Every thursday we keep digging into the electronic faction of Mad Cool Festival 2017. Here are the 10 things you should know about UNKLE.
1. UNKLE (often stylised as U.N.K.L.E.) are a British musical outfit, originally categorized as trip hop, founded in 1994 by school friends James Lavelle and Tim Goldsworthy.
2. In the first incarnation of the band (1994–1996) Lavelle and Goldsworthy were joined by Masayuki Kudo and Toshio Nakanishi of the Japanese hip hop crew Major Force (later Major Force West).
3. The first two UNKLE records were released by Mo' Wax, a record label owned by James Lavelle, that also released classic albums by Dr Octagon and DJ Shadow.
4. Lavelle drafted in DJ Shadow to work on UNKLE debut album Psyence Fiction (1998). Shadow essentially discarded all previously recorded material.
5. The album included collaborations with an all-star lineup including Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Mark Hollis (Talk Talk), Mike D (Beastie Boys), Jason Newsted (Metallica) and Richard Ashcroft (The Verve).
6. In 2001 Lavelle team up with productor Rich File on soundscape DJ mix, originally recorded for Radio Ape in Japan, entitled Do Androids Dream Of Electric Beats, wich include remixes versions of original songs by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blur, Iggy Pop o Fleetwood Mac.
7. Rich File co-produced, played and sang on the second UNKLE album, Never, Never, Land (2003). The album again featured a number of high-profile contributors, including Ian Brown (The Stone Roses), Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and Robert Del Naja (Massive Attack), among others.
8. In 2008 London's Lazarides Gallery (owned by Steve Lazarides, once agent for the graffiti artist, Banksy) showcased War Paint, an exhibition of artworks inspired by UNKLE record War Stories, with works from Robert Del Naja, Warren du Preez, Nick Thornton Jones, Will Bankhead and Ben Drury.
9. Since 2016, UNKLE had returned to touring as a live collective after four years of performing DJ sets. The current line up include James Lavelle (keyboards, programming), Steve Weston (engineering, visuals), Keeling Lee (Groove Armada, Way Out West) on guitar, Jack Leonard on bass, Liela Moss (The Duke Spirit) on vocals, Mike Whitford (Escape from New York) on vocals and Alex Thomas (Squarepusher, Air) on drums
10. In January 2017 UNKLE announced their new album The Road Pt 1, which will be released next june 23th, only two weeks before they play in Mad Cool 2017.