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] 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 is also responsible for bringing attention to the graffiti artist Futura 2000 by using his artwork on many of its releases in the early to mid-1990s. Lavelle signed partial ownership of Mo' Wax over to A&M Records (now part of the Universal Music Group) in 1996.[1] Some of the Mo' Wax catalogue is now part of the Beggars Group.[1]

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

The original Mo' Wax logo as used on the early releases was designed by UK graphic designer Ian Swift "Swifty", but the label grew their reputation by featuring artwork contributions from Futura, Robert Del Naja (from Massive Attack), She One and Req 1. Ben Drury was the main designer responsible for the art direction and design of the label.[citation needed]

In 2005, Lavelle started a clothing line called Surrender, and launched Mo' Wax Arts.[citation needed]
Mo' Wax Arts is a company managed by Henry Lavelle (James' brother), who translated Futura's talent into merchandise, toys and fashion in conjunction with the Surrender label. Henry Lavelle presented Futura's works under Mo' Wax Arts in an international design conference.[2]

In 2014, the label held an exhibition titled "Urban Archaeology: 21 years of Mo' Wax".[3]

In 2015, Lavelle brought back the Mo'Wax label to release Elliott Power's "Murmur" single as a limited edition hand stamped 12" vinyl.[4] On 26 February 2016, Elliott Power's debut album, Once Smitten, was released on Mo'Wax in collaboration with Marathon Artists.[5]



  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. ^ "James Lavelle – Mo Wax Records". Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  3. ^ Dhaliwal, Ranjit. "Urban Archaeology – 21 years of Mo'Wax – in pictures". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  4. ^ Delany, Joseph (5 September 2015). "Elliott Power: Murmur". Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  5. ^ Stewart-Lockhart, George (3 March 2016). "Elliott Power – Once Smitten". Retrieved 2 April 2016.

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