The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Acid Jazz and Mo' Wax

3-13-08 Acid Jazz and Mo’ Wax

After the 80’s, like many record collectors, I sort of drifted in the early 90’s. I watched a lot of music videos, spent a lot of time in countries outside of the US etc. After the decent early 80’s chart dominance of England – it seemed to me like I wasn’t ever jiving with what was going on in England, after about 1990 or so. I say 1990, because that was the year I lived in England, and I heard an awful lot of British music that year – in it’s natural (intended) setting.

For the “Acid Jazz” movement (and label), I was introduced to it in probably ’94, when I saw the video for “Motorhead” by Corduroy – I loved the song, and their interpretation of it was…hilarious. I am sure I didn’t know how much stuff was on the Acid Jazz label – but in time I found CD’s by The Night Trains, Goldbug and The James Taylor Quartet etc. – as well as the “Totally Wired – The Voice of Acid Jazz” sampler CD’s. By and large, this ‘trend’ did not occur in the US; next time I saw or heard of Corduroy was on the Japanese Trattoria label – where I saw their video clip for “Mini”, great song, excellent music video. Next thing I know, Corduroy have left the label, as have The James Taylor Quartet…and “Acid Jazz” is no more – relegated to the re-issue Sanctuary label: “The Acid Jazz Years” (CD compilation).

I stumbled upon the classy Mo’ Wax label releases in the ‘cut-out’ bin of Tower Records – if I remember correctly, the first one I found was The Innerzone Orchestra “Bug In The Bassbin” (in a paper sleeve – a CD single that had over an hour of material). I saw other paper sleeves Mo’ Wax CD singles, bought ‘em and enjoyed darn near all of the ones I found (I only remember not caring for one or two), especially the “Headz” sampler CD’s (3 x double CD’s). Again, very little Mo’ Wax material found it’s way to US distribution – I can bring to mind Money Mark, U.N.K.L.E. etc. Fairly safe to refer to the bulk of the Mo’ Wax output as “electronica”.

I think at least part of the attraction for me to try Mo’ Wax titles was the packaging. I have always loved the idea of “little paper album cover” CD’s, and essentially before the Japanese were so proficient at this aspect of music / record / CD collecting.

In 2008, it is almost impossible to find any Mo’ Wax titles for sale in stores, in California anyway. Used to be that you could find several mid-90’s paper sleeve CD singles from Mo’ Wax at the various Amoeba stores – often at a ‘cost’. I usually only ever went for ones still priced at (or near) their original price (example: $10 for CD singles, $20 for full length albums – though there are certainly ones that go for a lot more than that!).

Another “electronica” label I fancied was Pussyfoot – I did my best to keep up with them; I even mail-ordered directly from the label (for a Sie album, I think). But, they too are gone. And I do not even detect a “collector’s market” for old Pussyfoot CD’s. And – drat – I never even saw them all – what does the “Honolulu” CD look like?

Thank you, Acid Jazz and Mo’ Wax – for keeping the spirit of record collecting alive in the (sometimes) boring 90’s. Fine British record labels!


Post a Comment

<< Home