Thursday, October 28, 2004

UNKLE at the Canal Room - October 25, 2004

On Monday night, I caught Unkle' set....errr....multimedia experience, whatever it was at the Canal Room, a new venue in the former space of Shine. Lavelle is a really ambitious renaissance man of music. The music he has written, produced, and remixed runs the gamut of genres as has done everything from produce the first album by South, Paint the Silence to maintain a residency at London superclub Fabric, to remixes of bands like Queens of the Stone Age and Doves. Eveything he seems to work on has some hip-hop, rock, some breakbeats thrown in for good measure and obscure references to old science fiction soundclips. He has also been the main man behind the 2 UNKLE albums. The first, Psyence Fiction, was co-produced with DJ Shadow and had cameos by Thom Yorke, Richard Ashcroft, and Mike D of the Beasties among others ). The second, Never Never Land, co-produced with Richard File, has been out for over a year in England is getting released only now in the US, which is unfortunately becoming a common trend in music. The new album is no less ambitious as he got Jarvis Cocker and Brian Eno to work together on one song, Ian Brown and Mani of the Stone Roses to reunite on another. I had my mind completely blown by him at Fabric last fall and I also have a great Essential Mix he did in 2002 (as UNKLE with Richard File) I was quite ready for Monday. The DJ set has quite an interesting sequence, which starts out with a bunch of UNKLE cut ups of tracks (the best being Tears for Fears' "Shout" with DMX rapping over it - completely worked and Whitney Houston's"I Wanna Dance with Somebody" with Kraftwerk's "Numbers) - both of these felt like cohesive songs rather than gimmicky mash-ups) and some very UNKLE sounding edits of other tracks (Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" and Radiohead's "Everything in its Right Place" with some breakbeats and Mike D spelling out the word "UNKLE") smoothly interplaying with some nasty breakbeat house makes for a very interesting listen.

Monday's show was quite good for what it was. Following a good warm up set by NYC stalwart Tim Sweeney, who played a bit of Kraftwerk, some Le Tigre (remixed by The DFA), and some other spacey funk music, Lavelle and File came out and played something that sounded like the Essential Mix set. They moved in and out of original tracks and some big tunes (Smashing Pumpkins' "1979" and Radiohead's "Idioteque" - seems Lavelle's love of RH goes a long way) all with the UNKLE touch ups and live edits. We had to go after about 75 minutes. Had this been a weekend night, it would have been a lot more fun as the hair could have been let down a bit harder. The venue was fairly good too - quality sound (though it got a bit less clear as the volume went up during UNKLE's set) and a reasonable sized dancefloor, the Canal Room will be a venue worth going to when there is something to see there.


Post a Comment

<< Home