James Lavelle celebrates Unkle’s 25th anniversary

The Mo’ Wax founder goes back to his Soho roots in an all-out exhibition at Lazarides Gallery

At the tender age of 18, James Lavelle had already established his own record label, Mo’ Wax; his music collective Unkle followed shortly after. To celebrate its 25th year, Lavelle returns to central London, near where the Mo’Wax office was originally located, to exhibit Daydreaming with Unkle Presents... The Road: Soho at Lazarides Gallery this January.

The exhibition features video installations scored with tracks from Unkle’s upcoming album The Road, as well as a number of artworks from members of the Mo’Wax family - including artist duo Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, who have created music videos for Björk and Unkle. There will also by a pop-up store where collectors can get their hands on limited items from Medicom Toys, Neighborhood, Nike and Converse.

In an interview with The Vinyl Factory, who will be releasing Unkle’s new material, James Lavelle said: “Unkle has always been a multi-sensory creative project, ranging from genre-defining music to cutting-edge visual art. It therefore feels incredibly fitting to celebrate UNKLE’s past, present and future in Soho, where it all began, with an immersive show at the much-loved Lazarides gallery.”

In his 10 year stint running Mo’ Wax and performing in Unkle, Lavelle's influence was huge, both through birthing trip-hop and through pushing his brand through the guises of graffiti and streetwear. He has collaborated with artists including 3D (of Massive Attack), Futura 2000, Haze and Stash, and brands such as Bathing Ape and Stüssy. As well as trip hop, the label released a range of music from ambient techno to psych rock, with artists as diverse as Kool G Rap, Richard Ashcroft and Metallica bassist Jason Newsted.

Former Mo'Wax artist Charlie Dark of Attica Blues described the label as a platform that “pulled together music, art and street culture from around the world and spat it out in a format that the new generation could understand and more importantly afford.”