James Lavelle is a musician and record label executive. He founded Mo'Wax in 1993, and has worked as a producer, recording artist, manager, and promoter for artists, musicians, and designers affiliated with the label since. He has curated exhibitions at the ICA in London and the Armory in New York, and has guest-produced countless albums and radio shows around the world. He lives in London.
"Urban Archaeology: 21 Years of Mo'Wax Records is a celebration of Lavelle's label. A biography would have done the trick. A special edition vinyl would have played out nicely. But, like many other things the masses do, that's not Lavelle's style. Urban Archaeology, in a way, combines most of the items above in one amazing book...focusing just as much on the artwork, photos, and history as it does on the interesting text found within its pages. Urban Archaeology is arranged in a very artistic way...The artwork is stunning. I would catch myself just staring at pages of record sleeves and concepts, wondering why I hadn't seen most of it before. The beauty of what was created for just over two decades at Mo'Wax is personified in Urban Archaeology thanks to the cleverly arranged book that includes pages of strong visuals, foldout galleries, collections of old photos, and concept artwork I wish I had in my living room. Getting the time to read and peruse Urban Archaeology: 21 Years of Mo'Wax Records gave me more insight into the indy record scene as a whole, on top of the expected informative nature of Mo'Wax. The book is visually stunning...The interviews and write-ups are great reads...The artwork puts this release over the top, making it a must for any Mo'Wax fan, vinyl fan, or music art lover. Published on the occasion of the label's twenty-first anniversary, Urban Archaeology represents a rich and definitive survey of the label's legacy...this book is more than a celebration of a record label: it is the record of a focal point in contemporary music, style, and culture." -Project-Nerd