UNKLE is Mo' Wax tastemaker James Lavelle's all-star project. He and songwriter Richard File gather a noteworthy group of musicians for Never, Never, Land, and although the grocery list of guests is overwhelming, the duo elicits interesting performances from each participant. Where Psyence Fiction, Lavelle's inaugural UNKLE collaboration with DJ Shadow, focused on meshing samples with seemingly disembodied voices, Never is song-oriented, spotlighting talented vocalists such as Massive Attack's 3D (who sounds more devious and mysterious than ever) and the Stone Roses' Ian Brown. Sometimes dark and eerie, other times tender and hollow, Never, Never, Land combines experimental and traditional electronic music more successfully than Psyence Fiction managed to.
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