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.' Spanning hands-in-the-air, smiley-faced rave anthems, cosmic Giorgio Moroder-styled Euro-disco, hip-hop (both old school & 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, "That's just not who I am," he says. "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. With guest vocalists including legendary MC Grandmaster Caz of the Cold Crush Brothers, Sylvia from Kudu, Smokey & S.O. Simple of Nigerian hip-hop group 419 Squad, and the UK's MC Aynzli, 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 the exploration of the energy of nightlife.
"Alice" feat. Aynzil and the 419 Crew from the forthcoming Last Night
Cheeky Bastard presents DEGENERATES, Thursday April 3rd
Catch Moby DJing alongside DJ Mehdi and Tommie Sunshine at Hiro Ballroom, NYC @ 10 PM. $5 adv. tickets at gbh.tv
"No more chill-out music: The dance-music maven returns. ****" — Rolling Stone