Sunday, April 14, 2013

Unkle - "Do Androids Dream of Electric Beats?" (LP Review)

Although this is "only" a bootleg, it is one of the prized members of my CD collection.  Unkle's* 2001 triple LP "Do Androids Dream of Electric Beats?" might be the best DJ mix I've heard.  Unkle has always been James Lavelle and whomever he is working with at the time (at this point, it was Richard File -- but make no mistake, this is James Lavelle's vision).  Originally intended for a Japanese radio show, this is not your ordinary club/ dance mix and is more suited for a theater than a club.  With the title being a clever nod to Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" and the cover art from Futura 2000, the sci-fi theme is clearly established.  In my review of "The Less You Know, The Better", I described Lavelle's vision as "the soundtrack to the weird sci-fi movie that only James Lavelle can see."  If you listen to this mix from start to finish, you'll start to catch glimpses of the movie too. 

James Lavelle is an extraordinary DJ, and the set pulls together various tracks and genres that would fail miserably in less expert hands.  In addition to the usual suspects from Lavelle's label Mo' Wax, there are The Beatles, The Stones, Rare Earth, Fleetwood Mac, Iggy Pop and other surprises.  I could try to write more about it, but fortunately due to its not-quite-legal status, it is pretty easy to find on the web.  Just listen (each disc is just a single track):

Disc one -- "Shin" Youtube, Soundcloud
Disc two -- "Gi" Youtube, Soundcloud
Disc three -- "Tai" Youtube, Salacious Sound

All three discs in a single Youtube playlist.  You'll have to look at the Wikipedia and Discogs sites to piece together the source material for each track. 

Don't even think about finding an original version -- there were only 500 copies made, and even the bootleg versions command a pretty stiff price now.

Standout songs: n/a. 

Skip 'em songs: n/a

Final Score: 9/10  You read a lot about DJ sets being a "journey", well this is a textbook example.  And if "Do Androids Dream of Electric Beats?" is a textbook, then James Lavelle is your teacher.

* I've chosen to credit this to "Unkle", although this was released as Unklesounds, or UNKLESounds, or UNKLE Sounds, depending on what you read.  Add to the confusion is the fact that James Lavelle & guest have also released UNKLE, U.N.K.L.E., and other variations.  I'm lumping them all under "Unkle".

No comments:

Post a Comment