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Mo' Wax

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Mo' Wax
Founded1992 (1992)
FounderJames Lavelle
Country of originUnited Kingdom

Mo' Wax was a British record label founded by James Lavelle in 1992.[1] The label was not co-founded by Tim Goldsworthy, as is often reported.[2][3] Steve Finan became co-owner shortly after.

Mo' Wax came to recognition for being at the forefront of trip hop, turntablism and alternative hip hop during the mid-1990s. The label also released notable records covering techno, drum and bass and electro. Mo'Wax also helped the graffiti artist Futura 2000 regain popularity, by using his artwork on many of their releases in the 1990s.

Lavelle signed partial ownership of Mo' Wax over to A&M Records (now part of the Universal Music Group) in 1996.[1] When their deal expired he signed with Beggars Group, who still own some of the catalogue.[1][4]

The name derives from "Mo'Wax Please", the title of a column James Lavelle wrote in the magazine Straight No Chaser and the Oxford club night he ran. This in turn was influenced by the Freddie Roach LP, Mo' Greens Please on Blue Note records.[5]

The original Mo' Wax logo as used on the early releases was designed by UK graphic designer Ian Swift "Swifty" and the label grew their reputation by featuring artwork contributions from Futura, Robert Del Naja (from Massive Attack), She One, Req1 and Kostas Seremetis. Ben Drury and Will Bankhead were the main designers responsible for the art direction and design of the label.[6]

The label also released toys and art prints under their Mo' Wax Arts (MWA) imprint, and collaborated with artists such as Mark Gonzales, Mike Mills, and Money Mark.[7]

The label shut in 2002 and was celebrated in 2014 with an exhibition titled "Urban Archaeology: 21 years of Mo' Wax".[8]

In 2015, Lavelle licensed back the Mo'Wax label to release Elliott Power's "Murmur" single as a limited edition hand stamped 12" vinyl.[9] On 26 February 2016, Elliott Power's debut album, Once Smitten, was released on Mo'Wax in collaboration with Marathon Artists.[10] This is the labels most recent release.




  1. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 268. ISBN 0-7535-0427-8.
  2. ^ Christopher Tubbs interviews DJ and UNKLE producer James Lavelle, retrieved 25 March 2022
  3. ^ Kev Geoghegan (13 June 2014). "Meltdown is 'something joyous' says curator James Lavelle". BBC News. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  4. ^ Paoletta, Michael (28 November 1998). "U.K.'s Mo' Wax Inks Joint Venture With XL". Billboard. Vol. 110, no. 48. p. 6.
  5. ^ Gaunt, James (2020). Making Psyence Fiction. Foxteeth Press. pp. 12, 14. ISBN 9781702889346.
  6. ^ Gaunt, James (1 August 2021). "Art of Mo' Wax: Ben Drury". Mo' Wax – Where Are They Now. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  7. ^ "Mo Wax Arts – complete listings". Mo Wax Discography. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  8. ^ Dhaliwal, Ranjit. "Urban Archaeology – 21 years of Mo'Wax – in pictures". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  9. ^ Delany, Joseph (5 September 2015). "Elliott Power: Murmur". Nowness.com. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  10. ^ Stewart-Lockhart, George (3 March 2016). "Elliott Power – Once Smitten". Discogs. Retrieved 2 April 2016.