Founded in England in 1993 by the young DJ and promoter James Lavelle, the record label Mo'Wax would become an icon of independent music, a pioneer of new genres, and the epicenter of a movement in popular culture. A strong countercultural and international identity informed every aspect of Mo'Wax's output, from its roster of groundbreaking musicians to the artists and designers responsible for the album covers, music videos, and packaging. Artwork on vinyl and CD sleeves by the graffiti legends Futura 2000 and Stash, the designer Ben Drury, and Massive Attack's Robert Del Naja became icons of its library. Records on Mo'Wax brought together artists from America, France, and Japan with indie and rock artists from the UK (often under the moniker of Lavelle's own collective, Unkle).
The label's list of musicians included DJ Shadow, DJ Krush, Nigo (of A Bathing Ape), the Beastie Boys, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Ian Brown of the Stone Roses, and Richard Ashcroft of The Verve, among many others. And beyond music, Mo'Wax also pioneered the concept of collaboration between music culture and high-end brands. Mo'Wax have collaborated on unique products with Nike, Medicom, and A Bathing Ape, among others, on products ranging from vinyl toys to collectible sneakers. True to the label's legacy, this book is a carefully designed and beautifully produced object. With contributions from many of the seminal musicians Urban Archaeology represents and the artists responsible for its enduring aesthetic, Mo'Wax is more than a celebration of a record label: it's the record of a focal point in contemporary music, style, and culture.
About the Author
James Lavelle founded Mo'Wax in 1992 and has worked as a producer, recording artist, and promoter for artists, musicians, and designers affiliated with the label since. He has curated exhibitions at the ICA and the Museum of Mankind in London and has guest-produced countless albums and radio shows.
"Urban Archaeology: 21 Years of Mo'Wax Records is a celebration of Lavelle's label. A biography would have done the trick. A special edition vinyl would have played out nicely. But, like many other things the masses do, that's not Lavelle's style. Urban Archaeology, in a way, combines most of the items above in one amazing book...focusing just as much on the artwork, photos, and history as it does on the interesting text found within its pages. Urban Archaeology is arranged in a very artistic way...The artwork is stunning. I would catch myself just staring at pages of record sleeves and concepts, wondering why I hadn't seen most of it before. The beauty of what was created for just over two decades at Mo'Wax is personified in Urban Archaeology thanks to the cleverly arranged book that includes pages of strong visuals, foldout galleries, collections of old photos, and concept artwork I wish I had in my living room. Getting the time to read and peruse Urban Archaeology: 21 Years of Mo'Wax Records gave me more insight into the indy record scene as a whole, on top of the expected informative nature of Mo'Wax. The book is visually stunning...The interviews and write-ups are great reads...The artwork puts this release over the top, making it a must for any Mo'Wax fan, vinyl fan, or music art lover. Published on the occasion of the label's twenty-first anniversary, Urban Archaeology represents a rich and definitive survey of the label's legacy...this book is more than a celebration of a record label: it is the record of a focal point in contemporary music, style, and culture." -Project-Nerd
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 3rd November 2014
Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 30.5 x 26.7 x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.57
Edition Number: 1