In Future Music Pioneers: James Lavelle and Mo Wax we look at one of the pioneers and record label mavericks that helped to reshape hip hop and build a global consciousness on futurist trip hop.
Many recording artists gained global success from these early days of jumping into the low-end theory of instrumental hip hop. Here’s my top cuts that helped shape the world.
The Federation – ‘Life So Free’
The early releases on Mo Wax had more acid jazz-like sensibilities. It was tapping into the vibe of London in the early-90s and was instrumental in the path of creating a new sound for the fledgling record label.
U.N.K.L.E. Vs. The Major Force Orchestra – ‘The Time Has Come ‘
Headz (A Soundtrack Of Experimental Beathead Jams) was a 3 × Vinyl, LP, Compilation, Gatefold released in the UK in 1994. Think U.N.K.L.E. track, working with Japan’s Major Force Orchestra perfectly defines the new direction.
DJ Shadow – ‘Lost & Found (S.F.L.)’
No-one knew who DJ Shadow was outside of the Bay Area underground hip hop scene before Lavelle found him. This cut took U2’s ripping drum line from ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ and morphed it into a modern sampled jazz legend. Essential
Deflon Sallahr – ‘Don’t fake it’
Palm Skin Productions – ‘The Beast’ (Autechre Mix)
One thing to note about Lavelle was his ability to mash up different worlds of music. Remixes were always key to the vibe of Mo Wax and here we have one of the best. Alt-electronic legends Autechre take on ‘The Beast’ from Palm Skin Productions.
DJ Wally – ‘My Bloody Valentine’
Sam Sever – ‘Whats that Sound’
DJ Solo & DJ Aura – ‘Summer Madness
Drum and Bass was gripping the UK in the mid-90s and this cut from Solo and Aura challenged what was traditionally released. deeply jazzy and playing into the 70s vibes of funk. Rolling…
Andrea Parker – ‘Melodius Thunk’
The Prunes – ‘Mr Jolly Lives Next Door’
Record collecting is serious for the Mo Wax Head. Starting in 1995 they released ten 12″ singles under the Excursions prefix. Five were techno releases (in green sleeves), and five were Hip-Hop releases (in blue sleeves). Both sets of five records could be collected in a numbered, limited edition box that came with the third release in each series. The box sets had a removable numbered paper obi strip. There were at least 2 different designs of the boxes. The artwork was by Futura 2000.
The Prunes were a favourite.
UNKLE feat. Thom Yorke – ‘Rabbit In Your Headlights’
James Lavelle – 21 Years Of Mo Wax – Parts 1 and 2
Back in 2013 Lavelle joined FACT to tell some stories from Mo Wax’s history.
DJ Krush – Mo Wax Headz Tour mix
Here we have the Japanese low-slung beat legend DJ Krush live at the Custard Factory in Birmingham (09.07.94). Here’s the Mixcloud link as well.
Nikolas is a world-leading Futurist Speaker that drives leaders to take action in creating a better world for humanity. He promotes exponential thinking along with a critical, honest, and optimistic view that empowers you with knowledge to plan for today, tomorrow, and for the future.