|Artist||1-7: Urban Tribe; 8-13: DJ Shadow|
|Title||1-7: The Collapse of Modern Culture; 8-13: Endtroducing…..|
|Year||1-7: 1998; 8-13: 1996|
|Design||Will Bankhead and Ben Drury (corrected)|
|Music||1-7: post-techno/electronica; 8-13: instrumental hiphop|
|Notes||Mo’ Wax was a ’90s label founded and directed by James Lavelle. In its lifetime it was tremendously fashionable and released some brilliant music, much of it in the post-hiphop area. It went into decline once Lavelle sold the label to major label A&M. Its most famous signing and album was DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing….., but almost as famous were the two Headz compilations, both adorned by artwork created by Massive Attack’s 3D. Other artists on its roster included Dr Octagon, DJ Krush, Money Mark, Luke Vibert, Liquid Liquid and UNKLE.
I’ll hang my head in shame and confess that I own no Mo’ Wax vinyl. However, the six or seven CDs I have are almost all wonderful miniature card sleeves – the exception being the Dr Octagon jewel-case. It’s a format clearly inspired by Japanese reissues, but taken in its own distinctive direction in a variety of imaginative ways by Will Bankhead and Ben Drury. That the card sleeves have gradually become worn only adds to their tactile attraction. Tactility is a key element of the Mo’ Wax experience: just the choice of the material for the protective inner sleeve of the DJ Shadow release is a delight in its interaction with the disc and the outer sleeve. Really.
Other designers associated with the label include Futura 2000 and Will Bankhead. Bankhead now designs some of the artwork for Honest Jon’s Records, including albums by the Moritz Von Oswald Trio and archival rereleases by Moondog.
Another post in the near future will feature two more Mo’ Wax releases.