, and we'll also send a quick reminder on the day:

Apple Calendar | Google | Yahoo | Outlook

USA MERCH SALE

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Delighted to announce the opening of Style In Revolt – the first exhibition of its kind in China, at T-10, that looks at the story of street culture narrated through the lens of its most influential figures. As much a mindset as it is a fashion archetype, this exhibition tells the story of how streetwear began in various pockets of youth culture and their moments of revolt. From New York to Harajuku, punk to hip-hop, the exhibition traces the origins and influences of streetwear and street culture, providing an in-depth exploration of the cross-pollination of fashion, music, art and design from graffiti, skate culture and streetwear's influence on contemporary culture today.

Curated by Fraser Cooke, with James Lavelle serving as curatorial consultant and musical director. Style in Revolt is open from December 17 – March 20 2022 at T-10, SKP-S Beijing.

STYLE IN REVOLT

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James Lavelle's 2001 Fabriclive mix, the first and best-selling release in the legendary series, is available to stream now for the first time, exclusively via Apple Music.

FABRICLIVE.01 MIX -

James was asked to compile a mix for the 100th instalment of Goodhood's Good Vibes series. It's a classic club set featuring some of James' favourite tracks. A beautiful and uplifting crate digging selection of progressive rock, French pop, funk and old school rhythm & blues to get you dancing into 2022.

GOODHOOD MIX

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In case you missed it, listen back now to the remixes of UNKLE's 'If We Don't Make It' from underground House legend DJ Nature (AKA DJ Milo of The Wild Bunch) and Rhythm Section regular Prequel.

DJ Nature remixes If We Don't Make It

Prequel remixes If We Don't Make It

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At the time of writing there were still some items left from our recent end of 2021 pre-order drop.

As well as designs featuring classic UNKLE logos and imagery across T-Shirts, Hoodies, Sweats and Socks, the pre-order includes a special T-Shirt supporting the charity Crisis. Crisis is the national charity for homeless people. They help people directly out of homelessness and campaign for the changes needed to solve it altogether.

All profits from the sales of the Crisis tees will go towards supporting the charity's vital work.

FINAL MERCH DROP

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Since you last heard from us we have been uploading weekly mixes from the vaults to keep you going through the dark northern hemisphere winter months.

Check them out on Mixcloud.

UNKLE MIXCLOUD

James Lavelle sat down with Colleen Cosmo Murphy earlier this month for Classic Album Sundays to discuss DJ Shadow’s seminal debut album Endtroducing. Listen back to the show over on the Worldwide FM Mixcloud.

DJ SHADOW - WORLDWIDE FM -

Urban Archeology

Instalment seven of Urban Archeology - a feature exclusive to Original Headz, where James shares artefacts and ephemera from both the UNKLE/Mo' Wax archives and his own personal history.

"I've discovered this VHS containing great footage shot around 1995. This was a promotional documentary we made for Mo' Wax Japan. The video includes an interview of me that MTV shot in my office at the Mo' Wax building on Caledonian Road in London, Nigo and me in the basement at the Major Force West recording studio, DJ Shadow in his home town of Davis, California, Nigo in Japan, an interview with Andrea Parker, a selection of videos including Attica Blues, and DJ Shadow and me record shopping and DJing in Tokyo (probably at Club Yellow).

This was a really exciting time - the label had just done a deal with A&M Records, and it felt like a cultural moment was happening around us. These moments are some of my favourite memories of Mo' Wax, all these global artists and musicians coming together. It is pretty mad to think that in 2022 it will be 30 years since I started the label."

Mo' Wax Japan promo video from 1995

Vol 2, Issue 1 - January 28 2022

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to the first issue of 2022.

I hope you're having a great start to the new year.

I was pleased to release Steven Weston's remix earlier this month which has been really well received - check it out below if you haven't already .

I'm really excited about what is forthcoming in 2022. We're getting ready to release Rōnin II. There are numerous new and retrospective releases planned over the course of the year, and we'll be celebrating 30 years of UNKLE and Mo' Wax later this year. As you can imagine we have a lot of interesting projects connected to this which we're looking forward to sharing with you as the year progresses.

We also have DJ dates, remixes and releases in the pipeline which we'll share more information about shortly.

I am currently away in Cape Town taking a break so this month feels like the calm before the storm!

Until next month, take care and lots of love James and team UNKLE. X

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To celebrate the end of the longest month, we thought we'd treat you to 20% off everything merch related from pre-December 2021 (including SALE items) at our Sandbag store. This offer is exclusive to Original Headz subscribers and live for one week only. Please note this code can't be used in conjunction with any other discount codes. To see what products are included head here now and use code HeadzJan20 at the checkout, valid until 5pm GMT on Friday 4 February 2022, while stocks last. The discount will automatically be applied when you use the link provided.

20% OFF MERCHANDISE

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Steven reworks 'Catch Me When I Fall', the final single from last year's Rōnin I mixtape in his signature melodic techno sound. This follows on from a busy year for Steven, with releases on both Blank Dust as well as Hooj Tunes (with a remix of 'Cafe Del Mar') and a forthcoming track on Sasha's Last Night On Earth label. Having garnered early support from John Digweed last year, the remix can now be found on streaming and download platforms.

LISTEN & DOWNLOAD

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Style In Revolt, the first exhibition of its kind in China, continues to run at T-10 in Beijing. The exhibition looks at the story of street culture narrated through the lens of its most influential figures. As much a mindset as it is a fashion archetype, it tells the story of how streetwear began in various pockets of youth culture and their momets of revolt. From New York to Harajuku, punk to hip-hop, the exhibition traces the origins and influences of streetwear and street culture, providing an in-depth exploration of the cross-pollination of fashion, music, art and design from graffiti, skate culture and streetwear's influence on contemporary culture today.

Curated by Fraser Cooke, with James Lavelle serving as curatorial consultant and musical director whilst also supplying items from his own vast collection, Style in Revolt is open until 20 March 2022 at T-10, SKP-S Beijing.

STYLE IN REVOLT

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The UNKLE Mixcloud continues to be updated weekly, with newly uploaded archive mixes and rare live sets.

UNKLE MIXCLOUD

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Instalment eight of Urban Archeology - a feature exclusive to Original Headz, where James shares artefacts and ephemera from both the UNKLE/Mo' Wax archives and his own personal history.

"This month I've found yet more interesting video footage from the archives - this time taken from a DJ session in Tokyo.

This took place at the club Yellow with MC Takagi Kan: original Major Force crew, who was rapping through a vocoder throughout the night on a Beastie Boys 'Intergalactic' tip.

The party was shortly after the Psyence Fiction release in the UK so it may have been part of an album release launch. I was travelling to Japan regularly in those days DJing and running Mo’ Wax Japan. What I love about the footage is how raw it is in the club and how it conveys the atmosphere. This was a great time to play in Japan, audiences were really finding themselves and there was an amazing energy.

The track selection was a classic set of records from the time including Mo’ Wax records, classic Hip Hop, Major Force, Beastie Boys and it ends with an explosive moment: Nirvana’s 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'.

You can listen to a recently uncovered DAT recording of the set over on the UNKLE Mixcloud now."

Watch James Lavelle & Takagi Kan at Yellow, Tokyo (22/09/98) on YouTube

Vol 2, Issue 2 - February 25 2022

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to issue two. This month I've been back in the studio working on brand new material - a great start to 2022. We'll keep you posted here with updates.

We've been spending a lot of time preparing for the upcoming Rōnin II release. We've just mastered the record at Metropolis with the brilliant Matt Colton. Pleased to say it is sounding fantastic and we're just now finalising the artwork.

We've also been working with All Purpose Studio on the second phase of the new website, which we're excited to launch soon. We're trying to do something interesting with the design, and there will be lots of great archival content.

Another big focus recently has been working on new Studio:UNKLE designs and production. Our first new drop of 2022 launches today - after lots of research we've found some excellent blank stock. We're constantly trying to up the production game, sourcing heavyweight, premium tees, hoodies and sweat tops more in keeping with streetwear.

We'll continue to drop new lines each month throughout the year including anniversary drops, unique Japanese produced items and collaborations. You'll be first to hear so keep an eye on your inbox - we're including some info on safelisting our newsletters at the bottom of this email, in the orange box.

This week, we learned of the tragic passing of our long term collaborator Mark Lanegan, and have dedicated this month's Urban Archeology to him. Check it out below.

Until next month, take care and lots of love James and team UNKLE. X

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You heard it here first - our number one drop of 2022 is now live - T-Shirts, Hoodies and Sweatshirts featuring variations on the Mo’ Wax logo, using a variety of puff and standard inks, and each item is limited to 50.

We worked hard to source the best possible quality blank items for this drop and we’re really pleased with the end result. Head to the store to see photos of the finished stock. Items will begin to ship next week.

MO' WAX MERCH DROP

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This is your last chance to purchase Arkhive stock from our USA merch store before all items come down on Tuesday 1 March at 4:59am GMT (check your timezone here).

Click below to head to the store and to grab any items you have your eye on before they are gone.

LAST CHANCE - USA ARKHIVE SALE

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Throughout February, we've continued to update the UNKLE Mixcloud page with newly uploaded archive mixes and rare live sets. We'll be taking a break from uploading further archival mixes until later in the year.

UNKLE MIXCLOUD

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Instalment nine of Urban Archeology - a feature exclusive to Original Headz, where James shares artefacts and ephemera from both the UNKLE/Mo' Wax archives and his own personal history.

"I'm really sad to hear of the tragic passing of Mark Lanegan. It took a minute for the news to sink in, and so it is with a heavy heart that I write this.

Mark, through all of the ups and downs, was a titan of rock and roll, living life to the max. He was armed with one of the most unique voices in music and was one of the greatest lyricists and poets of a generation. His beautiful and tortured songs are truly masterful and will resonate as some of the best ever written.

I was lucky enough to have worked with Mark on the last three UNKLE records. Always a major fixture on the journey; his presence and contribution was so important and were highlights of those records for me. I am so proud of the work we did together.

A particular highlight was Mark’s involvement with Meltdown in 2014. He owned the week performing with me on the opening night, in his own show during the first weekend, and then with Josh Homme and Troy Van Leeuwen midweek, where they performed, amongst other tracks, the most beautiful acoustic version of 'One Hundred Days'.

The crowd went wild when he came on to sing: there was so much love for him. The room sat in awe hearing one of the most distinct voices of all time perform one of the greatest and most beautiful, fragile and haunting songs. It was such an incredible week, he really helped make Meltdown and I remember him being really happy; it was a wonderful time spent together.

I have included some videos I recorded of this time at Meltdown. 'One Hundred Days' during Josh Homme's performance, footage of Mark rehearsing UNKLE's 'Another Night Out' with the London Contemporary Orchestra (LCO) which was performed later on opening night, and a rehearsal recording of Mark, Josh and Troy playing 'Hanging Tree'.

I will miss Mark dearly but his art and legacy will live on forever as a truly remarkable body of work. I hope you enjoy these intimate memories from our time together during Meltdown 2014."

Mark Lanegan at James Lavelle's Meltdown, 2014 (YouTube)

Vol 2, Issue 3 - April 1 2022

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to issue 3 for 2022.

If you follow us on social media, you might be aware that the last month or so has been extremely difficult on a personal level, following the tragic death of my brother Henry Lavelle at the end of February. Since then I have largely been out of action as my family and I process this terrible news.

I want to talk more about some of the incredible projects Henry worked on and honour his memory at a later date; now isn't the right time.

One positive bit of news from earlier on in February: I spent some time in the studio working on new material. Here are some photos from the sessions:

You'll hear more about this project in the coming year.

Until next month, take care and lots of love James and team UNKLE. X

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The Rōnin I instrumentals were released digitally on Wednesday 30 March, and are available now on all the usual platforms. The release includes instrumental versions of the BBC 6 Music A listed singles 'If We Don't Make It' and 'Do Yourself Some Good'.

Watch the trailer here featuring artwork by Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton-Jones edited by Euan McGrath, and click below to listen and download.

RŌNIN I INSTRUMENTALS

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Watching the news of the war in Ukraine has made me think of all those experiencing the pain of loss of loved ones, as well as all those displaced by the conflict, those sheltering and those fighting for Ukraine's freedom.

It is easy to feel helpless watching these terrible atrocities from afar and I wanted to do something, so we recently launched a brand new t-shirt with all profits going to support the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) in their work with Ukrainian refugees. The pre-order window for these t-shirts closes this Monday at 5pm BST.

The Disasters Emergency Committee is a joint partnership between various aid charities and their local partners working in Ukraine and the neighbouring countries to provide food, water, shelter and assistance to all those involved in this humanitarian crisis. To find out more and to donate please visit dec.org.uk.

I want to wish solidarity with our fans and everyone affected. I took this photo when we last played in Kyiv in 2019, one of many times we have played in this beautiful country and one of our last gigs before the pandemic hit. I couldn't imagine then what was around the corner.

To all the people of Ukraine please know our hearts are with you. Wishing you love, support, solidarity and resilience.

LAST CHANCE - UKRAINE T-SHIRTS

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There are still a handful of items left from our last merch drop featuring variations on the Mo' Wax logo, using a variety of puff and standard inks. Each item is limited to 50.

We worked hard to source the best possible quality blank items for this drop and we're really pleased with the end result. Head to the store to see photos of the finished stock and to secure yours.

LAST CHANCE - MO' WAX DROP

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We're excited to share that James Lavelle is a part of THE SHINING: A Visual and Cultural Haunting with Rough Trade Books.

This is an immersive, multi-dimensional examination of one of the most infamous films in cinematic history. This loose-leafed and beautifully boxed book - disguised as the 'writing project' Jack is typing throughout the course of the film - explores the film's cultural legacy through exclusive essays, original recollections, contributions from cultural luminaries, and art and visual ephemera. Find out more and pre-order here.

THE SHINING: A VISUAL AND CULTURAL HAUNTING

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Instalment ten of Urban Archeology - a feature exclusive to Original Headz, where James shares artefacts and ephemera from both the UNKLE/Mo' Wax archives and his own personal history.

"This video is another from the archives; it's a promotional video created from the launch of the Futura show in Paris. The event took place on 10 Sep 2001 at Colette: 213 rue Saint-Honoré 75001 Paris, France.

At that time Colette was a pioneer: a concept store mixing art, music and fashion, and curating collaborations with artists and brands like myself, Futura, Nike, Bathing Ape, Ed Bangers and Medicom amongst many others. It was a cultural centre in Paris until it closed in 2017.

Colette supported many art shows, this being one of them. I worked with them on several events over the years.

DJing at the party was Nigo (A Bathing Ape), George Issakidis (The Republic of Desire), Uncle O and me. For this gig I was listed as Lavelle77 (UNKLE) on the poster.

I remember it was a fun and late night; there was a lot of stuff going on in Paris and I was staying at the amazing Hotel Costes. The most poignant memory however, was waking up to the tragic events unfolding in New York on September 11. I was staying with a predominately American crew including Futura and Stash, which really made it hit home all the more. They ended up getting stuck in Paris for a while as the whole world froze and began to come to terms with what had just happened.

One of those mad memories from life on the road."

Futura at Colette, September 2001 (YouTube video)

Vol 2, Issue 4 - April 29 2022

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to issue 4.

I am finally starting to get my feet back on the ground and back into work following the events of the last few months. We've got a lot planned for this year, but everything has been delayed due to the circumstances, so thanks for bearing with us. We'll also be announcing the never ending Rōnin II soon! This very much feels like the calm before the storm.

Meanwhile, we've been working on new merchandise designs, the first of which launches today. We have decided to run this one as a time limited pre-order, like we did with the Ukraine fundraiser, so that everyone has a chance to order their preferred size. This is something many of you have asked for. As with all our designs, they are limited and unique to this drop.

Thanks to everyone who purchased our recent Ukraine Charity T-Shirts in aid of the Disasters Emergency Committee's work with Ukrainian refugees. T-shirts are being manufactured and should ship from the UK in early May. We are still waiting on final figures but we believe we raised in excess of £4000 profit to donate to the appeal, so we wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who purchased.

In other news, I'm looking forward to returning to Soho Radio for my Living In My Headphones show after a six-month hiatus, so tune in on 11 May at 6pm BST.

Until next time, take care and lots of love, James and team UNKLE. X

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Today's drop features brand new designs! These are hand screen-printed limited edition heavyweight cotton t-shirts, printed with a mixture of puff and regular inks.

One design features a StudioUNKLE! Punk Script logo on the front with a StudioUNKLE Punk Pill logo on the back, and the other has an UNKLE U asterisk logo on the front with a large StudioUNKLE! Punk Script logo on the back. Available in black on black and black on white.

Printed on unisex relaxed fit T-shirts made with 100% Combed Heavyweight Ringspun Cotton (White: 220 g/m²) and double needle hems for a premium look and feel.

Like our last drop, rather than limiting numbers, we're limiting the order window, which will remain open for two weeks starting Friday 29 April at 5pm BST, closing on Monday 16 May at 5pm BST.

Once the pre-order window closes on 16 May, items will go into production, and are expected to ship from around 16 June onwards.

StudioUNKLE PUNK DROP

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ICYMI: the Rōnin I instrumentals were released digitally on Wednesday 30 March, and are available now on all the usual platforms. The release includes instrumental versions of the BBC 6 Music A-listed singles 'If We Don't Make It' and 'Do Yourself Some Good'.

Watch the trailer here featuring artwork by Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton-Jones edited by Euan McGrath, and click below to listen and download.

RŌNIN I INSTRUMENTALS

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James will be returning with Living in my Headphones on Soho Radio in May for his usual Wednesday night slot. In the meantime you can catch up on older episodes here.

LIVING IN MY HEADPHONES

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Instalment eleven of Urban Archeology - a feature exclusive to Original Headz, where James shares artefacts and ephemera from both the UNKLE/Mo' Wax archives and his own personal history.

"This has been on my mind for a few years - the number of UNKLE Pointman tattoos I've seen on my travels (and on social media) - and it has inspired this month's instalment of Urban Archeology.

I got my first tattoo in my early twenties, around the time Psyence Fiction came out. Back then, tattoos weren't such a big part of popular culture in the UK, but over in LA and Japan they were more of a thing and I was inspired to get my own. This first tattoo was done in Japan with the Bathing Ape crew: a Japanese character of my daughter's middle name.

When I returned to London I decided I wanted to get more work done, so I went to visit an old friend of mine: Jason Saga at Evil in the Needle in Camden. Jason was one of the first people I met whilst working at Honest Jon's Records on Portobello Road. Coincidentally, he had trained in Japan under the same artist who did my first tattoo.

This was the start of a personal relationship with Jason, where I would bring various artworks I was either working with, or inspired by at the time, including artists like Futura, 3D, Basquiat and Giovanni Estovez.

My first with Jason was one inspired by the first Mo' Wax painting Futura did for me, titled “Love and Unrest”, which I had tattooed on my forearm alongside a Futura Atom. When I was about 26, I went on to have the original UNKLE Pointman logo just above my elbow. These were my first two Futura image tattoos and the first Pointman tattoo.

Jason worked with me to create a distinctive style using handdrawn effects in black and grey with no colour. They felt more like paintings than the typical tattoos of the time. This was in contrast to what later became his world famous traditional, colourful Japanese style tattoos. Sadly, Jason Saga passed away in 2008, and I've not had any more tattoos done since.

Over the years I've noticed and been shown similar UNKLE tattoos, in particular of the Never Never Land characters. I've seen backs, chests, legs and even heads! I'm interested to document these images at some point in the future, so if you have an UNKLE tattoo you'd be happy to share, I'd love to see them - by all means send them to us at studio@unkle.com."

Vol 2, Issue 5 - May 27 2022

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to issue 5 for 2022.

This month I have been back in the studio working on a new project with Miink and Callum Finn and with Steven Weston on another short film with long term collaborators Clarke and Reilly. The film AD22 will be shown at Sotheby's on Tuesday 28 June.

I was pleased to finally see the release of The Birdsong Project, Vol. 1, which we feature on. It was great to be part of such a fantastic line up of collaborators for a very worthy cause. Our contribution 'One For Sorrow' was inspired by my obsession with magpies and was recorded during lockdown in collaboration with Steven Weston. More info below.

I've been working with Kazuki in Japan on new Studio:Ar.Mour projects, which I'll reveal shortly.

Myself and the Studio:UNKLE team have been busy behind the scenes working on the physical formats for Rōnin II, getting all the logistics and pieces in place ready to announce the release date this summer. Finally!

On a more sombre note, I was saddened to hear about the passing of Vangelis, one of my ultimate musical heroes and inspirations. I was touched to be asked by the BBC to do an interview based on his career, which you can watch here.

Until next time, take care and lots of love. James and team UNKLE. X

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On Tuesday 31 May at 5pm BST we launch our latest merch drop: Studio:Rework featuring brand new reworks of a classic UNKLE logo.

The Studio:Rework collection features two designs screenprinted in monochrome on black and white t-shirts, one design on a black sweatshirt and the other on a black hoody.

This pre-order drop is strictly limited to 50 items per design/variation.

As Original Headz subscribers you will receive exclusive first access via hidden link on Tuesday 31 May at 5pm BST, plus you can click below to add a reminder to your calendar:

Apple Calendar | Google | Yahoo | Outlook

STUDIO:REWORK DROP - 31 MAY 5PM BST

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New track 'One For Sorrow' is out now as part of For The Birds: The Birdsong Project, Vol. 1. UNKLE's track was recorded over lockdown, inspired by magpies.

The project includes contributions from Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, Beck, Danielle Haim, Karen Elson, Mark Ronson feat. Damon Albarn & Wale, Beach House, Kurt Vile, Jarvis Cocker, and Tilda Swinton to name a few.

"For the Birds: The Birdsong Project is an historic and unprecedented outpouring of creativity by more than 220 music artists, actors, literary figures, and visual artists, all coming together to celebrate the joy birds bring to our lives and elevate the message they have for us about the environmental threats we all face.

The Birdsong Project was produced by Grammy Award-winning music supervisor Randall Poster in aid of The National Audubon Society. Original music, artwork, and poetry performances will be available on digital streaming platforms and a limited-edition LP box set. All proceeds will benefit Audubon's mission to protect birds and the places they need."

THE BIRDSONG PROJECT

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James recently worked with Steven Weston to score a short film in collaboration with Clarke & Reilly and New York filmmaker Zev Magasis. The end result was the short film AD2022. The fragmented film takes an outsider's view of Britain today.

The film was commissioned as part of the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations. You can view the full film for free at Sotheby's Jubilee Arts Festival from 28 May - 15 June 2022 at Sotheby's London galleries: 34-35 New Bond Street, London.

MORE INFO ON AD2022

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Thanks to everyone that sent in photos of their tattoos after last month's edition. We were overwhelmed with the sheer number and creativity of them all! Please keep them coming to studio@unkle.com.

SEND YOUR UNKLE TATTOOS

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Listen back to Episode XXXIX of Living In My Headphones now, over on the UNKLE Mixcloud.

  • Lauren Adler - in god’s childlike hands
  • Kendrick Lamar - The Heart Part 5
  • Pusha T - Dreamin of the Past (ft. Kanye West)
  • Jamie xx - LET’S DO IT AGAIN
  • DJ Koze - Drone Me Up, Flashy (&ME Remix)
  • PAT, Jacolby Satterwhite - Love Will Find A Way Home
  • NTO, Tricky, Marta - Loving You Like Always
  • Lil Silva, Sampha - Backwards
  • Cat Power - Bad Religion
  • Mark Lanegan - One Hundred Days
  • Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
  • The Smile - The Smoke
  • Fontaines D.C. - Skinty Fia
  • Warpaint - Champion
  • Beach House - Modern Love Stories
  • Sofia Kourtesis, Manu Chao - Estación Esperanza
  • Keinemusik - What You Expected
  • Axel Boman - Radionova (Essential Mix)

LIVING IN MY HEADPHONES

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Instalment twelve of Urban Archeology - a feature exclusive to Original Headz, where James shares artefacts and ephemera from both the UNKLE/Mo' Wax archives and his own personal history.

"The Major Force West 1994 Archive Collection was one of the first merch collections I did with Major Force West, the subsidiary label of Mo' Wax, which I set up with Toshi and K.U.D.O. It was the UK version of the highly influential Japanese label Major Force. This was the realisation of a personal dream: the label was a huge inspiration. I first met Toshi and K.U.D.O. whilst working at Honest Jon's. After discovering who they were and tirelessly pursuing them, they finally agreed to collaborate with me and start releasing their records outside of Japan.

We then set up a studio under the same name, releasing records by Howie B, Love TKO and the first UNKLE release: The Time Has Come. We later released two compilations from the Major Force West sessions and a retrospective box set compilation of Major Force. K.U.D.O. also continued to work on all of UNKLE's productions and remixes pre-Psyence Fiction.

We launched the label with a promotional-only friends and family collection. This included a vintage army surplus T-shirt with puff print, an M65 army surplus field jacket with embroidery and puff print, and a Japanese vintage e-type Levi's denim jacket, of which there were only five made. These items were super limited and given to immediate friends and family of Mo' Wax and Major Force.

This was the first merchandise I worked on with Fraser Cook. Fraser helped source and create the items with help from the legendary DJ and record producer Dave Dorrell (M/A/R/R/S and Pump Up The Volume), at the Mo' Wax Mortimer Street offices.

This was the beginning of my collaborative partnerships with artists and brands in Japan, which have continued now for thirty years, and counting."

Vol 2, Issue 6 - July 1 2022

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to issue 6 for 2022.

Whilst I've still been juggling a lot with my family, it has been great to get out and about more in the past month.

First up was Will Bankhead of Trilogy Tapes' 50th birthday party at the end of May in Venue MOT, Bermondsey. Great to hang out with all the old faces to an eclectic soundtrack.

In June I was able to see two particularly brilliant live shows: the incredible, inspiring, age defying icon Grace Jones for the opening of Meltdown, where I spent the evening in the company of Jane Beese who I worked with on my own Meltdown in 2014. It was great to catch up with familiar faces and be in the presence of such a formidable performer. It was also wonderful to see ESKA, with whom I have collaborated in the past, as part of Grace's musical entourage.

Next up was Deftones, with an intimate yet explosive show at London's Kentish Town Forum. I was able to spend some time with the band afterwards and see my friend Fred Sablan, formerly of Goon Moon (Twiggy Ramirez and Chris Goss), who has joined Deftones as their new bass player.

We spent the evening listening to classic Hip Hop and shooting the shit, and went for a curry in West London a few days later under the watchful eye of Emma Van Duyts, our shared publicist. It was a truly lovely few days hanging out with such a dope crew.

Thrilled to be working with Debbie Clare at LittleBig and Todd Walker at outer/most as new booking agents for UNKLE and myself. We look forward to announcing new tours and dates in the not too distant future.

My first in person meeting with Debbie was to visit Dreamachine a seated, multisensory, psychedelic experience. This was a collaboration between artists, leading technologists, scientists and philosophers, with 360 degree spatial sound by composer Jon Hopkins, whom Debbie also represents on the LittleBig roster. It was a pretty mind bending experience - definitely an interesting way to start the day!

I was excited to be asked by Apple to do a DJ mix as part of their Early Hours series. It was important to me that I approach this from a DJ mix perspective rather than a playlist, taking the listener on an emotional and intimate musical journey with multiple layers and the space for listeners to go deep and reflective if they want to. It includes an exclusive new remix from Rōnin II - see more below!

The pre-order for the Studio Ar.Mour x Medicom Bearbricks has now closed. It will be available in selected stores later this year. We'll keep you posted when we have more info.

Last but by no means least, Miink has just dropped his latest album called Notice Me. You can find it here. We've collaborated on both The Road records, on Ronin and again on Ronin II, which you'll be able to hear soon.

Until next time, take care and lots of love.

James and team UNKLE. X

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James was recently invited to create a new exclusive mix for Apple Music's Early Hours DJ Mix series, a series "focused on embracing the chill. Calm, cool, uplifting, tranquil and warm."

Early Hours can mean a few different things: winding down after being up all night, or rising early to meet the sun. James notes that, "for a mix like this, I would tend to be in a more post-club headspace - coming home from playing a night out. However I wanted to challenge myself to put something together that could also work for those starting their day with the sunrise.

I was inspired by those wonderful warm-up sets and after-hours jams where you're free to be musically indulgent and able to span lots of different genres. It's music for the magic hour.

The Early Hours theme felt like the perfect place to debut 'Farewell (Rōnin / Revisited)', the new exclusive Rōnin remix of 'Farewell' from UNKLE's forthcoming post-club-inspired mixtape: Rōnin II".

Listen to the full Early Hours mix exclusively on Apple Music. You can preview the mix there and sign up for a free month's trial.

EARLY HOURS DJ MIX

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This month we thought we'd give you something to do.

Think you can find all the tracks we've hidden in the puzzle? There are 12 - including the name of a brand new track from Rōnin II (not a remix or reworking) - see if you can find that too.

Upload your completed sheets on Instagram with the hashtag #studiounkle by Friday 29 July, and we'll pick a winner to receive an UNKLE goody bag.

UNKLE ACTIVITY SHEET

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Our latest drop Studio:Rework featuring brand new reworks of a classic UNKLE logo is still available to purchase here.

The Studio:Rework collection features two designs screenprinted in monochrome on black and white t-shirts, plus one design on a black sweatshirt and the other on a black hoody.

This drop is strictly limited to 50 items or fewer per design/variation.

We had hoped these would ship from 30 June, however this one is taking a little longer, as there is a backlog at the printers. We expect orders to start shipping from the UK a week or so later, around 8 July.

STUDIO:REWORK MERCH DROP

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We're pleased to announce that UNKLE has joined the rosters of LittleBig (worldwide, excluding Americas) and outer/most (Americas).

For almost 20 years, LittleBig has been the world's leading independent electronic music agency, offering cutting edge concert booking, special events, management and consultancy. It nurtures long-term working relationships with artists, managers and promoters, and is dedicated to developing the live careers of artists it believes in and is inspired by.

outer/most is an independent agency for international artists established in January 2020, based in Boston, Chicago, LA and NY. outer/most is a tight-knit team dedicated to shepherding the next generation of arts innovators. With a distinguished reputation in the arts, the agency was founded on its ability to offer a wide-range of touring opportunities spanning across performing arts centres, clubs, festivals, non-traditional spaces and cultural institutions for a highly-curated roster of artists that defy genre and traditional touring conventions.

LITTLEBIG

outer/most

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Don’t forget to keep tagging @unkleofficial and using the #studiounkle tag in your UNKLE-related merch and record posts on Instagram, as we love to see them - and we'll pick a winner to receive a 15% merchandise discount each month from our store.

STUDIO:UNKLE ON INSTAGRAM

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To celebrate this year's Southbank Meltdown curated by Grace Jones, James Lavelle hosted a one hour special looking back at when he curated the festival.

SOHO RADIO - MELTDOWN SPECIAL

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Listen back to Episode XL of Living In My Headphones now, over on the UNKLE Mixcloud.

Vangelis - Blade Runner (End Titles) Vangelis - Let It Happen Aphrodite’s Child - The Four Horsemen RAMP - Everybody Loves The Sunshine Julia Jacklin - Just To Be A Part Damien Jurado - Magic Number David Lynch - Ghost of Love Sun’s Signature - Golden Air UNKLE - One For Sorrow The Smile - The Same Kendrick Lamar - United In Grief Mark Ronson, Damon Albarn, Wale - Bird Calling Danger Mouse & Black Thought - No Gold Teeth Denzel Curry - Walkin Subjective - Lost (feat. Tom Misch & Frida Touray) WhoMadeWho & Rampa - UUUU Steven Weston - Liquid Sasha & Photek - Aviator

LIVING IN MY HEADPHONES

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Instalment 13 of Urban Archeology - a feature exclusive to Original Headz, where James shares artefacts and ephemera from both the UNKLE/Mo' Wax archives and his own personal history.

"This month, I want to share these images of a book called Fitting In, given to me by one of my favourite and most influential artists 3D (Robert Del Naja) of Massive Attack, which I've treasured ever since.

Produced for Eyestorm in 2000, this limited edition, hardback with pictorial boards was housed in a slipcase. This was the first publication of 3D's work. I remember being blown away to be given this special book with all that artwork in one place. It showcases images of his photography, multimedia art, abstract collage, graphic work and paintings produced over the then previous five years. Many of these appeared on Massive Attack and UNKLE works.

At the time, I had been working with 3D over the years on various Mo' Wax artworks, and we were also developing a new animation piece with Shynola. This later became the video for 'Eye For An Eye'; the book was the first instance anyone got to see the 'Eye for an Eye' image.

Only 150 copies of the book were made, of which 50 were available to the public. The remaining 100 were given to friends and family who attended Massive Attack's Christmas After Party, which took place on 16 December 2000. Mezzanine had been out for a few years, and Massive Attack were at the height of their success. The main party was held at The Rock in Bristol, where I DJed along with Richard Fearless from Death in Vegas, and Liam Howlett from the Prodigy. Artworks from the book were displayed around the club. The after-party was held at the newly opened Hotel Du Vin (also in Bristol). The band booked out the whole hotel, and I remember seeing a lot of famous faces there. I believe that was where Kate Moss first met Jefferson Hack and Liam Howlett first met Natalie Appleton. Other guests included the designer Tom Hingston, Nellee Hooper and Sean Pertwee.

You can see the signed message from 3D: "Thanks for keeping me up". Very apt given that my set that night ended at 4am! A great night with many memories attached; this book always reminds me of those times."

Vol 2, Issue 7 - July 29 2022

Transcript:

Hey,

Welcome to issue seven for 2022.

Over what has been a blisteringly hot and sunny period here in London, I conveniently spent a few days in an air conditioned storage unit where we constructed twenty eight blocks of shelves. I was finally able to unbox the bulk of my old skool record collection; tens of thousands of records collected since I was a teenager, including some of my most treasured vinyl. I also found a wealth of mint condition Mo' Wax and UNKLE vinyl which I hope to put up for sale in the future.

At the end of last month I also had the opportunity to meet up with DJ Shadow when he was in town for a couple of days. It was great to catch up after not seeing each other for a long time and after everything that has happened in the last few years.

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed the colour scheme of Original Headz changed last month to pink: Rōnin II is almost upon us.

The Apple Music mix last month contained a sneak preview to the new Rōnin remix of 'Farewell'; if you haven't checked that out yet you can find the details below. Rōnin II is in collaboration with Miink, whom I have worked with over the years, and is the post-club follow up to Rōnin I.

The first brand new single will be dropping in August so keep your eyes on your inbox.

Until next time, take care and lots of love,

James and team UNKLE. X

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We have an exclusive discount sale on selected items available at UNKLE's store for all Original Headz subscribers (that’s you)!

Visit the store via this link now and a 20% off discount will automatically be applied in the cart.

The discount via this link will expire at 5pm on Tuesday 2 August when access to the sale items will be made available to all visitors to the store for a short time only.

Act fast as this offer is time limited and only available whilst stocks last. Item exclusions apply.

FLASH SALE

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Last month James was invited to create a brand new exclusive mix for Apple Music's Early Hours DJ Mix series, a series "focused on embracing the chill. Calm, cool, uplifting, tranquil and warm."

The Early Hours theme felt like the perfect place to debut 'Farewell (Rōnin / Revisited)', the new exclusive Rōnin remix of 'Farewell' from UNKLE's forthcoming post-club-inspired mixtape: Rōnin II. You can listen to this track and the full Early Hours mix on Apple Music here.

EARLY HOURS DJ MIX

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Head to the UNKLE Spotify profile to check out a selection of artist playlists, constantly updated and curated by James, including Transmissions, Lockdown Road and the original Living In My Headphones playlist, which now contains nearly 28 days worth of music.

PLAYLISTS ON SPOTIFY

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Instalment 14 of Urban Archeology - a feature exclusive to Original Headz, where James shares artefacts and ephemera from both the UNKLE/Mo' Wax archives and his own personal history.

"It is mad to think that this month marks thirty years of UNKLE releasing music. UNKLE originally started as a logo in my 'Mo' Wax Please' column in Straight No Chaser magazine in the nineties.

The logo was for my music production company which I shared with my creative partner at the time Tim Goldsworthy. We started doing remixes and the first one we officially released was by cult Talkin Loud affiliated DJs United Future Organization, with whom I had played whilst touring Japan.

They dominated an incredible scene, heavily inspired by Gilles Peterson, in nineties Japan, putting on brilliant club nights. They began releasing music around that time and I believe this was their first single.

The track is a cover version of the Van Morrison classic 'Moondance'. I have memories of doing the remix over a couple of days with Tim, working with the acclaimed producer and engineer Brendan Lynch, famed for his work with artists such as Primal Scream, The Young Disciples, and Paul Weller, amongst others. He was a celebrated remixer under his Lynchmob Beats moniker. The Young Disciples album was one of my favourites at the time and I persuaded him to work with us in the studio, having met him through DJing and working at Honest Jon's Records.

Also in the studio was one of the original Mo' Wax artists, Simon Richmond of Palm Skin Productions, playing percussion. We worked in a home studio somewhere in London (I can't recall exactly where). Everything was recorded on tape and spliced and edited together by Brendan, an artform not commonly used anymore.We sampled the classic break 'Sneaking in the Back' by Tom Scott, which features heavily in various tracks in my recent Apple Music Mix.

Looking back, I am grateful for this opportunity. I was only eighteen and these early studio sessions gave me the chance to experiment and start making records. This was the beginning of a long musical journey and the foundation of the UNKLE sound which has since changed and developed over the years."

Vol 2, Issue 8 - August 26 2022

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to issue eight for 2022.

It has been amazing to finally announce the Rōnin II pre-sale and release the new single.

Thank you to Apple Music for featuring 'The Way Back Home' in their New In Electronic, Study Beats and Digital Soul playlists, and to BBC Radio 6 Music for including it in the New Music Fix.

NME also shared the news of the release and first spins of 'The Way Back Home' came in from BBC 6 Music New Music Fix (listen again here) and on Gideon Coe's show (listen again here).

Rōnin II aside, August has been a great opportunity to enjoy some quality time with my daughter Lyla Blue, whilst she was in London. I have also been back in the studio working on brand new UNKLE material: I'll keep you posted as things develop.

There will be other exciting stuff going on with Rōnin, including new singles and of course remixes to follow.

On that note, The Reflex recently remixed 'If We Don't Make It' and 'Do Yourself Some Good'. We haven't released these yet, but they have received club promotion, so you may have heard them on specialist radio. You can listen to 'Do Yourself Some Good (The Reflex Revision)' in the August edition of Living In Headphones (see below). These will be released generally in due course.

Thanks to everyone who has already pre-ordered a copy of Rōnin II - we can't wait to get it into your hands. We know it is a long wait for the physical products, and we'll endeavour to get them to you as quickly as possible, but we need to be realistic in these uncertain times. Unfortunately most vinyl suppliers aren't taking on any new customers until 2023 and those that are have very long waitlists. That said, we believe we have found a great partner for this project, and we hope it will all be well worth the wait it when it lands.

Until next time, take care and lots of love,

James and team UNKLE. X

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Rōnin II is now available to pre-order, with the digital release coming next week on Wednesday 31 August 2022, and physical formats to follow as soon as production schedules allow - currently estimated as October 2023.

Rōnin II includes eight new reconstructions and two brand new tracks: first single 'The Way Back Home' and 'Instability: Closer Than You Will Ever Be'.

This month's episode of Living In My Headphones also includes the Rōnin II version of 'Farewell', which you can listen to now, ahead of the forthcoming digital album release.

UNKLE's Rōnin II mixtape will be released on Deluxe Limited Edition Vinyl, Standard Vinyl, Deluxe CD, Cassette and digitally. Whilst the ultra-limited Test Pressings and Artists' Edition flew off the shelves, copies of the other formats and exclusive merchandise items celebrating the release are still available.

RŌNIN II - PRE-ORDER

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To celebrate the release of Rōnin II, UNKLE have created two free phone wallpapers for you. Simply save and upload to your device.

RŌNIN WARRIOR WALLPAPER

RŌNIN LOGO WALLPAPER

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Listen back to Episode XLI of Living In My Headphones now, over on the UNKLE Mixcloud.

  • Ike and Tina Turner - Living for the City
  • Gwen McCrae - You Can Have It All
  • Mildlife - The Magnificent Moon
  • Quincy Jones - Summer in the City
  • UNKLE - Farewell (Rōnin Revisited)
  • Flying Lotus & Devin Tracy - You Don't Know
  • Young Fathers - Geronimo
  • Miink - Mineral
  • Wu-Lu - Take Stage
  • Loyle Carner - Hate
  • Danger Mouse & Blackthought - Aquamarine (Feat. Michael Kiwanuka)
  • Consequence - Blood Stain
  • UNKLE - Do Yourself Some Good (The Reflex Revision)
  • Grace Jones - I've Seen That Face Before
  • Black Lodge - Horse With No Name
  • Gramme - Unreleased Black Lodge Edit
  • Happy Mondays - Kinky Afro
  • Deftones - Be Quiet And Drive
  • Max von Sternberg - Moving (Sofia Kourtesis Remix)
  • Röyksopp & Alison Goldfrapp - Impossible (&ME Remix)
  • Orbital - Halcyon (Logic1000 Remix)

LIVING IN MY HEADPHONES

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Instalment 15 of Urban Archeology - a feature exclusive to Original Headz, where James shares artefacts and ephemera from both the UNKLE/Mo' Wax archives and his own personal history.

"As I continue to go through my archive, I found a couple of interesting sketches from the legendary British street/graffiti artist Mode 2. For me, together with 3-D and Goldie, Mode 2 was one of the greatest originators of the UK scene. Whilst 3-D was based in Bristol and Goldie in Birmingham, Mode was originally based in London and part of the legendary Chrome Angelz Crew, who were considered to be one of the best London collectives.

Mode was particularly famous for his incredible character designs, especially of women. I first met Mode at a hip-hop event in Berlin in the early nineties. Back then there were lots of European events celebrating old school hip-hop culture including DJing, Breakdancing and Graffiti. At the time Mode was living in Paris. He was travelling a lot, and as he wasn't based in the UK, he was quite elusive. In the pre-internet age, there was no easy way to connect, so these kinds of events were great opportunities to find and meet up with people. I met Futura at a similar event around that time.

Mode and I would occasionally meet, and we started talking more as time went on and as things built with Mo' Wax. I was DJing the classic Monday night club session That's How It Is with Gilles Peterson and working with acclaimed designer Swifty. You can listen to a series of mixes based on those sessions on our Mixcloud. I put these together in 2020, and they include some of my favourite records for different times of the night, from beginning to the end.

I introduced Mode to Swifty and he started working with us on new designs for the night including flyers and banners in the club. We used the original banners on stage at the 2021 That's How It Is reunion at Gilles' festival We Out Here.

One of the sketches was a new work in progress of a That's How It Is logo (above), and the other was a design celebrating the birth of my daughter Lyla Blue (below), dating these to the late summer/early autumn of 1997.

We built a great friendship, and continued to collaborate over the years. Mode remains one of my favourite artists.

I chose to include these sketches in this edition of Urban Archeology because the records I was playing at That's How It Is and the atmosphere of the night are one of the key influences on the Rōnin mixtapes.

Vol 2, Issue 9 - September 30 2022

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to issue nine for 2022.

It's been a busy month since we last connected. It's been great to see the reaction to Rōnin II over the last few weeks, thank you so much for all your support and kind words about it. I've been working on new visuals as well as remixes by both myself and Miink, as well as some of my other favourite producers, and there will be a new single later this month.

Miink and I did a photoshoot for DEK magazine with the brilliant photographer Perou who shot me and Rich when we released Never Never Land. More on that below.

I've been out and about a little bit. It was great to see Josh Homme back in town, after not seeing one another for the past few years. He performed at the emotional and epic Taylor Hawkins memorial show at Wembley Stadium, which I was kindly invited to.

Living in the UK, it has been quite a surreal time due to the passing of the Queen. A few days ago I went to see a Chris Levine show based around his iconic image of her. It was pretty crazy to see London shut down in the way that it did for the funeral.

I also went to check Gimme 5's show of Dennis Morris' photos of Lee Scratch Perry, and it was really great to see a lot of old school faces there.

I'm sad to hear about the pausing of Gilles Peterson's excellent Worldwide FM, but am really looking forward to playing on Charlie Dark's show on the station, which broadcast this morning.

I'm looking forward to chatting to long time collaborator Nathan Coley at The Charleston Trust next month. More on that below.

Thanks to everyone that entered our Billboard competition on Instagram, and congratulations to our winner Dawn Ferguson. Make sure to follow us there for more competitions to come.

I've recently been working with LA-based streetwear brand Pleasures on a Mo' Wax / UNKLE capsule collection. It will be dropping this month, and will be available at various UK and international retail outlets. We will be hosting an event at the brand new hot Soho venue OUTERNET. More on that to follow.

I've also been working a lot recently with longterm Japanese collaborator Kazuki Kuraishi on Studio Ar.Mour. The Medicom Bearbrick collaboration will be dropping later this month. Keep your eyes on our socials for more details.

Sorry to hear about the passing of the influential Pharoah Sanders. Some great memories of DJing and dancing to some of his brilliant records over the past 30 years.

Thanks again for all of your support, and have a great month ahead.

James and team UNKLE. X

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Did you spot the Rōnin street posters, billboard and digital billboards on your travels around London in September?

Rōnin II is still available to pre-order. The digital album is out now and physical formats will follow as soon as production schedules allow - currently estimated as October 2023.

Rōnin II includes eight new reconstructions and two brand new tracks. It will be released on Deluxe Limited Edition Vinyl, Standard Vinyl, Deluxe CD, Cassette and digitally. Whilst the ultra-limited Test Pressings and Artists' Edition flew off the shelves, copies of the other formats and exclusive merchandise items celebrating the release are still available while stocks last.

RŌNIN II - PRE-ORDER

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Everyone who pre-orders the Rōnin II mixtape in any format from the official store, up until 23:59 GMT on Monday 31 October, will have a chance to win a Test Pressing from James' personal allocation. If you have already pre-ordered you have automatically been entered into the prize draw!

WIN A TEST PRESSING

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LA-based streetwear brand PLEASURES will release a Mo' Wax / UNKLE capsule collection on 14 October. It will be available at various UK and international retail outlets. On Wednesday 12 October PLEASURES will be hosting an event at Outernet London, featuring James Lavelle, Charlie Dark, Jamz Supernova, Ciesay and AyeJames. Register for free tickets and find out more.

PLEASURES

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James joins Miink to discuss their creative partnership so far, including latest mixtape Rōnin II, in a 14-page feature for DEK Magazine, including brand new, striking imagery by Perou.

DEK 06 will be available online and at all good retailers from October 1.

DEK 06

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Turner Prize-nominated contemporary artist and long time UNKLE collaborator Nathan Coley will be joining James for a discussion on the power of the word in art as well as Coley's own creative practice at Charleston in East Sussex on October 14. Tickets are available now.

NATHAN COLEY AT CHARLESTON

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Listen back to Episode XLII of Living In My Headphones now, over on the UNKLE Mixcloud.

  • UNKLE - The Way Back Home (Rōnin / Original)
  • Johnny Harris - Footprints On The Moon
  • Eugene McDaniels - Cherrystones
  • Mike James Kirkland - Hang On In There
  • The Electric Prunes - General Confessional
  • UNKLE feat. Michael Kiwanuka - On My Knees (Rōnin Revisited)
  • Danger Mouse & Black Thought - Sometimes
  • Danger Mouse & Black Thought - The Darkest Part (feat. Raekwon and Kid Sister)
  • De La Soul - Patti Dooke (feat. Guru)
  • Athletes Of God - Don't Wanna Be Normal (feat. Lady Blackbird)
  • Warpaint - Champion (HAAi Remix)
  • UNKLE feat. Mark Lanegan & ESKA - Looking For The Rain (Rōnin Reconstruction)
  • Future Utopia - Love Is All There Is
  • Cubicolor - Summer & Smoke
  • Superpitcher / Repeat Orchestra - Monks In The Sky
  • Impérieux - Kolorama
  • Daphni - Clavicle
  • Awen & Caiiro - Your Voice (Adam Port Remix)
  • WhoMadeWho & Rampa - UUUU (&ME Remix)
  • Layo & Bushwacka! - Let the Good Times Roll
  • Sounds Of Blackness - Optimistic

LIVING IN MY HEADPHONES

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Instalment 16 of Urban Archeology - a feature exclusive to Original Headz, where James shares artefacts and ephemera from both the UNKLE/Mo' Wax archives and his own personal history.

"Going through my storage unit I came across a bunch of flyers and posters and was reminded of the night Headz: the first Mo' Wax club night that I started with Heidi Fearon who I was working with at the label. Headz was held every Friday from 7 April until 7 July 1995 at Covent Garden's The Gardening Club. I had previously DJed there at Kudo with Patrick Forge which had been a real success. From that I moved on to do That's How It Is at Bar Rumba, then when Heidi and I were looking for a home for our idea for a new night, The Gardening Club made perfect sense as it was this great, underground space in central London, home to the legendary Tongue Kung Fu night by The Sandals, and Rocky and Diesel's classic house night amongst others. Sadly, like many of London's great venues it has since closed, and is now the Apple Store in Covent Garden.

Whilst Headz was short lived, looking at the line-ups, it was pretty prolific. We were booking international acts, bringing DJs such as Carl Craig and DJ Shadow over from America, and DJ Krush from Japan. At the time I was buying a lot of records from Fat Cat, the legendary, go-to store for techno and more unusual electronic music. This love of discovering new records and styles spilled into the bookings where we were experimental: fusing genres and styles into an eclectic landscape - we didn't just stick to one genre.

May 5 saw Fraser Cooke (of Nike collaborations fame) and Mo' Wax signing Attica Blues. Dave Cawley, one of the founding members of the Fat Cat store, was DJing with me on 21 April with the legendary Carl Craig. Trilogy Tapes' Will Bankhead was a regular as you can see from the flyers; these were probably some of his earlier DJ gigs. I even recall Björk attending The Repeat party with Plaid and Mark Broom.

We booked a lot of drum'n'bass, acts like DJ Krust, A Guy Called Gerald, Roni Size and Alex Reece. It was one of the first times that Rich File, who I had recently met, DJed at a Mo' Wax event. I later went on to collaborate with Rich on the UNKLE albums Never Never Land and War Stories.

As well as the experimental bookings, we were creative with the artwork and branding, making flyers as stickers to make them more collectible and working with interesting artists on all elements of the design. Futura created one of our flyers (above): this was one of the first images he made for Mo' Wax.

Another of the posters is of an artwork from 3D which was the cover of the classic Headz album on Mo' Wax (below).

I also came across a flyer by Req, a graffiti artist from Brighton who was working with Mo' Wax in the early days (below). He did a cover for our compilation Royalties Overdue, as well as the Limited Edition Promo artwork for Shadow's What Does Your Soul Look Like? and the cover for RPM single 2000, amongst other work. This was at the time when we were really starting to develop the street art aesthetic to the label. Swifty laid out some of the other posters and flyers.

Vegetable Vision did the visuals. They have done all of the lighting and visuals for the Chemical Brothers, and Adam is now in the touring band. They went mad with lights, visual projections and smoke machines - even creating a laser of the Mo' Wax logo, which was pretty amazing.

We had some other mad ideas, including teaming up with Danish hip hop production team The Prunes. They had worked with us on my label Excursions and had collaborated with the Beastie Boys on their label Grand Royale. They created a special track for the club which we were going to make into a 7" playable flyer, however outside of five test pressings this never came to fruition, I imagine due to the costs involved and the demise of the club! It is now considered to be one of the most sought-after Mo' Wax collectibles.

There was a break in the dates I think between July - November, which if I recall was when the club was being refurbished. We then moved to a Thursday night where it became Headz: The Jam Part 2. Unfortunately our new slot didn't work as well and we eventually wound it up.

We then went on to tour the Headz club concept in UK, Europe and Australia. After Headz ran its course I later went on to start another Mo' Wax Club night: Dusted at The Blue Note, which became one of their classic Saturday night events with Charlie Dark from Attica Blues."


Vol 2, Issue 10 - October 28 2022

Transcript:

Hey, Welcome to issue ten for 2022.

This month it has felt like London has suddenly come alive after slowing down during Covid. People are out and about again; Frieze Art Fair, gallery shows and opening parties for new venues have been keeping me busy.

I was fortunate to see photographer Richard Mosse's latest exhibition Broken Sceptre at 180 the Strand: an immersive video installation set in the Amazon showing the devastating effects of climate change over a three year period. It was incredible, powerful and terrifying at the same time, and well worth visiting if you can.

The Wednesday of the same week we held our launch party with PLEASURES and Roland celebrating our new collection. It was great to DJ and see so many people out on a Wednesday night at new venue HERE at Outernet. A big thanks to everyone who played, everyone who came down and all those who made it happen. It was awesome to see such a diverse group of both the older and younger generations celebrating the Mo’ Wax legacy and to play with friend and Original Head Charlie Dark for the first time in five years. Charlie’s record selection and MCing duties energised the crowd and were both inspiring and uplifting.

The next day the artist Jonas Bergert (who painted the cover art featured on The Road: Part I) was in town for London’s Frieze Art Fair and we caught up over dinner with some friends.

On Friday 14th I headed to Firle in East Sussex for Small Wonders Festival at Charleston. I joined contemporary artist, friend and long time collaborator Nathan Coley on stage for a discussion on the power of the word in art as well as our creative practice. Following our slot Nathan and I went for dinner with the legendary Peaches and live performance and theatre artist Emma Frankland who had also been in conversation at the festival that evening. A big thank you to Nathaniel Hepburn, Charleston’s Creative Director and their wonderful team for their generous hospitality.

Finally, a reminder that our interview and photoshoot in Dek Magazine DEK 06 which we mentioned last month is out now and available online and at all good retailers.

Until next month,

James and all at Studio:UNKLE. X

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The Rōnin II merchandise has landed and has started going out. Check out the photos of the finished stock.

RŌNIN II - MERCHANDISE

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'Looking for the Rain' by UNKLE (ft. Mark Lanegan, ESKA) features in the trailer for Apple TV's The Mosquito Coast (Season 2). Allie Fox, a brilliant inventor and stubborn idealist, uproots his family for a dangerous quest through Mexico to flee the US government and find safety - starring Justin Theroux, Melissa George, Logan Polish, and Gabriel Bateman.

WATCH THE TRAILER

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James joined Charlie Dark on 30 September for a chat and a mix on his radio show: Peace, Positivity and Blessings, hosted on Worldwide FM.

Charlie is a DJ and founder of the influential running movement Run Dem Crew. The two share a long history: Charlie was part of Attica Blues, signed to Mo' Wax back in 1994.

The show is two hours of uplifting vinyl selections with a sprinkle of weekly wisdom to get the weekend started the right way, from Dub to Disco and beyond.

LISTEN

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We have unearthed some additional pressings of End Titles... Redux. These super limited copies are hand numbered and will be going on sale at 5pm BST Saturday 29 October 2022 here, available exclusively to Original Headz subscribers. Add a calendar reminder using the following links:

Apple Calendar | Google | Yahoo | Outlook

Only 30 will be available for sale. These additional pressings come from James' personal collection and have some damage to the corners (see photos for an example) however these are the only copies where the actual sleeves are hand-signed by James Lavelle.

Special edition double 10", housed in a gatefold sleeve and pressed on blue and white 'halo' vinyl. Each copy is individually numbered. Featuring artwork by 3D aka Robert Del Naja.

UNKLE first released End Titles... Redux as a limited collectors' edition on CD back in 2008. The release is a classic orchestral reconstruction of music recorded during the Surrender All era, for the audiovisual and film worlds. Redux comprises seven re-interpreted tracks from End Titles… Stories For Film, along with two (as then) unreleased tracks 'When Once It Was' and 'A Perfect Storm', as well as 'Trouble in Paradise (Variation on a Theme)' which first showcased on a BMW advert in 2007.

END TITLES...REDUX

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The countdown is on: it is the final few days to make sure you are in with a chance to win our Test Pressing Competition.

Everyone who pre-orders the Rōnin II mixtape in any format from the official store, up until 23:59 GMT on Monday 31 October, will have a chance to win a Test Pressing from James' personal allocation. If you have already pre-ordered you have automatically been entered into the prize draw!

WIN A TEST PRESSING

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We celebrated the launch of our collaboration with LA-based streetwear brand PLEASURES, hosting a party at London's newest venue HERE at Outernet on Wednesday 12 October.

The night was a huge success and featured James Lavelle, Charlie Dark, Jamz Supernova, Ciesay and AyeJames. Big thanks to all those who came down.

Friday 14 October saw the accompanying release of the Mo' Wax / UNKLE / PLEASURES capsule collection. It features a collaboration with Eric Haze, as well as Roland, and is available now online at PLEASURES and at various UK and international retail outlets. Read more about the collection on Hypebeast, Rolling Stone and High Snobiety.

PLEASURES

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Listen back to Episode XLIII of Living In My Headphones now, over on the UNKLE Mixcloud.

  • James Brown - There Was A Time (Ashley Beedle Edit)
  • Charles Stepney - Black Gold
  • Pharaoh Sanders - The Creator Has A Master Plan
  • Private Press - Eminence Front (A Heavy Disco Joint)
  • Gilbert O'Sullivan - That's The Kind Of Love I Need (AOM Rework)
  • The Arctic Monkeys - There'd Better Be A Mirrorball
  • Kutiman - Always Be Alone (ft. Dekel)
  • Flevans - Always Be Alone
  • Blue States - Season Song
  • UNKLE - If We Don't Make It (The Reflex Revison)
  • Marlowe - Past Life
  • Loyle Carner - Nobody Knows (Ladas Road)
  • Lord Finesse & DJ Mike Smooth - Funky Technician
  • Emeka Obota - No Counterfeit
  • Rival Consoles - World Turns
  • UNKLE - Instability: Closer Than You Will Ever Be (Rōnin / Original)
  • TSHA - Running
  • Bonobo - ATK
  • Amtrac - Extra Time

LIVING IN MY HEADPHONES

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Instalment 17 of Urban Archeology - a feature exclusive to Original Headz, where James shares artefacts and ephemera from both the UNKLE/Mo' Wax archives and his own personal history.

"October 1992 saw the release of the first Mo' Wax single. I find it hard to believe this was 30 years ago!

Recently I came across my diary from that year, from which I include some images. It was fascinating to see who I was meeting at the time and seeing dates around the release schedule; it brought back a lot of memories of some pivotal moments.

'Promise' was a standalone release from the American Acid Jazz / Hip Hop band Repercussions, who were residents of the New York Club night Giant Steps - the USA equivalent of Talkin' Loud - Gilles Peterson and Patrick Forge's legendary Dingwalls Sunday Session.

At the time I was 18, working in London at Honest Jon's records. It was the start of my DJ career and I had a column called Mo' Wax Please in the celebrated magazine Straight No Chaser, where I would review contemporary records. This gave me access to new, exclusive and unreleased material and was the foundation for starting a new record label.

Repercussions' management also ran Giant Steps. They were looking to release the band's first single in the UK to build interest in the States; at the time the scene was more developed over here. Aware I wanted to start a label, the opportunity arose for me to release a one-off 12" by the band.

As I am sure many of you are aware, I borrowed £1000 from my boss at Honest Jon's, and went to New York to pay for the record and DJ at Giant Steps. This was an unforgettable trip. I had dreamt of going to New York since my teenage years, having grown up on a diet of Hip Hop. I have an amazing memory of driving over the Brooklyn Bridge in a taxi and seeing Manhattan for the first time. I was transfixed by the spectacle of it all. Whilst in the taxi, the classic Eric B and Rakim Track 'Eric B for President' played on the radio, the perfect soundtrack to the start of a life changing trip.

My memories are a bit vague; New York was pre Rudy Giuliani and the city was still pretty edgy. On that trip I met James Jebbia from Supreme, Albie from Tommy Boy (who would later introduce me to Shadow), DJ Jules, and the Giant Step crew amongst many others I am sure. I also went to see London Records, who I would go on to sign to Mo' Wax USA, as well as visiting a plethora of record and sneaker shops. It was a pretty incredible experience and helped sow the seeds for what would become an international career and label.

Once I returned, I managed to secure a distribution deal with the help of the famous Bristol DJ John Stapelton and Dean Rudland, Head of A&R at Acid Jazz. I asked Straight No Chaser and Talkin' Loud designer Swifty if he would do the graphics and we embarked on a new adventure to design, press and release the first Mo' Wax record.

Influenced by Japanese culture, I wanted to create a uniform design for the label from the off. Together with Swifty we came up with the obi strip inspired design, in which graphics, information and colours could change but the brand was still evident, becoming a house bag design. I also wanted to incorporate the new language of the time within club and street culture: "phat beats", "kicks more phunk than a Shoulin Monk", "blunted, abstract, beatz", "original headz", "headz music" etc! I remember getting the first white label test pressing sent to Honest Jon's, and its arrival remains a huge moment in my life.

I received about five copies, and Gilles Peterson was one of the first people I gave one to. Gilles was my DJ hero at the time and I was desperate for him to play it on his Kiss FM radio show as an exclusive. I recall the first time I played it out was with Patrick Forge - possibly at Club Kudu at the Gardening Club, or at Talkin' Summer at Brixton Academy.

I remembered the records finally coming into the shop, unpacking them and putting them out for sale which was another huge moment. The record was well received in the underground scene and Repercussions would later go on to sign with Geffen Records."

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