Moby | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Moby

As "electronica" fades happily into the annals of showbiz hype, what we're left with--a whole lotta what we used to just call dance music--is at a crossroads. And by extension, so is Moby. Though he continues to be one of the most singular talents in music, his place in the postrave world is uncertain. Few artists in any genre have risen so far and fallen so hard. During the first half of the 90s, a string of classic 12-inches ("Go," "Next Is the E," "Ah-Ah," "Move," "Feeling So Real") solidified his position as the standard-bearer for the U.S. rave scene, and with the 1995 LP Everything Is Wrong, he proved himself a jack-of-all-styles and the master of most. Then the backlash--which had begun rumbling when he signed to Elektra in 1993--erupted in full force. When Spin named Everything Is Wrong its album of the year, the underground's worst fears were confirmed. Obviously the former Richard Melville Hall wanted to become a--bleccch--pop star. Moby's response? A series of interviews in which he lobbed largely accurate brickbats at the techno elite for its willful retreat into obscurity at the expense of pleasure. In 1997 Animal Rights, a passionate, often brilliant statement of independence from any doctrine, alienated many old-timers. Now, after fulfilling his Elektra contract with the patchy compilation I Like to Score, he's signed to V2 and is set to release the bluesy, down-tempo Play on June 1. A subtle, beautiful album, Play sounds less like the work of a dance auteur than an extremely talented home-recording enthusiast. Paradoxically, Moby's also slowly working his way back onto the rave circuit with his first DJ sets (like the one he'll spin here this weekend) since before Everything Is Wrong. It'll be interesting to see whether he'll be sneered at for his sins or welcomed back into the fold that he almost single-handedly built. Friday, 10 PM, Crobar the Nightclub, 1543 N. Kingsbury; 312-413-7000. MICHAELANGELO MATOS

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Joseph Ciltice.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Michaelangelo Matos

  • How the USA fell for EDM, chapter one

    How the USA fell for EDM, chapter one

    In these excerpts from his lively and meticulous new book, The Underground Is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America, longtime Reader contributor Michaelangelo Matos chronicles the three-decade ascent of EDM.
    • Apr 29, 2015
  • How Chicago house got its groove back

    How Chicago house got its groove back

    Chicago house music is the sound of global pop today. In the 90s, though, it was on life support—until a new wave of producers, including Cajmere and DJ Sneak, got the city doing the Percolator.
    • May 3, 2012
  • Mixed messages

    Mixed messages

    Fabric mixes from Craig Richards and Goldie and a DJ-Kicks mix from Motor City Drum Ensemble
    • Aug 11, 2011
  • More »

Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
September 24
Performing Arts
Manic Mondays Frances Cocktail Lounge
November 20

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories