MOBY by sdaferv


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Last Night – Out March 31st
After the meditative electronica of 2002’s 18 and the singer-songwriter moves of 2005’s Hotel, Moby returns to the dance floor with a vengeance on his new album Last Night, released on 31st March 2008. Spanning hands-in-the-air, Smiley-faced rave anthems, cosmic Giorgio Moroder-styled Euro-disco, hip-hop both old school and underground, and downtempo, end-of-the-night ambience, Last Night is a dance music tour de force that looks back at Moby’s deep roots in the club scene at the same time as it embraces the future. Reacting against the downbeat quality of previous albums like Hotel, 18 and the blockbuster Play, Moby “wanted to make an album that was a little more playful, a little more reflective of [his] life as it actually is.” While Moby has garnered a bit of a reputation as a joyless militant as a result of the way he once expressed his beliefs and has been frequently characterised by the British music press as a teetotaling vegan Jesus freak, he says, “That’s just not who I am. I’m more likely than not to stay out until 5am drinking with my friends.” In fact, Last Night is conceptually structured like one of these epic nights out, moving from the building excitement of the early evening to peak-time euphoria to 2 am confusion and the blissful peace of the early morning New York city sunrise. Moby hesitantly admits that Last Night is in fact something of a concept album as it attempts to condense an entire night out into a 60-minute album. But banish any thoughts of deaf, dumb and blind pinball savants or prog rockers sailing topographic oceans because the concept doesn’t get in the way of the dance floor imperative and merely serves to give a subtle narrative arc to Last Night’s exploration of the energy of nightlife. Since he has been heavily involved in New York’s club scene since the mid-80s, Moby is well placed to conjure the atmosphere of degenerate excess. Moby first started going to clubs as a teenager in 1980, a time many consider the golden age of New York nightlife. “It seemed like after the 70s there was a disco backlash and no one in the rest of the world wanted to know about dance music, but dance music here was still thriving,” Moby remembers. “The DJs would be playing hip-hop and freestyle and dancehall reggae and house music and weird electronic music. It was just an open, amazing time. I feel really, really grateful to have come of age musically during that time.” Last Night recaptures this anything-goes spirit, casting genre purism to the wind in favour of a jubilant eclecticism in love with both energy and sound. Last Night’s “I Love to Move in Here” is an homage to the earliest days of hip-hop when it was still innocent, happy to cosy up to disco beats and concerned with nothing more than cold rocking a party. To this end, Moby hooked up with one of the truly legendary old

school MCs, Grandmaster Caz of the Cold Crush Brothers, the man who provided most of the rhymes for hip-hop’s first big hit, The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rappers’ Delight”, who provides a motorvational rap on a track that functions as a thumbnail sketch of New York dance music. “It always made me really sad that the rave scene died off because those big, larger than life, euphoric, piano-driven rave anthems, I always really loved them,” Moby says. “I feel like I’ve become an evangelist for big, piano-driven rave anthems.” With their pumping diva vocals, shiny, happy piano chords and sped-up breakbeats, “Everyday It’s 1989” and “The Stars” recall the golden age of rave and could have been drawn straight from one of his set lists from Future Shock (the New York club which was the home of rave in the USA and one of Moby’s residencies). Elsewhere, Moby divines the glorious spirit of Euro-disco (the dark synth lines of the Giorgio-Moroder-meets-Hardfloor “I’m in Love” and Last Night’s opening track, “Oo Yeah”, which Moby describes as “the sort of thing that you would hear if you were to go over to Halston’s house in 1978 before going out to Studio 54”), pays tribute to the legendary New York garage DJs Larry Levan and Tony Humphries as well as the early 90s house scene in San Francisco on “Disco Lies”, and conjures majestic, elegaic orchestral sweeps reminiscent of Play on “Degenerates” and “Mothers of the Night”. Last Night does more than just look back, however. What has always set Moby apart from many of his peers working in electronic music has been his appreciation of traditional song structure, and on Last Night he uses more conventional compositional techniques to come up with new fusions. On “Hyenas”, Moby works with an expatriate Algerian vocalist he discovered singing James Brown in phonetic English at a karaoke bar in New York, surrounding her in a dark and melancholy, slightly psychedelic atmosphere that was inspired by both Roxy Music and Serge Gainsbourg. “Alice” is Last Night’s second hip-hop track, but instead of paying tribute to the old school, Moby enlists underground rappers Aynzli plus Smokey and SO Simple from the Nigerian hip-hip group the 419 Squad, together they create a track that is reminiscent of the futuristic hip-hop being released on the UK’s Big Dada label. The album’s final track, the title track, features Sylvia Gordon from the criminally underrated New York band Kudu. Rather than using Kudu’s more familiar New Wave-influenced dance music, Moby sets Gordon within a chimescape of eerie synths and mournful string washes and foregrounds the Billie Holiday qualities of her voice. Apparently, Gordon had been up for a couple of days when recording her vocals, and the beatific exhaustion present in her voice evokes stumbling home at eight in the morning in dappled sunrise light and provides a perfect ending for Last Night’s evocation of the nocturnal urban demimonde.
For further information please contact Sarah Lowe on 0208 960 5802 email:

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