29/11/2013

Introducing ... (Selected Works)

UNKLE
2006

Introducing ... looks like a promo-only album, since it appears in no UNKLE discographies (and it says "for promotional use only, not for resale" inside ...). I found it secondhand in our Berwick Street trawl earlier this year. UNKLE has been on my radar for a long time but what particularly sparked my interest was that they made a track with Alice Temple (of Eg & Alice, um, "fame". Well famous in my head for their peerless album 24 Years Of Hunger - but that's another review).

Sadly that track doesn't appear here. This album is a selection from their work up to 2006 and consists of two disks. The first contains UNKLE originals and is pretty good. My current favourite? I'm torn between "Reign", featuring Ian Brown, a first cousin of his track "F.E.A.R.", which features string parts over a good beat; and "Eye For An Eye", a nicely apocalyptic. spooky mix of spoken word samples and the sung refrain from The Temptations' "Ball Of Confusion" - "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, run run run but you sure can't hide". "Blackout" is heavily reminiscent Massive Attack circa Mezzanine - no bad thing, of course. Another Ian Brown collaboration, "Be There", is good too.

Other tracks feature Richard Ashcroft and Thom Yorke and, in each case, sound like their respective bands with some more beat-oriented production. Overall, I like all this material. Time to get the released albums, probably.

The second disk is made up of UNKLE remixes of various artists, including Massive Attack, Robert Plant, QOTSA and Ian Brown's aforementioned "F.E.A.R." Generally I'm no fan of remixes, regarding them as unnecessary arsing around with perfectly good songs that do nothing to improve on the originals. There are some notable exceptions, of course, but none of these songs feature in that list. Disposable.

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