Grand Royal VS Mo’ Wax — The Collaborations of Mike D & James Lavelle

Grand Royal — Guaranteed Every Time

In 1992 Luscious Jackson had recorded demos for their debut album and were looking for someone to release it. They asked their friends the Beastie Boys for help finding them a record label but the Beastie Boys enjoyed the demos so much they decided to release it themselves and started their own record label Grand Royal.

Mo’ Wax — More Funk Than A Shaolin Monk

In 1992 James Lavelle started Mo’ Wax Records, named after his club night in Oxford, Mo’ Wax Please, itself named after Freddie Roach’s 1964 album Mo’s Green Please.

Grand Royal VS Mo’ Wax

While they had toured together and become friends, 1995 also saw the first mention of a collaboration between Mike D and James Lavelle’s respective record labels. Titled Grand Royal VS Mo’ Wax, the album was publicicly mentioned in Melody Maker’s 4 March 1995 issue with Mike D explaining the album will release “If James [Lavelle] and I ever get our shit together.”

UNKLE

While Grand Royal VS Mo’ Wax never saw release, Mike D and James Lavelle did eventually collaborate together on the debut UNKLE album Psyence Fiction.

RIP Independent Record Labels

On August 31st 2001 Grand Royal announced it was shutting down. In a press release the decision was explained due to “Mounting debts, decreasing assets and exceedingly harsh industry conditions.” The labels assets were eventually purchased by a group of fans who relaunched the label as GR2 making several albums available for purchase and stream digitally.

An Australian writer with a passion for research. In 2020 he published Making Psyence Fiction, a book on the creation of UNKLE’s debut album. www.jamesgaunt.com

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