Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

Baker’s Dozen: UNKLE’S James Lavelle On His 13 Favourite Records

UNKLE’s James Lavelle steps up to the Baker’s Dozen plate to illuminate us on the records that have shaped him and his band’s sound.

Since the late 90s, when his work exemplified cross-genre pollination, James Lavelle has been one of the great contemporary post-modernists – some would say magpies – reaching far and wide for collaborators in his on-going UNKLE project. This is heavily reflected in his choice of albums for this Baker’s Dozen, which contains more than a few of Lavelle’s collaborators – DJ Shadow, Ian Brown of the Stone Roses and Mike D from the Beastie Boys. So far, so expected – some might even say vain?

It’s no surprise either that the revolutionary and game-changing crossover albums of rap and hip hop – NWA, De La Soul, Beastie Boys – had a massive impact, for it was their genre-muddling that UNKLE’s debut album Psyence Fiction embraced and carried on. The choices certainly reflect a lot of the music that provided an intelligent counterpoint to the parochial remnants of Britpop in the late 90s: at the time, Psyence Fiction seemed like an entirely natural partner to Massive Attack’s Mezzanine. You could say that Lavell’s curveballs are the inclusion of albums such as Queens of the Stone Age’s Songs for the Deaf and Terry Callier’s What Colour Is Love. But on closer inspection, the selection seems to make more sense. Each album chosen by Lavelle, be it rock, electronic, or rap, seems to be one that endures as the artist’s high water mark, where all members and parts came together effortlessly to create a definitive statement. This is surely something that Lavelle has tried to create in the curation of UNKLE, this most collaborative of projects. Hit the image of Lavelle below to read the Baker’s Dozen.

First Record

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