Britain’s men from UNKLE come to America

Special to The Times

When UNKLE mastermind James Lavelle and musical partner Richard Fine get behind the DJ decks for a multimedia “decks and effects” extravaganza at Pearl in West Hollywood at 9 tonight, it will be the culmination of a long road to America.

Though the British duo’s 1998 album “Psyence Fiction,” which featured DJ Shadow and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, was hailed as one of that decade’s landmark albums, Universal chose not to release its second project, “Never, Never, Land,” Lavelle says. The album includes guest appearances from Massive Attack’s 3D; ex-Stone Roses Ian Brown and Mani, who reunite for the first time since the band split in 1996 on the rhythmic track “Reign”; and Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, on the hypnotic rocker “Safe in Mind.”

Now, a year after its European release, “Never, Never, Land” is finally getting proper stateside distribution on dance label Global Underground.

“It’s really turned out to be a blessing,” Lavelle said from London. “Global, you’re dealing with a couple of people. If you want a decision you can get one the same day.”


Lavelle, though, is just happy for the opportunity to, as he put it, “finish what I started” by bringing the album to America. “I’m really on the American tip right now. It seems people come to it with more of an open mind in the States” than in England.

He’s hopeful those good vibes carry onto the American tour, where he promises a bit of old and new.

“It’s me and Rich deejaying, and that’s ultimately where I came from. And then we throw in a few mad things we’ve done or recorded, a lot of edits, from Sid Vicious’ ‘My Way’ to UNKLE edits.”