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Psyence Fiction
     

Psyence Fiction

5.0 4
by UNKLE
 

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James Lavelle and DJ Shadow are unequal partners in UNKLE, with the former providing the concept and the latter providing music, which naturally overshadows the concept, since the only clear concept -- apart from futuristic sound effects, video-game samples, and merging trip-hop with rock -- is collaborating with a variety of musicians, from

Overview

James Lavelle and DJ Shadow are unequal partners in UNKLE, with the former providing the concept and the latter providing music, which naturally overshadows the concept, since the only clear concept -- apart from futuristic sound effects, video-game samples, and merging trip-hop with rock -- is collaborating with a variety of musicians, from superstars to cult favorites Kool G Rap, Alice Temple, and Mark Hollis (who provides uncredited piano on "Chaos"). Since Shadow's prime gift is for instrumentals, the prospect of him collaborating with vocalists is more intriguing than enticing, and Psyence Fiction is appropriately divided between brilliance and failed experiments. Shadow and Lavelle aren't breaking new territory here -- beneath the harder rock edge, full-fledged songs, and occasional melodicism, the album stays on the course Endtroducing... set. Shadow isn't given room to run wild with his soundscapes, and only a couple of cuts, such as the explosive opener, "Guns Blazing," equal the sonic collages of his debut. Initially, that may be a disappointment, but UNKLE gains momentum on repeated listens. Portions of the record still sound a little awkward -- Mike D's contribution suffers primarily from recycled Hello Nasty rhyme schemes -- yet those moments are overshadowed by Shadow's imagination and unpredictable highlights, such as Temple's chilly "Bloodstain" or Badly Drawn Boy's claustrophobic "Nursery Rhyme," as well as the masterstrokes fronted by Richard Ashcroft (a sweeping, neo-symphonic "Lonely Soul") and Thom Yorke (the moody "Rabbit in Your Headlights"). These moments might not add up to an overpowering record, but in some ways Psyence Fiction is something better -- a superstar project that doesn't play it safe and actually has its share of rich, rewarding music.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/29/1998
Label:
Fontana London
UPC:
0731454097017
catalogNumber:
540970

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Psyence Fiction 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one smooth, dark release (in more ways than one)...more guest artists than most could handle, but Lavelle and Shadow rip it up and use it right. Everything from hip-hop to brit-pop, with artists like Richard Ashcroft and Thom Yorke making this one of, if yet not the only, shoegazing trip hop disc yet. Get this one and gaze.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I first listened to one of Unkle's songs I was enlightened by its abstract, upbeat (awesome drum work), and of course its post modern use of techno music. Lonely Souls was a signifigant master piece by itself of a darker more thoughtful side about life to a new hope created with a blend of ochestra and cool electronic rythms. And also there is something oddly comforting and meditive while listening to Unkle which is why I enjoy the music so much and cannot wait until more releases.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is definately one of the greatest bands/albums ever. It is some of Shadow's best work. Although not ALL of the tracks are excellent, the good ones make up for it. I love the way unkle sounnds! they are awesome!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Unkle shines bright in this masterpiece collection of spinning techno tunes combined with amazingly smooth acid jazz. If nothing else, buy this album simply for 'Lonely Souls,' the symphonic ballad with string lines that will send chills down your spine.