Movie details the ups and downs of the influential label boss and UNKLE mainman...
Ben Willmott
10:38 20th August 2018

Mo'Wax label boss James Lavelle's turbulent career is the subject of a new documentary hitting cinemas at the end of the month.

Lavelle is the man who launched the career of DJ Shadow and collaborated with Thom Yorke, Ian Brown, Richard Ashcroft and countless others in the UNKLE project. 'The Man From Mo'Wax' follows his speedy rise to fame from running influential club nights with Gilles Peterson to partying with Kate Moss and running the distinctive trip-hop label Mo'Wax.

It also follows Lavelle through the formation of UNKLE, including revealing footage of high profiloe collaborators like Yorke, Brown, Brian Eno, Jarvis Cocker and Josh Homme in the studio.

Having been allowed unprecedented access, the film also captures troubled times including an acrimonious split with Shadow over writing credits for the first UNKLE album and his second label running out of money during the making of the much delayed fourth UNKLE studio album ‘Where Did The Night Fall’. It also covers Lavelle's battles with drink and drugs and sometimes stormy personal relationships.

Lavelle himself has ultimately given his blessing to 'The Man From Mo'Wax' despite saying it's not the film he would have made about the label.

MORE: Read our exclusive interview with UNKLE that chronicles his 25 year history and talks about his latest studio album 

“This film is a unique insight and an honest take on my life and career,” he said of the movie. “A whirlwind journey along the road of failures and successes. Highlighting the amazing experience of being a teenager starting a record label during the 90's where the lunatics were running the asylum. Whilst there are two sides to every story, I am proud of the creative adventures highlighted in this documentary and the fact that I’ve been able to be a part of this cultural movement, that over the last 25 years has had such an impact on the world we live in today. I hope you enjoy the ride!”

The film ends with the Lavelle-curated Meltdown event at London's Southbank Centre in 2015. The event was the most financially successful Meltdown ever, despite previous curators including John Peel, David Bowie and Nick Cave. It also marked a reconciliation between Lavelle and many artists who appeared, including Shadow, who performed live with UNKLE for the first time at the festival.

'The Man From Mo'Wax' is in selected cinemas from 31 August. See themanfrommowax.com. for full details.


Photo: Press