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Baker's Dozen

Irrepressible Discoveries: James Lavelle Of UNKLE's 13 Favourite Albums
Elizabeth Aubrey , September 18th, 2017 14:19

With a new album on the way and a much-anticipated set at Brighton's Attenborough Centre at the ready, James Lavelle, the man behind UNKLE and Mo' Wax, takes Elizabeth Aubrey through the 13 records that shaped him


Young Disciples - Road To Freedom

I think this is one of the most underrated British records of its time. Again, this record just sums up my youth. It's been a big reference on my new record too. I think things like ‘Freedom Suite’ are genius. It had a transatlantic thing with Carlene Anderson being Vicki Anderson's daughter, Masta Ace being on there, British hip hop, the best British hip hop rappers of the time...MC Mell'O, Bellow from Outlaw Posse. I think it's just [a] highly, highly underrated record.

Did you discover it quite early on?

Yeah, I got a tape of it before it came out because I did work experience at Talkin' Loud. I think I was 17 because I was DJing at Talkin' Loud at the Fridge in the summer, and that was my big break as a DJ. Gilles and Patrick Forge were doing Talkin’ Loud at the Fridge, and they wanted to take the summer off so they basically gave me the summer to DJ with some others – DJ Debra and some other guys – and we basically did every Saturday night at the Fridge for a couple of months. And that was a big turning point for me. And that was when that record was coming out.

You'd go down there and Gilles would give you acetates of tracks, and he'd be playing acetates, and this record was just like, “fuck me!” – it was an amazing record to hear for the first time.

The opening track [on the new album] is pretty influenced by that, particularly in the way I'm utilising multiple singers, this sort of thing of using suites where you go from classical into beats, you know, with different voices and stuff like that. That was quite a big influence.