James Lavelle

Experimental hip-hop outfit U.N.K.L.E. were one of the original artists releasing material through noted U.K. label Mo'Wax, which helped launch the instrumental mid-'90s downtempo breakbeat revival eventually termed trip-hop. Though hardly the label's highest-profile group, U.N.K.L.E. numbers among its members label-head James Lavelle, who formed Mo'Wax while still in his teens as an antidote to the increasingly stale acid jazz/Northern soul scene. Stripping the music down to its barest of essentials -- bass, percussion, minimal samples, and heavy effects -- the Mo'Wax sound (best exemplified by the second Mo'Wax label comp, Headz, as well as its sequel, the two-part Headz 2) quickly gained respectability and a large audience. Although not as prolific as other Mo'Wax artists such as DJs Shadow and Krush, Lavelle's group nonetheless played a crucial role in cementing Mo'Wax's early sound though their Time Has Come double EP, the latter of which featured remixes of the title track by Plaid, Portishead, and U2 producer Howie B.

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