The Road: Part I

The Road: Part I

by UNKLE

Overview

James Lavelle has never been afraid to think outside the box. With his ever-rotating wheel of collaborations, he has managed to maintain a prolific output of primarily electronic music enriched with a burgeoning wave of assorted styles and sounds over the past 25 years. Here, inspired by his experience curating the 2014 Meltdown Festival at London's Southbank, Lavelle presents UNKLE's fifth studio album. The mission statement for The Road, Pt. 1 was to create another unique effort that celebrates the history of its sound up until that moment, inspired by modern multicultural London. The opener, "Farewell," is a gorgeous piece with Lavelle's vocals passionately layered across a beautiful rich bed of strings and thudding, reverb-laden beats before moving on to the album's lead single, "Looking for the Rain," featuring longtime collaborator Mark Lanegan. It's a somewhat ominous yet inviting track comprising Eastern-style strings, synth leads, and pronounced percussion with Lanegan's unmistakable gravelly voice adorning the mix. As with previous appearances, his voice is the perfect choice to illustrate a picture that's so effectively painted through lyrics such as the chorus refrain of "There's a wraith-like shadow appearing/And though my eyes are veiled/I'm looking for the rain to fall," while a chugging, overdriven guitar carries the track verse to verse. The album maintains the more primary use of live instrumentation, like its predecessor, 2010's Where Did the Night Fall. However, pertaining to the unifying theme of Lavelle revisiting his roots in early production days and keeping one hand on the pulse of the present, there is an unmistakable dose of bold trip-hop from its beginnings, most identifiable in the album's treatment of percussion. Some of the collaborations here are also brand-new ones; "Cowboys or Indians" is a magnetic slab of electronica, punctuated with melancholy acoustic guitar, swimming synth bass, and punching snares, featuring Elliot Power, Mi¨nk, and YSE´E (Power's vocals are somewhat akin to frequent UNKLE collaborator Robert Del Naja, who is unfortunately absent this time around). "Nowhere to Run/Bandits" is another song to just feature Lavelle at the forefront vocally. Carried by a tireless thudding drum sound, tightly wound basslines, and Lavelle's languid yet rich and soothing vocals sitting atop a wave of dissonant guitar, it's a great mid-album stomper that effectively moves the listener along with it. An ethereal, magnetic, and alluring piece of work, The Road, Pt. 1 is a robust album with ebb and flow. Here's looking forward to Pt. 2.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/18/2017
Label: Cooking Vinyl
UPC: 5060463410568
catalogNumber: 341056

Album Credits

Performance Credits

UNKLE   Primary Artist
Mark Lanegan   Vocals
Brian Cox   Vocals
Chris Goss   Background Vocals,Waterphone
Jack Leonard   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals
Martin Loveday   Strings
Justin Stanley   Drums
Twiggy Ramirez   Bass,Guitar,Background Vocals
Mary Scully   Strings
James Lavelle   Piano,Vocals,Group Member
Marco Baroni   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano
Alex Thomas   Drums
Troy Van Leeuwen   Background Vocals
Jon Theodore   Drums
Emlyn Singleton   Strings
Matthew Puffett   Synthesizer
Eska   Vocals
Dhani Harrison   Vocals
Philip Sheppard   Strings
Liela Moss   Vocals
Perry Montague-Mason   Strings
Keaton Henson   Vocals
Wil Malone   Conductor
Gigi Canu   Bass,Guitar
Elliott Power   Vocals
Callum Finn   Vocals
Dorian Lutz   Synthesizer
Carson McCall   Vocals
Steven Young   Vocals
Ysée   Vocals,Background Vocals
Pater Lale   Strings
Mïnk   Vocals,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Mark Lanegan   Composer
Chris Goss   Composer,Additional Production
Alain Johannes   Vocal Engineer
Jack Leonard   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Justin Stanley   Engineer
Carl Craig   Composer,Programming,Engineer
James Lavelle   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Art Direction,Logo
Ben Drury   Logo
Marco Baroni   Composer
Justin Smith   Engineer
Cameron Craig   Engineer
Bruno Ellingham   Engineer
Matthew Puffett   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Additional Production
Eska   Composer
Philip Sheppard   Composer
Jeordie White   Composer
Liela Moss   Composer
Perry Montague-Mason   Orchestra Leader
Toby Butler   Engineer
Futura 2000   Logo
Keaton Henson   Composer
Wil Malone   String Arrangements
Gigi Canu   Composer
Elliott Power   Composer
Steven Weston   Programming,Engineer,Additional Production
Callum Finn   Composer
Dorian Lutz   Composer,Programming,Engineer,Additional Production
Jonas Burgert   Cover Art
Tafari   Composer

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