Artist and Musician Biographies


From YouTube: "my friend erik lang was in india on vacation and he shot this amazing video. i didn't even know he was shooting or making a video for me, he just called me up when he got back and said, 'here's your video!' and it was amazing. -moby"

For another take on Techno, here is a history of Detroit Techno:

Moby is an important musician for bringing the underground techno-dance music scene into the mainstream audience throughout the world. He has the ability and versatility to fuse together various musical genres such as rap, blues, punk, and rock into spirit lifting techno-dance tunes. Through his musical creativity he has taken his listeners on an aural voyage as he discovered new explanations for the world that we live in. He refuses to remain static and therefore continually searches for truth, which has left his audience and critics a little confounded at times. However, through his many explorations and reflections, he has continued to grow keeping his fans eager to know what he may stumble upon next.

Moby's birth name is Richard Melville Hall. He was born in New York in 1965. He picked up the name Moby through his ancestral relationship to the writer Herman Melville, author of "Moby Dick". His father was killed in a car accident when Moby was two and he and his mother moved to Darien, Conn., where he grew up. Moby was encouraged to pursue his musical interests from an early age. He began classical guitar training at the age of ten followed shortly thereafter with the keyboards, drums, and bass. Although these lessons provided a good classical foundation for Moby, his real musical interests rested with rock.

In his youth, he was a member of the hardcore punk group called the Vatican Commandos. He also performed with the group Flipper while the lead singer served time in jail. Moby then tasted college life for a short time, but quickly decided to quit and move to NYC to begin DJ-ing at clubs. At that point, Moby also began to collect cheap recording equipment to record his own music, infusing rock and punk into a dance beat. He eventually released a series of techno derived singles on the independent label, Instinct, in the late 1980's.

Then in 1991, Moby began to gain critical attention as he set Angelo Badalamenti's theme from David Lynch's television series, "Twin Peaks" to a house beat, creating the single, "Go". This remix became an underground sensation in the US and a Top 10 single in the UK. From this success, he has made a name for himself as the top remixer in New York, accepting invitations to work on tracks from artists such as Michael Jackson, Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, Brian Eno, and Orbital.

Moby then began to work on his own music again, releasing the single "Next is the E" and his first full-length album, "Moby" on the Instinct label in 1992. The following year he gained attention again with the release of the two sided single, "I Feel It"/"Thousand". "Thousand" was classified by the "Guinness Book of Records" as the fastest single ever, reaching a pace of 1015 beats per minute.

In 1993, he signed contracts with both Mute Records (UK/Europe) and Elektra Records (US). Without much wasted time, Mute Records released "Ambient," which was a selection of unreleased material from 1988-1991. Mute also released, "The Story So Far", which was a compilation of singles from his Instinct years. Elektra responded quickly as well with the release of the EP, "Move" that same year.

In 1994, Moby released his first techno-gospel fusion, "Hymn", which was a sample of what was about to come. This single was included on his own major label debut, "Everything is Wrong" in 1995. This album on Elektra brought him widespread attention in the US at last. That year he also performed at Lollapalooza festival gaining some more visible exposure.

His next album, "Animal Rights" left his audience and the critics a little confused because of its loud garage-punk flavor. Moby continually finds it necessary to explore new territory and he felt that at that time it was necessary for him to take a side step from dance music. It was a time when pop musicians from everywhere were beginning to experiment with electronic sound. Moby wanted to be different. However, that same year he also released the instrumental album, "End of Everything" under the pseudonym Voodoo Child to announce that he had not abandoned the techno scene entirely.

After the album, "Animal Rights", Moby continued to explore by creating the soundtrack album, "I Like to Score" in 1997. This album marked his return to dance music, which included tracks from movies such as "Cool World", "The Saint", "Joe's Apartment", and "Scream". The album also contains a lively remix of the "James Bond Theme" which debuted at the #8 on the UK charts in 1997.

Moby's next album, "Play", on the V2 label, has proven to be his most innovative work so far. His inspiration for the album came from tapes made by folk historian, Alan Lomax, of field recordings of black music from the early 20th century. The title of the album was inspired by graffiti art spelling out "Play" on a playground wall near his home. The word "play" has many connotations, one of them meaning barrier-free fun. That definition accurately describes the album, for it is a record that fuses three distinct musical styles; blues, rock, and melancholy with an enjoyable hip-hop glue.

The album earned Moby a pair of Grammy nominations, including Best Alternative Music Performance for the album and Best Rock Instrumental Performance for the track, "Body Rock". Although he did not win those categories at the Grammy's, it has been certified double platinum. Every track also has been licensed for use in a television commercial or film soundtrack. He continues to keep his audience in suspense as he continues to discover new ground.

Page author: L.C.