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JAMES LAVELLE’s MELTDOWN


Š Will Bankhead


Mo’ Wax promotional demo cassettes Š James Lavelle


We wanted to work with James on this year’s Meltdown because he’s a great polymath with an endless curiosity and passion for not just music, but also film, visual art, design, photography, fashion and life. Setting up his own legendary label at a young age and his journey through club and popular culture gave us a rich seam of history to build this Meltdown around. It’s been a real pleasure to travel this route with him. Jane Beese, Southbank Centre Head of Contemporary Music

James Lavelle leapt onto the music scene at 14-years-old with a maverick, adolescent, unstoppable energy and gave license and confidence for all young people to grab the music industry, shake it, change it and leave new doors wide open for other new voices to flood in. So that’s one of the key reasons we asked James to curate Meltdown, to inspire a new generation to know that they too can be game changers, they can shift ideas, attitudes and drive us all from well worn paths. In fact if they don’t, the music scene will atrophy. Jude Kelly, OBE Artistic Director, Southbank Centre


Introducing

James Lavelle by Paul B

It’s May 2014 and there’s little more than six weeks to go before the launch of Southbank Centre’s annual Meltdown. Its curator, the fedora sporting man from UNKLE, James Lavelle, is exhausted but elated at the way the line-up has finally come together. Being selected as the Meltdown’s curator is a responsibility he takes very seriously and is a crowning moment in a career that began when he set up Mo’ Wax records aged 17. He’s hands-on and ambitious and the news that Joshua Homme from The Queens Of The Stone Age has agreed to do a rare acoustic solo set as part of the festival is for him the final piece of the puzzle. As with all artists participating in Meltdown he lines up to answer the question ‘Which record changed your life?’ and without the slightest hesitation replies, ‘Massive Attack’s Blue Lines’. ‘I had Blue Lines on a promo cassette when I was 15-yearsold and working in Bluebird Records in Paddington. I remember lying in bed listening to that tape maybe 50 times in a couple of days. They’d already put out “Any Love” and coming from Bristol, and The Wild Bunch sound system, they had a mythological reputation; they were already legends. It was a totally fresh manifestation of Black sound system culture. It was British, it wasn’t imitating Americap – they took the soul of the music, not the style – and we all identified with that.’ ‘I loved that Blue Lines was a collaboration,’ he continues. ‘Massive Attack had style. They had great artwork, packs of stickers, photos by Jean-Baptiste Mondino and brilliant videos by Baillie Walsh. They even had a little view-finder that you could watch the “Daydreaming” video on. They did an amazing AC Milan sweat-top rip off. Blue Lines was a

lyrical, audio, visual experience that took it the next level and it gave us a blueprint… It was a gateway to something cool but very street. ‘Listening to that album in retrospect it’s very intellectual. It was a template for what is today our everyday soundscape. They fused live music with classic samples that referenced Brian Eno, Ennio Morricone, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Martin Scorsese and blended it all with hiphop, reggae and soul. They were very clever with electronic music and melodies. It was pretty out there. Listening to “Unfinished Symphony” was how I learned what a song is. Massive Attack are the golden story of a production-led band who remain relevant and mysterious. They own their own universe.’ Hearing James wax lyrical about Blue Lines and Massive Attack makes it easy to see how they have provided a foundation for his own vision as curator, artist, producer, DJ and record-label boss. As a hungry, obsessive teenager he was into the same things as 3D, Mushroom and Daddy G… ‘hip-hop, Smith & Mighty, Fresh 4, Soul II Soul, Star Wars, bombing and Japanese and American street culture...’ and their success meant anything was possible. In the early 1990s James was Dj’ing in his hometown of Oxford and working at Honest Jons record store in Portobello Road, London. He was 17 when he hustled a regular column in Straight No Chaser magazine called Mo’ Wax Please and his weeks were an endless cycle of DIY production and clubbing. Upon launching his own indie record label, Mo’ Wax, James collaborated with graphic artist Swifty to create an original and evolving look that was ‘Kicking Phunk Like A


Š Will Bankhead


© Will Bankhead

Shaolin Monk’. From day one Mo’ Wax was never just about the music. It was a lifestyle. The journey began with Mo Wax 001, a 12-inch single featuring the New York group Repercussions. It took him to the States armed with an envelope of cash and the determination to hook up with as many of his heroes as possible. The Mo’ Wax network evolved globally and reflected his own evolving musical outlook. He forged friendships with Japanese hip-hop pioneers Major Force and recruited Massive Attacks’ 3D and NYC graff legend Futura2000 to do artworks for the label. He shared the turntables with Gilles Peterson at the longstanding Monday night jam, That’s How It is, and out of a musical firmament that included hip-hop, Detroit techno, jazz, rare groove and drum’n’ bass there emerged the signature sound of Mo’ Wax – trip hop.

‘From day one Mo’ Wax was never just about the music. It was a lifestyle.’

The learning curve of the 1990s was steep. There was no internet. Mobile phones were the size of a house brick. It was the era of the fax machine. He did a deal with A&M records that promised the freedom to do what they liked. San Francisco based DJ Shadow broke new ground with ‘In/Flux’ and Mo’ Wax satiated the appetites of beatheadz worldwide with his Entroducing LP. Meanwhile James was working on the

James Lavelle

UNKLE project recruiting hi-profile creative collaborators like Verve’s Richard Ashcroft, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Stone Rose’s Ian Brown. That album became post club, latenight listening for a generation but ironically it coincided with the collapse of his A&M deal. A whole new chapter in his life ensued. He went back to basics. James shared his record production duties with Richard File and took on DJ residences in global superclubs like Fabric in London, Zouk in Singapore and Womb in Tokyo. After a year in major record company limbo Mo’ Wax ended up at XL. They hit the ground running with an array of music that James describes as ‘eclectic and subversive’. His closest collaborators Will Bankhead and Ben Drury were at the top of their game during the XL era and he loves their attention to detail in their artwork and packaging. There were books, exhibitions, Futura fridge magnets, flexi discs, a project with Lego, Mo’ Wax camo-patterns and a range of toys/action figures that emerged from the Mo’ Wax collaboration with Nigo of A Bathing Ape in Japan. ‘The legacy of what’s been achieved with Mo’ Wax is not James Lavelle Toy © Bape /Medicom


necessarily that visible,’ reflects James. ‘But if you dig deep you’ll find it’s had a serious impact on the music industry as we know it today. Just think about the people that have been involved. Tim Goldsworthy, who was there from the very beginning, went on to set up DFA records. Attica Blues’ Tony Nwachuku provided the initial Adele tip-off to Nick Huggett. He was the last person I hired at Mo’ Wax and he went on to sign Adele, M.I.A and Dizzee Rascal. Damian Taylor is Bjork’s right-hand person. Cameron Craig is an award winning engineer and Jim Abbiss and Paul Epworth are both top producers… Adele, Kasabian, Florence & The Machine. Toby Feltwell went on to run A Bathing Ape and set up Billionaire Boys Club with Nigo and Pharrell.’ In recent times Daydreaming with James Lavelle has enabled James Lavelle to consistently extend the parameters of his vision and it’s led to acclaimed collaborations with globally renowned visual artists like Jonathan Glazer, Doug Foster and Nathan Coley. He continued his UNKLE journey by touring the world from Brixton Academy to the Sydney Opera House and releasing the critically acclaimed War Stories album. James’ search for empathic collaborators is never ending and has resulted in recordings with a genre defying array of musicians James Lavelle including Mark Lanegan and Joshua Homme from the Queens Of The Stone Age, both of whom are now scheduled to perform at Meltdown.

‘I feel really privileged to be able to bring all these artists together.’

‘I love Mark Lanegan and Josh Homme I’ve known since I was 27. A Josh Homme acoustic solo set at Meltdown… that’s fantastic. To have that kind of support on a friendship level, where the support is for the right reasons, is a really beautiful thing.’

I met Edwyn Collins when I was 24 around the same time that I was working with film maker Jonathan Glazer. Having such strong icons as Neneh Cherry and Chrissie Hynde at Meltdown is very important to me. ‘It was way back, through the documentary Bombin’, Mo’ Wax’s first release – which I’m showing Repercussions 12” MW 001 © Mo’ Wax designed by Swifty at Meltdown, that I first encountered Goldie and Massive Attack’s 3D. They were both iconic UK British street artists. Having Goldie perform with the Heritage Orchestra and revisit the Timeless album takes us to the roots of underground culture and soulful British Black music with that technological twist. “Inner City life” was a drum ‘n’ bass “Unfinished Symphony”. It reflects that urban pressure but it’s got love in there, a lot of love. It’s not chintzy or washy, it’s very emotive.’ The distance between Goldie and one of the grand masters of Detroit techno, Jeff Mills, is but a small step and of The Trip James maintains that we are dealing with ‘an extraordinary and deeply intellectual human being with an amazing mind’. Consistent with own DJ experiences and passions he also brings to the Meltdown a host of his contemporaries including Don Letts, Gilles Peterson, Benjie B, Craig Richards, Neil Barnes and the Wild Bunch’s legendary DJ Milo amongst others.

In fact, many of the artists James Lavelle has chosen to perform during the ten-days of Meltdown stem from a direct working relationship in the past. ‘Grandmaster Flash, ESG, Goldie, A Guy Called Gerald, Gilles Peterson and DJ Shadow are all related to my youth. A Love Supreme has been put together by Paul Bradshaw of Straight No Chaser. DJ Harvey I’ve known since I was 18.

Dusted @ Blue Note Club flyers 1994 – 96 © Ben Drury

Underground Movement (James’ first ever DJ gig, Oxford 1989) © Paul McMarn


Despite having experienced two turbulent decades in music business James Lavelle is still only 40 and in balancing the Meltdown line up he’s been constantly thrilled at discovering an array of new artists. The result is a collision of incredible contemporary music.

‘I’m still a fan and I’ll be running around Southbank Centre trying to take everything in!’

‘Max Richter did the atmospheric, award-winning soundtrack to Waltz with Bashir and he is performing it live with an orchestra. I’ve only James Lavelle discovered him in recent times,’ reflects Lavelle. ‘I love the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and I just thought Nick Zinner’s 41 Strings would fit in. I don’t even know if I can call Melanie De Biasio a jazz singer; she’s just like got a real mood. Radkey are a young ballsy band from St Joseph Missouri, fucking funny and cool and – as brothers – have a very entertaining dynamic.’ Integral to James Lavelle’s Meltdown is the exhibition Urban Archaeology: 21 Years of Mo’ Wax. At one low point in his career he says, ‘I just threw everything in a room and locked the door. Now I’ve opened that door to do the book and the exhibition it’s like Pandora’s box… it’s like “Wow!”.’ That task of processing one’s achievements and life lessons when you are still in your prime is radical and challenging but as he prepares his own live contribution to Meltdown he’s clearly undaunted. ‘I’m really looking forward to doing my show, UNKLEREDUX, with the LCO – London Contemporary Orchestra. I’m collaborating with a wonderful musician/arranger called Mara Carlyle. We’re arranging the songs and have an amazing cast of singers including Mark Lanegan, Liela Moss, Keaton Henson, Mara Carlyle, Eska, Rosie Lowe and a massive 40-strong choir from Goldsmiths. New and classic visuals will be done by Jonathan Glazer, Spike Jonze, UVA, Doug Foster, Nick & Warren Du Preez and Nathan Coley amongst others. We’ll be fucking with the songs, turning it around, giving it all a new lease of life in an orchestral way

DJ Krush (1997) MiLight 4 x 12” labels. Original artwork by Futura, design by Ben Drury

Portrait of James Lavelle by Robert Del Naja

because of the setting. We are scenting the room with a bespoke fragrance by Azzi Glasser. It’s the opening night of Meltdown and it will be joyful, cerebral and celebratory.’ ‘I feel really privileged to be able to bring all these artists together and participate in the experience,’ declares James. ‘I’ll be bringing in some of my favourite records to get them signed. Basically, I’m still a fan and I’ll be running around Southbank Centre trying to take everything in!’

© Will Bankhead


Š Warren Du Preez & Nick Thornton Jones


Bum Rush the Show | Public Enemy ‘I would probably say Public Enemy Bum Rush the Show as it was the first time I heard Public Enemy and that wall-of-noise layered production and sampling style and of course that kind of lyrical content. I was about nine or ten-years-old and someone played me a cassette of the album on a Walkman. It was the first time I had heard anything like it. Bomb Squad production would go on to be a huge influence for me, especially through the album I discovered very soon after It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back – which was even better. At that stage in life it was all about having these albums on cassette and listening to them front-to-back and back-to-front. There was something about the beats, the delivery, the sound and power of those albums that completely re-arranged my head at that age. They were also an education about America for a young mind in London, not just musically but culturally too. I loved lots of music as a kid – including pop and soul and jazz, and all sorts of music I would find at home and on the radio and TV – but it was hearing this LP, and Nation of Millions soon after, that made me feel like that I had discovered something new, mind-blowing, and a combination of all the musical elements I had loved most up until that point.’ Benji B

New Rose | The Damned ‘Hearing this on John Peel’s radio show released an endorphin rush like nothing else I’d felt since I heard Jean Vincent’s “Be-Bop-A-Lula”. This was a dawning for me of punk rock teenage angst.’ DJ Harvey

LOW | David Bowie ‘I felt like it was my discovery. I wanted “Warszawa” to go on forever. Things were different after that.’ Jon Glazer

illustrations © Keaton Heston


The Meltdown contributors give their replies...

So Cold | Rocket from the Tombs ‘It’s difficult to say which record changed my life. So many have had a major impact and they still resonate today. But If you ask which record hit me the most then I’d have to say that the first time I heard David Thomas with Rocket from the Tombs sing “So Cold” I felt I’d visited his soul and he’d entered mine. It opens with the simple plucking of strings that sound like they’ve been eaten by rust and builds to a fusion of peril and almost eerie optimism... Then comes that voice filled with total denouncement and determination to shun all the meaningless crap that prevails knowing he’ll be lost if he doesn’t. It was the pure passion and honesty it evoked.’ Pam Hogg


Promised Land | Johnnie Allan ‘A swamp-rock, Cajun squeezebox classic. When I was ill in hospital – 2005, no music for almost three months – this was the first thing I was played, on a Walkman. I recognised it immediately and I was overwhelmed with the sound. I broke down! I knew then all would be well with me and music, once again.’ Edwyn Collins

illustrations © Keaton Heston


Closer | Joy Division ‘I first heard it in the wintertime, 1982. It spoke to me in a deep way – alien yet totally familiar – and for weeks I didn’t listen to anything else. It brought me comfort during a really hard time. One of the greatest records ever.’ Mark Lanegan

I’ll go crazy | James Brown ‘This is where I first heard the funk and musical break that established the way I write ESG music. Plus it has a powerful lyric which states: “You have to live for yourself, yourself and nobody else”. I think it is very important to love oneself.’

Bohemian | Rhapsody Queen ‘When I first heard this record as a young girl it blew me away – as it still does today. A mixture of rock, opera and funk – what a combination! That is why this record is classic and always will be. It taught me that any musical combination is possible. (You just have to go with your gut!)’ Renee Scroggins from ESG


NYC | Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid ‘This record is an unedited document of some improvisations. Kieran & Steve were the best live performance I’ve ever seen. Without them and RocketNumberNine (#2 in my best-ever list), I don’t think I’d be playing live now – and their three incredible LPs were a huge inspiration to really go all-in on making my own music in a completely live way.’ James Holden

Planet Rock | Afrika Bambaataa and Soul Sonic Force ‘Because it created a new style. Radical and minimal. It’s production was so fresh and original. Raw beats on a Kraftwerk “Trans Europe Express” vibe. Changed everything for me and made me dream of getting a Linn Drum.’ Neil Barnes

I love you | Dizzee Rascal Carri Cassette Playa

illustrations © Keaton Heston


Grace | Jeff Buckley ‘In 1995 I was a performer in Elvis Costello’s Meltdown. One of the concerts featured Costello, Joan Baez and a singer I hadn’t (yet) heard of called Jeff Buckley. His performance with us was desperately beautiful – it simply blew my mind. For months after the gig I listened to his album Grace on repeat play. It’s heavy, dark and intensely sexual rock music, and yet there’s classical repertoire on there sung with the most effortless soprano voice ever committed to tape. Jeff had more passion and soul pouring through him than any musician I’ve ever met, and this album perfectly represents all of his contradictions.’  Philip Sheppard

Little Criminals | Randy Newman ‘At an early age I discovered Randy Newman. I stole my dad’s dust-covered copy of Little Criminals and played it to death. As a child I related to his awkwardness, learning that it must be ok to be a bit strange if this man could own it so totally and write with such confidence. As an artist I learned that there is such a thing as bravery in song writing, and that often the saddest songs of all are ones laced with humour. Newman’s was the first concert I ever attended, the venue... Queen Elizabeth Hall.’ Keaton Henson


Original Mo’ Wax logo design by Swifty photographed by Will Bankhead.


Unkle graphic. Original artwork by Futura, designed by Ben Drury.


The Velvet Underground and Nico | The Velvet Underground ‘The album that changed my life and really made a great impact on me is a real classic. It’s an album that has meant a lot, not only to me, but to a lot of people. It changed the way a rock album could sound. I’m talking about the fantastic album Velvet Underground and Nico. Yes, the album with the famous banana. If some people don’t know the music they probably know the cover by Andy Warhol.  This album chocked me! It sounded as nothing I had ever heard before! I was around 12-years-old when I heard it for the first time and it totally blew me away. So hypnotic, strange, sexy, rough, beautiful and mystic. I did not think music could sound this way. I might have listened to this record more than 1000 times... at least! Especially the tune “Venus In Furs” with its droneoverdriven violin, heavy tambourine, noisy specialtuned guitars and Lou Reed’s mesmerising voice. The haunting melodies! Back then I didn’t even get the SM references but I felt so sucked into the dark and trance/opium kind of atmosphere in that track that it still is a huge inspiration to me.  But the whole album is a milestone not only for me but for generations of musicians. Just think of other beautiful tracks on that album like “All Tomorrow’s Parties”, “I’m Waiting For My Man”, “There She Goes Again”, “Sunday Morning”... That album had so many really we’ll written songs, with such strong melodies! And the sound matching every song so perfectly! I still listen to this album very often and I keep finding tons of inspiration in it. This album and the debut album of Suicide are always something I keep on referring to when I’m producing and writing my own songs.’ Anders Trentemøller

illustrations © Keaton Heston


Boxcar Racer | Boxcar Racer ‘I guess I have to go for the record that honestly has had the most important impact on me. So despite the urge to choose an obvious classic or an unearthed gem of an album that sounds cool - I’ll be open. I have to go for Boxcar Racer by Boxcar Racer as it was the album that changed the way I saw music. I credit that record with making me pick up a guitar and want to sing. Growing up in Cape Town, that album really was the start of guitars for me.’ Yannick Ilunga from Petite Noir

Hanging On A String | Loose Ends ‘The tune that influenced me early in my life, in the 80s, was called “Hanging On A String” by Loose Ends.  

Forbidden Games | Miriam Makeba London Calling | The Clash ‘If I hadn’t grown up listening to a beautiful record by Miriam Makeba called Forbidden Games, then I wouldn’t have sung and pranced around the living room and may never have wanted to become a performer... so it steered me into what I do now. Then again, London Calling by The Clash has been the most spun by both of us – it’s so essential to us both and it radiated a fighting spirit, pride, love and humanity to our teenage ears.’ Roman Remains

It had an 808 in it, it had a real funk. The reason why I remember it was because there was a hip-hop kind of jam – there was a film called Electrorock at the Hippodrome when all the crews came down and we battled and did all these different routines and stuff. It was coming to London and really taking over and throwing down – and that tune, I’ll never forget hearing it in the interval and falling in love with it.’   Goldie


Tago Mago | Can ‘A very difficult one but I guess it would have to be Tago Mago by Can. They, in many ways, encapsulated much of what we wanted to become as a group. They were amazing musicians but all their records were completely different whilst maintaining that intangible “Can” quality. For me personally, Jaki Liebezeit was also an incredible drummer. Funky and metronomic at the same time.’ Alex Turnbull from 23 Skidoo

Exodus | Bob Marley and The Wailers ‘[It] changed my life as it helped me to get to sleep as a teenager.’ MICA

illustrations © Keaton Heston


The Beatles | The Beatles (aka The White Album) ‘As a band we listen to a pretty wild range of different genres and styles of music. Rarely are there records we unanimously agree upon, especially when it comes to records that we grew up with and the records that changed our lives the most. But here is one. It introduced us all to pop music. It’s an insane collection of simple pop song-writing cleverness and experimental swirls of noise. And we all know every word.’ Glass Animals

Diana Ross introduces the Jackson 5 | The Jackson 5 ‘...Because they were kids making music like me and they were part of a musical family like mine and I used to swing on my in-door swing while I played it over and over.’ Neneh Cherry

The Times They Are A-Changin’ | Bob Dylan ‘When I think of an inspiring track, for me it was Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’”. He was aged 23 and his fierce uncompromising message as a young campaigner upped my own stamina (I was ten at the time) to use music in the arts to urge social progress.’ Jude Kelly


Unkle Psyence Fiction Family Tree


Ultimate Breaks and Beats | Various ‘Not strictly a single record but a series of bootleg releases from 1986 to 1992 called Ultimate Breaks and Beats had a profound effect on me as a young fan of hip-hop. My 14-year-old self was utterly fascinated by the mysterious list of tracks that each record in the series contained. Only track titles were given – never the artist. The bazaar and wonderful “UFO” which I now know to be by ESG had been cut so that if it was played at 33rpm it would be slower than the original version. It still sounds wrong to me when I hear that track at the correct speed. These unofficial compilations were the first opportunity I had to own some amazing music from the past and ignited a desire to learn more about the origins of the catalogue. In an age before the internet and at a time where no one was a beat digger I caught the best bug ever. Record shops, record fares, boot sales, charity shops and mailing lists became an obsession and thanks in a large part to the ubiquitous Ultimate Breaks and Beats.’ Scratch Perverts

illustrations © Keaton Heston


Irresistible Bliss | Soul Coughing ‘A completely indescribable sound came from the mixture of a NY beat-poet guitarist frontman, infectiously funky breaks drummer, sampling keyboardist and upright-bass player that completely blew me away; completely unique, a real band, catchy tunes and weird noises in equal amounts. A masterclass in Postmodern and antiretro rock, my favourite album of all time.’ Tom Vek

Thriller | Augustas Pablo ‘The record that changed my Life has to be “Thriller” by Augustas Pablo the finest melodica player to come from Jamaica, who has worked with the most brilliant Jamaican artists, singers, players etc [not to be confused with Michael Jackson’s Thriller!]. I find this album to be very cinematic, and sometimes when there are no lyrics, you just soak yourself in the music itself. Reggae music has healed and restored me in a way that no human ever could. Listen and learn. One Love.’ Tessa Pollit

Electric Counterpoint | Steve Reich ‘I actually first heard this at my high school graduation. It was being performed during the ceremony, which was somewhat distracting because the whole time I was thinking “what is this?!” It led me to start thinking and learning about music through repetition, simplicity and minimalism. It also led me to study gamelan in Bali, which ended up being a big inspiration on how I play guitar and think about music and rhythm.’ Nick Zinner


Silence ‘Listen and observe.and still breathe. That changed my life.’ Melanie De Biasio


Autobahn | Kraftwerk ‘Hearing the filter open up on the bass line at the start of this as a child was an overwhelming experience. Within a few seconds I knew that my life would take on a completely different direction – I didn’t know what a composer was but I just had to get my hands on whatever was making that sound! Unfortunately, at the time a synthesiser cost as much as a house, so I got busy with the soldering iron. Listening more closely over time the record persuaded me that electronics and “real” composing could live happily together: those great sonics, the wonderful Schubertian melodies, the classical structural thinking, the beats... I think it still holds up now as an invitation to imagine all kinds of possible and impossible musical worlds.’ Max Richter

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill | Lauryn Hill ‘This changed the whole way I thought about singing – her phrasing, and the way she arranged and produced her vocals... She has such a crazy range of tones and colours in her voice. And the song writing is killer... Pretty much a perfect record from start to finish.’ Mara Carlyle

Sound of the Crowd | The Human League ‘The first time I heard the Human League’s “Sound of the Crowd”, listening to John Peel, pretty much carved my listening tastes for life. But the first time I heard the full length 12” version “complete” totally transformed it. Martin Rushent’s magnificent production took all my teenage influences and future dreams and placed them firmly on an experimental dance floor. Martin’s work inspired me to make music and sent me on a path of sonic discovery that still obsesses me today.’ Trevor Jackson

illustrations © Keaton Heston


The Heretics’ Gate © Doug Foster


Build and Destroy Š Giovanni Estevez


‘It’s a difficult question to answer. There isn’t one particular track or artist I can recall that made something that had a life-changing result. I generally accept and consume music quite effortlessly.’ Jeff Mills

Voodoo Ray | A Guy Called Gerald ‘This record taught me how records work and why I should always push forward and not get stuck in someone else’s timeline or hype system.’ A Guy Called Gerald


Dread Beat an’ Blood | Poet And The Roots ‘Choosing one record that changed my life is hard ‘cause I’m as old as rock n’ roll so there are many! But one of the albums that moved and made me the man I am today is Linton Kwesi Johnson’s Dread Beat An’ Blood released in 1977. A crucial time in my life ‘cause I had that coming in one ear and the emerging punk sounds in the other. It was the musical reportage quality of Linton’s lyrics (i.e “Five Nights of Bleeding”) combined with the punk diy ethic that really kick-started my life as a film-maker.’ Don Letts

illustrations © Keaton Heston

Baduizm | Erykah Badu ‘It was the first album that I got deeply obsessed with; playing it all day every day. She shares a deep and personal part of her soul in the most beautiful way. It was such honest music for me and it made me feel strong as a woman and inspired as a songwriter.’ Rosie Lowe


What Jackson said to Andy (All Artists are Either Cowboys or Indians), 2008. Courtesy Studio Nathan Coley.


Artwork from Unkle’s third album, War Stories, 2007 © Robert Del Naja

Artwork from Unkle’s fifth album, Where Did The Night Fall, 2010 © Warren Du Preez & Nick Thornton Jones


The Blues Volume One | Various Artists ‘Back in the early 1960s one of my prize possessions was The Blues – Volume One. I acquired it via a swap with one of brother’s Teddy boy mates. He’d liberated it from his Jamaican father’s vinyl collection and it’s been with me ever since. Drawing on recordings from Chicago’s phenomenal Chess label, the compilation included Little Walter, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson and the mighty Howling Wolf and it introduced me to the deep, dynamic, mystical music and culture of urban Black America. I was a kid. I was into The Rolling Stones and The Pretty Things, but hearing Howling Wolf sing “Spoonful” and “Smokestack Lighting” – that was something else. It is the root of a journey that’s now spanned half a century and has opened up a myriad of tributaries born of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It led me co-launch Straight No Chaser magazine where we could explore the spiritual retentions and political dimensions of the African diaspora… jazz, reggae, funk, samba, hip-hop, rumba. For Meltdown it’s enabled me to present a re-imagining of John Coltrane’s spiritual masterpiece A Love Supreme based on the revelations of a journey that seems to have no end.’ Paul Bradshaw

Oliver’s Army | Elvis Costello ‘This was one of the first pieces of vinyl I ever ownedand recently retrieved from an ex who had snuck it away in our separation. I was too young to understand the lyrics but I knew it was important musically and politically; it changed my world and led me to seek out artists that weren’t necessarily on Top of the Pops every week. Declan I salute you.’ Jane Beese (head of contemporary music at Southbank Centre)

Amen Brother | The Winstons ‘Because it’s what helped me to start piecing together how this insane music that had been blowing my early teenage mind was actually created. My life had already been changed by experiencing the results of the sampling on the dance floor, but it was the discovery of how people actually made this music that really spurred me to dive even deeper into where I find myself today.’ James Priestley (from Secretsundaze)

illustrations © Keaton Heston


The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels Of Steel | Grandmaster Flash ‘... because it provided the blueprint for everything I needed to know as a DJ.’ DJ Shadow

Conversations with myself | Bill Evans ‘It was like finding the missing link – I discovered connections; From Evans > Miles > Coltrane From Evans > Jarrett (all the things you are) > to Mehldau From Evans > Glen Gould > Mitsuko Uchida Coming from a strictly classical piano background, this opened me up to the idea of improvisation.’ ROSEY CHAN from Carnet de Voyage

From the Hip | Section 25 ‘It opened my perspective on the endless possibilities of electronic sounds.’ MIMI XU from Carnet de Voyage


Cum on Feel the Noize | Slade ‘It was the first record I bought. It showed me the world outside my home life.’ Jeremy Deller

Chocolate City | Parliament ‘That’s not an easy question to answer for me to be honest because there were so many records at different stages of my life. But If I had to say one record I think it would have to be Chocolate City, as it was my first introduction to Parliament. It wasn’t my favourite album by them, but the effect it had on me was immense as it came at a time when my ear was maturing. The depth and detail of that production was something else. You could listen to a track for a month, leave it alone for a week, listen again and find something totally new that you never picked up before. The entire Parliament/Funkadelic experience was like that for me after that. Even the albums I missed out on that I eventually got, like Up for the Down Stroke, was the same.’ DJ Milo

illustrations © Keaton Heston


The Rite of Spring | Igor Stravinsky ‘Here’s the reason. Many years ago I was doing my typical search for music/sounds and beats in my Dj/ studio lab. I dropped the needle on this song and I found it to be happy. But as it played, it went into this darkness sound... It actually scared me – I was alone, my house was creaking. Then it slowly went back to happiness... Quite an emotional experience from a song.’ Grandmaster Flash

Apollo | Brian Eno ‘The ultimate come down and the ultimate lift. when I heard it first my head was on another planet already and I was suitably positioned in a hammock. We all need music to transport us to a better world sometimes.’ Craig richards

Ghost Town | The Specials ‘Growing up as a soul boy in London I’d kind of been sheltered from anything non jazz-funk – most of my mates had been going up the King’s Road to buy punk from Boy whereas I was going to Kingston to buy pod shoes and pegged trousers… I was quietly buying some punk because I liked the coloured vinyls but it was The Specials and the whole Two-Tone thing that made the connection for me between my soul casual roots and a more political post punk conscientiousness. It told me there was more going on than just going to Caister Soul Weekenders and all dayers at the Lyceum...’ Gilles peterson


MELANIE_DE_BIASIO_AD_Layout 1 27/05/2014 16:46 Page 1

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HAYWARD GALLERY 17 Jun – 7 Sep 2014

© Jeff Koons, Bear and Policeman, 1988

The figure in contemporary sculpture


metropolis music present

FRIDAY 27 JUNE

LONDON ROUNDHOUSE

NOVEMBER 2014 MON 17 BRIGHTON

Brighton Dome Corn Exchange

TUE 18 BIRMINGHAM

ROUNDHOUSE.ORG.UK / GIGSANDTOURS.COM TICKETMASTER.CO.UK / STARGREEN.COM DEXYSONLINE.COM

Institute

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FRI 21 LEEDS

Metropolitan University

SAT 22 MANCHESTER Albert Hall

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THU 27 LONDON

O2 Academy Brixton

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PERFORMING

MARQUEE MOON SUNDAY 27 JULY

LONDON O2 SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE TICKETWEB.CO.UK | GIGSANDTOURS.COM | STARGREEN.COM A METROPOLIS MUSIC PRESENTATION BY ARRANGEMENT WITH PRIMARY TALENT INTERNATIONAL

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NEW ALBUM ‘IN THE SILENCE’ OUT NOW ASGEIRMUSIC.COM TO U R A N N O U N C E M E N TS & P R I O R I T Y B O O K I N GS • F I N D U S O N


Gigs

Taj Mahal and Bassekou Kouyate Sunday 13 July Royal Festival Hall

Mulatu Astatke Saturday 13 September Royal Festival Hall

An Evening Moon Duo 19 September with Joan Baez Friday Queen Elizabeth Hall 17, 18, 20 & 21 September Royal Festival Hall

ONLY UK SHOWS IN 2014

Jon Hopkins

John Cooper Clarke plus guests

Saturday 4 October Royal Festival Hall

Yann Tiersen Friday 26 September Royal Festival Hall

Friday 19 September Royal Festival Hall

Also coming up:

Love Motown with Jazz Jamaica All-Stars John Grant Josienne Clark & Ben Walker Marianne Faithfull Gruff Rhys: American Interior EFG London Jazz Festival

0844 847 9910 southbankcentre.co.uk

Angelique Kidjo

Friday 14 November Royal Festival Hall

Part of EFG London Jazz Festival


Since 1993 some of the most famous names in music have been the directors of Meltdown. It has given legendary figures the chance to pick their favourite artists to play and exhibit their work at Southbank Centre.

1993

George Benjamin 1994

Louis Andriessen 1995

Elvis Costello 1996

Magnus Lindberg 1997

Laurie Anderson 1998

John Peel 1999

Nick Cave 2000

Scott Walker 2001

Robert Wyatt 2002

David Bowie

2003

Lee Scratch Perry 2004

Morrissey 2005

Patti Smith 2006

closed No Meltdown due to the refurbishment of Royal Festival Hall

2007

Jarvis Cocker 2008

Massive Attack 2009

Ornette Coleman 2010

Richard Thompson 2011

Ray Davies 2012

antony 2013

Yoko ono 2014

JAMES LAVELLE


James Lavelle's Meltdown - Souvenir Publication  

The souvenir publication for James Lavelle's Meltdown at Southbank Centre, June 2014.

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