While James Lavelle has put UNKLE on hold, Pablo Clements and James Griffith, members of the seminal project since 2007, have forged a new musical partnership, TOYDRUM and are based in their own studio in Brighton, the TOY ROOMS. They produce and compose for an eclectic mix of projects. They are releasing their first Mini Album on their own UNDERSCORE COLLECTIVE label on 29th September.

Pablo Clements began his musical career with the PSYCHONAUTS while growing up in Yeovil Somerset, amidst a burgeoning breakbeat revival in nearby Bristol. Pablo and his musical partner Paul Mogg spun, scratched and mixed their way on to the decks of the local pirate radio station and were soon running their own club nights, recording music and compiling mix tapes.

Legend has it that one of these tapes was the only earthly possession that their Yeovil pal Tim Goldsworthy (original UNKLE member/co-founder of the MO’WAX record label) had left after he and his luggage had been separated in transit from London to Los Angeles. Attending a party thrown by the Beastie Boys, Goldsworthy played the PSYCHONAUTS tape. Almost instantly, their world went crazy. They were offered four major record deals before they had properly recorded a single piece of music. Deciding to sign with MO’WAX, they took their time settling into their craft and playing spectacular DJ shows with four record decks and a sampler. LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, has cited debut PSYCHONAUTS album “Songs for Creatures” as a major influence on their own work.

Moving to London in 1996, Pablo Clements began to work regularly for MO’WAX as an artist with the PSYCHONAUTS. He officially became a member of UNKLE in 2007, co-producing their “War Stories“ (July 2007) album. Alongside bassist and guitarist James Griffith (BIG IN JAPAN & LAKE TROUT) they toured the world, and over the next few years saw a number of UNKLE releases that they were creatively responsible for: ‘More Stories (January 2008), ‘End Titles Stories For Film’ (July 2008), ‘End Titles Redux’ (December 2008) ‘Where Did The Night Fall’ (May 2010) and ‘Where Did The Night Fall Another Night Out (April 2011) featuring collaborations with Ian Astbury, Queen Of The Stone Age, Nick Cave, The Black Angels, Mark Lanagan, Sleepy Sun and many more. Pablo and James have also had success by taking their music to the small and big screen with tracks for films such as Twilight, Drive Angry, X Files and full scores for Odyssey In Rome (Abel Ferrara documentary), Lives Of The Artist (documentary), The Score (UEFA), Pieces, Red Shoes (Vivienne Westwood) and adverts such as BMW, Jonny Walker, Honda, Jaegermister.

Both Clements and Griffith have extensive musical histories spanning many collaborations and projects, and they continue as a prolific and productive force at the TOY ROOMS studio today. The upcoming mini-album is the first of a series of releases which comprehensively demonstrates their continued creativity and ability to deliver music that matters. ‘A Distant Focus Vol 1’ is a continuation of their success and pushing their sound forward from the music they created as UNKLE.

Free mix ‘Caught by the Nest’ – mixed by Toydrum and Tim Goldsworthy, featuring moments from the forthcoming Distant Focus Mini LP

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Xsnoize Author
Mark Millar is the founder of XS Noize and looks after the daily running of the website as well as conducting interviews for the XS Noize Podcast. Mark's favourite album is Achtung Baby by U2.

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