Urban Archaeology : the Mo’ Wax book is here, and it’s amazing
The long-awaited Urban Archaeology : 21 years of Mo’ Wax book is out. Have a quick preview, then go order your copy!
So yes! It’s here, and sooner than expected. Last friday AstroBBoy pointed out on the UNKLE77 forum that the book was available to order from the Southbank Centre online store, so I immediately bought it in the hope that it arrives before the one I pre-ordered on Amazon, which is still due on 2nd June….
Surprisingly it arrived this morning, and I’m in France so that was quick!
The first thing I noticed is that it’s bigger than I thought it would be (28cm x 30cm x 3.5cm) and heavy (2.5kg).
Second impression after opening the package : it’s beautiful! The very thick cover is a mix of book cloth and board of very high quality, which is embossed with a big Mo’ Wax logo, under the paper stripe. On the back is the classic Mo’ Wax Futura camo pattern in black & white.
Another good surprise, at least for the crazy collectors like me, is that it has a Mo’ Wax style catalog number : MWRIZ001. I do love that. I’m sure there will never be a 002 but still, it’s a nice wink to the fans.
The content is simply awesome. It contains all I expected from a Mo’ Wax book such as a lot of photo collages with pictures of James Lavelle, of Mo’ Wax artists and contributors, in the studio, in tour, or just in funny or intimate moments, pictures of test pressings, unreleased records, prototype toys, printing proofs, original artworks used for the sleeves… Not that much new stuff actually, but the best new thing is a photo of the holy grail for any Mo’ Wax fan : the Prunes’ Headz Headz Headz 7″, which is… a white label 7″ in a blank sleeve! (update : to make it clear, I’m self-mocking here…)
There is also a lot of things to read throughout the book : a long preface by Paul Bradshaw tracing the history of the label and the career of James Lavelle, an exclusive and recent interview with James Lavelle & DJ Shadow together, some old articles and interviews, notes by the artists… Another interesting thing is the scans of paperwork about aborted projects : a Mo’ Wax vs Grand Royal compilation, a Sun Ra remix LP etc…
It’s all very nicely put together by Ben Drury of course, and it reminds me a lot of the Futura book on Booth-Clibborn which Dury has also made in 2000. The large format and high quality finish (it’s Rizzoli…) really does justice to the artworks.
Too much things to list here, but you will see them by yourself because you know that you are now going to order this essential piece of your collection : https://shop.southbankcentre.co.uk/urban-archaeology-twenty-one-years-mowax
Here is a short video I have posted on Instagram this afternoon, with DJ Shadow’s phone call to James Lavelle from the intro of UNKLE’s Time Has Come as the background audio.
Also, below are just a small selection of random photos, the full book is 288 pages…