The Man from Mo' Wax

Seems like I’ve been living under a rock these past few years. Anyway, just hearing some of the stuff again after such a long time gives me goose bumps and I’ve ordered the BluRay straight away, as screenings in my neck of the woods are rather unlikely to happen. Anybody else excited about this?


Generally not a big fan of this sort of stuff but as I’m sampling more and more this has come along at the perfect time really! Gonna need to check it out. I’m a big Radiohead/Thom Yorke fan anyway so as soon as I saw him I was in.

I used to be really into everything MoWax, back in the day. Looking forward to seeing this although James Lavelle must be more than a bit of twat.

The Organ Donor beat still gives me goosebumbs when the drums kick in. Also makes me think of the amount of shitty soapbar hash we used to smoke while listening to all that stuff. :roll_eyes:


Huge fan of Mo’Wax when I was a teenager, both for the obvious stuff like DJ Shadow but also as a gateway to things like Carl Craig, Liquid Liquid, dancehall, Chicago house. Often gets forgotten how much incredible & diverse stuff they put out.

I think the focus on Lavelle is an odd one though: he was an extremely canny salesman, but by all accounts a bit of a dick to people throughout that period. As soon as he started assuming centre stage via UNKLE, things started to fall apart, and his career since hasn’t been particularly interesting.

Wrote this piece a few years ago which sums up my mixed feelings about the label & Lavelle, will check the film but suspect it might end up being a bit of a hagiography, as these things invariably are:


Wow, great article and I thoroughly enjoyed the read during my lunch break. This particularly resonated with me “As someone who grew up idolising Mo’Wax through my teenage years, and through whom I discovered almost all of the music I love now…”, which nicely sums up the fact that it wasn’t just about the music, but rather about that particular time in my adolescence, experiencing clubbing for the first time, having no responsibilities, but some funds, getting into relationships, smoking weed. Just listening to some of the releases today without that context makes me cringe. Palm Skins “Getting out of hell” is a fine example. I must have played the vinyl 1000 times back in the day. Listening to it today it just sounds like something someone banged together from a bootlegged sample CD between breakfast and lunchtime (which is probably what Simon Richmond did - no offense!). And yet religiously collecting the first MW releases has sent me off on so many musical tangents that I’d probably be a different person without it.


Looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing

Very excited for this. I have a lot of mo wax vinyl that i bought as a collection off one of their djs in London in late 90s. I keep telling my kids that it is their inheritance.


I’m sure I’ve seen this movie , he did a q&a after it.was fine

Yup it’s been shown at film festivals since 2016 at least, this is for the DVD release.

He might come off twatty in the film but I actually got to talk him in person after his Dj set about 8 years ago.

What was interesting that night was it was a tiny bar in San Francisco and there were no more than 25 people that night . After his set I was just able to talk records and gear with him.


Guys please give me recommendations/tell me your favorite Mo’ Wax releases :slight_smile:
I guess Entroducing and Psyence Fiction are the most obvious…
One of my all time fav albums was by a band called South. They releases their debut “From here on in” on Mo’ Wax. I loved it back then.

Some haven’t stood the test of time very well. A few I still reach for every now and again:



Thank you for sharing this piece. Very interesting.

For me the best was always the first Headz compilation:

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I liked Headz 2 even better, because of the sheer volume of music (4! CDs) and the epic artwork.

Was obsessed with mo wax and got to support DJ Shadow once. Can’t wait to see this


Great label. Blown away when I heard the first Headz comp back in the 90s.

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Seen Attica blues, red snapper and krush play here.

A good thing about the label was it’s acts were all touring on the back of its success in the UK regularly. So many great acts on the label, live and djing

Though was massively dissapointed when I saw James, was great when I saw unkle but his DJ set few months later was like a student disco in points. Still a legend though :slight_smile:

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To be honest, neither mean a lot to me, Psyence Fiction even less so. Also what I’ve heard of Lavelle’s DJing never resonated with me. I rather appreciate the label for it’s early days when I would take weekly trips to the nearest city with a decent record store and spent my money on whatever had a Mo’Wax sleeve without even knowing what to expect. In a way it’s that concept of eclecticism that’s stuck with me, whereas the style that became known as “Trip Hop” never really did it for me. I went through the MW discography and I realized that for me it all went south fairly quickly with a few odd ones out.