"I became a DJ because I couldn't Breakdance. And I was no good at Grafitti."
The Underground's loss, music's gain. Well, not in every sense - musically, James Lavelle (b. 1974 in Oxford, England) has been at the heart of the London underground for almost a decade. And in love with all kinds of music for all of his 27 years. Like the rest of us, it was the parental record collection that switched James Lavelle on to music, early Lavelle sets included the likes of Stevie Wonder and Deep Purple, an eclectic mix that was an embryonic blueprint both for James Lavelle as a DJ and for his label Mo Wax; good tunes are good tunes - the genre doesn't matter. But back to the young James. And hip-hop, the one style of music that initially captivated him. It wasn't just the music; the UK's fledgling hip-hop scene was as much about Tacchini as it was Whodini and the breaks were the rhythms for breakdancing. Which James couldn't do, not that it mattered, he was already sold on the breaks. Inspired by the sound systems put together by the likes of Afrikaa Bambaata in the States and by the Wild Bunch over in Bristol, James started buying records by the bucketload and providing the soundtracks to his home town Oxford's own blockparty scene. The first party he put on, at 15, made him enough money to get a pair of decks and with Oxford starting to run out of vinyl, London beckoned. There's probably no better example of right place, right time.