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Moby
August 25, 2002

Richard Melville Hall -- known to us as Moby -- was once one of the most controversial figures in techno music, alternately praised for bringing a face to the notoriously anonymous electronic genre, as well as being scorned by hordes of techno artists and fans for diluting and trivalizing the form. In either case, Moby was one of the most important dance music figures of the early '90s and remains so today, helping bring the music to a mainstream audience both in England and in America.

Moby fused rapid disco beats with heavy distorted guitars, punk rhythms, and detailed productions that drew equally from pop, dance, and movie soundtracks. Not only did his music differ from both the cool surface textures of ambient music and the hedonistic world of house music, but so did his lifestyle Moby was infamous for his devout, radical Christian beliefs, as well as his environmental and vegan activism. "Go" became a British Top Ten hit in 1991, establishing him as one of the premier techno producers. By the time he came to the attention of American record critics with 1995's Everything Is Wrong, his following from the early '90s had begun to erode, particularly in Britain. Nevertheless, he remained one of the most recognizable figures within techno; after he abandoned the music for guitar-rock with 1996's Animal Rights, he returned to a heavy electronic base with 1997's I Like to Score and 1999's Play, the latter of which made him a genuine breakout pop star.

Moby proves that (despite what some may say) 30-something rich white guys can still groove. His latest album "18" went Platinum across Europe and Gold in the US in less than 2 months! (pssst... that's like 1.5 million records!) But it isn't because we dig Moby's grooves (which we do!) that puts him in our spotlight this week. It's because of his views on the RIAA's attempt to kill independant internet radio.

Thanks Moby, for speaking out!

From moby.com (posted by Moby on 7/22/02):
[S]o at this point i'm sure that most of you know that on June 20th a copyright appeals board passed a law that will essentially make it impossible for most web-based radio stations to stay in business.

as far as i know, this law was sponsored and promoted by the RIAA (recording industry association of america).
i shouldn't write this update, because i'm really pissed off. what does the RIAA hope to accomplish by forcing hundreds of wonderful internet radio stations to shut down?

and why is the RIAA even involved in the world of internet-radio? isn't the public performance and broadcast of music something that's covered by publishing?
i shouldn't post this update, seeing as it's not in any musicians best interests to piss off the RIAA, but for the life of me I can't see any wisdom or justification in passing an arbitrary law that will only serve to shut down a lot of really cool and vital internet radio stations.
if possible, i would like to lend my support to the cause of repealing this unneccessary and ass-backwards piece of legislation. for as commercial radio becomes more and more conservative, internet based radio serves an ever more vital role in exposing people to new and unconventional music.

shutting down internet radio stations just ensures that music in america will become more bland and more homogenous.

i would like to end this update by quoting Mark Cuban, founder of Broadcast.com: "There is no law against an industry being stupid and killing off their customer base as the music industry is doing. The vast majority of (internet radio) stations will either shut down or move to Canada or overseas."
moby



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