Like recent Chemical Brothers and Fat Boy Slim hits, the more memorable songs on Moby‘s Play (V2/JBO) are built around snippets of black voices, in this case blues singers. Brief bits of yodels and catch phrases repeat until each rasp becomes part of the computerized rhythm track. The neat contrivance would be of less consequence if Moby’s contribution to those tracks — piano glissandos and synth flourishes — weren’t so reminiscent of lowbrow romantic John Tesh. The emotional gap between Moby’s keyboards and the vocals they support is bewildering. Certainly, the voices he selected are transcendent, but that was the case even before they entered his hard drive. Elsewhere on the record, Moby lends his own self-consciously antiseptic voice to the potential hit, “South Side,” and cranks out his contribution to big beat, “Bodyrock,” complete with — you guessed it — a central rap sample. “Oh Lordy … don’t nobody know my troubles,” sings a woman on “Natural Blues.” For all Moby’s emerging tunefulness, Play would fail to convince her otherwise.
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5 Most Recent Posts
• October 13, 2016: This day marks the start of the 250th weekly Disquiet Junto project.
• November 16, 2016: I'll be sharing the mic at Adobe Books in San Francisco with my fellow 33 1/3 author Evie Nagy for an evening hosted, from 7pm to 10pm, by Marc Kate (facebook.com).
• December 1, 2016: A likely speaking engagement. Details to come.
• December 13, 2016: This day marks the 20th anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 5, 2017: This day marks the 5th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto.
• Ongoing: The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury, is now in its second printing. It can be purchased at amazon.com, among other places.
disquiet juntoThe Disquiet Junto is an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 5 most recent weekly projects: • 0253 / Doorbell Rehab / Record some welcome music. • 0252 / Sonic Palindrome / Make music that sounds the same backwards and forwards. • 0251 / Soothing Sounds for Parents / Remix some music for infants with parents in mind. • 0250 / Soothing Sounds for Junto / Make some peaceful music for an infant child. • 0249 / 80 Phases / Wish the minimalist composer Steve Reich a happy birthday.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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