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
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
Thanks Moby, for speaking out!
(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
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."