Urban Archaeology: 21 Years of Mo’Wax

Following in the footsteps of the likes of David Bowie, Yoko Ono and Morrissey, electronic musician and Mo’Wax record label founder James Lavelle is curating this year’s Meltdown Festival at London’s Southbank Centre.

Medicom toys imagery

Source: James Lavelle Mo’Wax

Medicom toys imagery

This year the festival celebrates its 21st birthday – as does Mo’Wax – and to mark the occasion is a retrospective of the label’s archive.

from the archives

Source: James Lavelle Mo’Wax

from the archives

The show features some of the wonderful record sleeves from over the years, as well as previously unseen proofs and artwork.

Visitors will also be shown a glimpse into the workings behind he label, according to the Southbank, with ‘private notes and intimate photographs’.

Futura 2000 artwork

Source: James Lavelle Mo’Wax

Futura 2000 artwork

Mo’Wax, which Lavelle co-founded with Tim Goldsworthy, was responsible for championing the work of graffiti artist Futura 2000, who created much of the artwork for the label.

UNKLE artwork

Source: James Lavelle Mo’Wax

UNKLE artwork

The original logo for the label was designed by graphic designer Swifty (Ian Swift), while Ben Drury was the label’s art director. Other contributors to the sleeve artwork include Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja, and graffiti artists She One and Req 1.

Close tightly push down and unscrew

Source: James Lavelle Mo’Wax

Close tightly push down and unscrew

As well as delving into Lavelle’s musical collaborations with the likes of DJ Shadow (under the UNKLE moniker) and the rest of his recorded output, non-musical collaboration will also be on show including Medicom toys, memorabilia, clothing and UNKLE’s trainers collaboration with Nike.

Fuck You All poster and invite, 1997

Source: James Lavelle Mo’Wax

Fuck You All poster and invite, 1997

The Southbank Centre says, ‘The exhibition not only celebrates the achievements of Mo’Wax and its artists, but also documents phenomenal advances in youth culture during the nineties.’

A note from DJ Shadow

Source: James Lavelle Mo’Wax

A note from DJ Shadow

Urban Archaeology: 21 Years of Mo’Wax runs until 22 June on the Level 2 Foyer at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX

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