Musical and artistic innovator James Lavelle will curate the 21st Meltdown next year, following in the footsteps of some of music’s biggest names, including David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, Jarvis Cocker and Massive Attack.
Combining creative entrepreneurship with a radical artistic approach, James’ genre-defying portfolio spans music, art, fashion, design and film, and as part of his groundbreaking work with UNKLE, boasts acclaimed musical collaborations with the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Massive Attack, Nick Cave and Thom Yorke.
Collaboration, innovation and a spirit of non-conformism are central to his approach. James is working with young people to curate the programme, meaning that this very special Meltdown will further his commitment to mobilising the next generation to become the inventors of their own culture.
Both Meltdown and James Lavelle’s iconic label Mo’Wax turn 21 in 2014, and as part of the festival, Mo’Wax21: Urban Archaeology, an interactive exhibition devised with Southbank Centre as part of the festival, celebrates the creative output of the label James launched as a teenager.
The full line-up will be announced in early 2014.
‘James Lavelle is an art general. He gathers troops from different backgrounds and areas of expertise and finds a way to bring them into harmony. He helms their differences into a unique amalgam that could not have existed without him. He somehow conducts this strange orchestra into a delicate and bizarre beauty.’ Josh Homme
‘When I met James at the beginning of the 90's he had the glow of a kid with a secret he could barely hold and that wild fresh energy he's maintained makes him a great choice for Meltdown as he'll spin and inject his excitement into the rafters of Royal Festival Hall.’ Pam Hogg
‘James is one of the true cultural provocateurs who has consistently been at the cutting edge of culture. It’s exciting to imagine what he will bring to Southbank Centre's Meltdown – A sense of danger and newness. He is the master of surprise and unexpected emotions – we’re in for a wild ride!’ Jefferson Hack
‘In the 15 years we’ve been friends it never fails to amaze how James is always working with the latest and greatest music-makers, designers, artists, filmmakers and movers and shakers of the time. What a great choice to curate the Meltdown festival and much deserved.’ Ian Brown
‘James kept me up during the 90s. And by that I mean no sleep! He is a brilliant dictator...I mean curator; his label Mo Wax and the UNKLE project are a great testament to that. Meltdown next year will be a blast!’ 3D, Massive Attack
‘When I first met James, I knew I had found a kindred spirit who could embrace the possibilities of ALL music, not just this genre or that... So when he began to apply this aesthetic to his label, the impact on the cultural landscape of that time was inevitable and profound. I eagerly await the application of his curatorial pastiche to Meltdown!’ DJ Shadow