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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » Cath Clarke

The Man from Mo’Wax review – from superstar DJ to rock bore

Delivered... Cath Clarke | Scene | Thu 30 Aug 2018 3:00 pm

This hit-and-miss documentary charting the life and career of James Lavelle feels too much like a promo

The rise and fall of James Lavelle, the record label founder and DJ, is the subject of this celebratory music documentary by Matthew Jones. In the 1990s, Lavelle was music’s Damien Hirst – a cocky upstart with a genius for A&R matched only by a gift for self-promotion. At 18, he opened the hip label Mo’Wax and helped to popularise trip-hop (though signing Tricky and Portishead evaded him). Everything he touched turned to gold, until it didn’t.

Ego, money, drugs: Lavelle’s story has the makings of an entertaining account of the music business. But this film feels too much like a promo for a comeback attempt. Its greatest strength is archive from the personal collections of Lavelle and Josh Davis, AKA DJ Shadow, whose groundbreaking sample album Endtroducing marked Mo’Wax’s high point. The clubbing footage brings back a chemical rush of the 90s London dance scene.

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