If you were drawing up a trip-hop family tree and you got to UNKLE and Grandaddy, you'd likely start scratching your head. It's arguably the most confusing development in pop culture since that guy named a video-game Brothers: Tale of Two Sons. When clearing up the mystery of UNKLE, it's imperative to mention that hip-hop producer DJ Shadow once counted amongst their ranks -- in reality, though, UNKLE is an electronica legion, inviting anyone and everyone to associate their music to it.
Through a series of different line-ups, the band have made a variety of sounds, starting with a sample-heavy record called Psyence Fiction, which gives modern day plunderphonics nerds a run for their money. Acclaimed for bringing out the best beatwork via samples of rock music like Nirvana's "Come As You Are", they counted as one of the era's greatest crossovers.
They waded into the swamp of downtempo on Never, Never Land, getting darker and moodier and less loving, and came back with War Stories later, here properly merging their love of alternative rock and hip-hop into one, collab-heavy record that counted Josh Homme amongst its features. UNKLE made all music their tool and had it sing in new, rebuilt ways.