In very short

Moby is a one - person music factory of epic dimensions. He has sold millions and millions of albums, seemingly without losing his head.

Moby - The person

Moby's real name is Richard Melville Hall. He was born September 11th of 1965 (bit of a shock on his 36th birthday, in other words) in Harlem, New York City. He lived most of his life in Connecticut, but has lived in New York since 1990.

Moby is a relative (great-great-grand-nephew) of Herman Melville, the writer of the famous novel Moby Dick, which is how he chose his nickname. He has also worked under the names of DJ Cake and Voodoo Child

Moby is not just an accompliced musician, he also has strong opinions in other matters; He is a vegan and a rather religious person, although it rarely "shines through" to his music.

Mobys lifestyle is in strong contrast to that of most of the people frequenting the techno and rave styles that he represents.

Moby - The musician

Moby started to play the guitar in 1974, and joined his first band in 1979. He subsequently played in Vatican Commandos, awol, caeli seoul and gin train. After his period of punk and rock music, he went on to make more electronical-type music. Little was he to know he would later in his life write musical history.

Moby got his first 4-track recorder in 1982, and started recording and making music. In '84 he started DJ'ing in New York and Connnecticut. He released his first single/EP in 1990, and his first album/LP in 1993.

As early as 1991, Moby topped the british techno music charts with Go

The Techno / electronical music scene is notorious for having anonymous artists (ref. The Prodigy, who were going strong for many years before they made it big). Apart from the beforementioned Prodigy, Moby is one of the few names people recognise from the scene.

Although he has done plenty of work before he became famous, it wasn't until Play was released that Moby became a music god. He has sold to several platinum records in the UK and the US. Play is also the first album in music history that has had every single one of its tracks licensed out for use in movies and / or other productions.

Moby has become hated by hardcore fans of the techno genre for trivialising the music beyond the limits of the genre. This might be true, but he has also helped introducing hordes of new fans to the music style.

The music

Moby and SharQ

Moby's music is very independent, and has all the characteristics of searching. Personally I heard about Moby the first time while living in the US in 1997. I like to Score, the album he released that year, is a collection of film scores. An absolute masterpiece that somehow seemed to me like the middle of a sentence - something had happened before, and something was about to happen.

After discoveringI like to Score, I found Ambient, a very moody instrumental album with obvious roots in euro-techno, without further comparison. Ambient is a collection of soft, rhythmic songs with various degrees of darkness. Slowly modulating from being on the border of happy to being downright gloomy, Ambient became a very important album to me. After Ambient I bought Animal Rights and Moby, his first, self-titled album.

Just when I was trying to convince all my Norwegian friends how great Moby was, something happened. Moby released a new album, with the inconspicious-sounding title play. With Play, Moby sold millions of albums, and suddenly the whole world knew his name.

Mobys albums are a journey through a large part of the 1990s electronical music history. As an ode to his earlier work, Moby released Songs 1993 - 1998 as sort of a "best of" collection of his work before Play. If you have only heard Play so far, get Songs 1993 - 1998. If you like what you hear there, get your butt on CDNOW and order the whole range of albums - you won't regret it.

Moby in general

Moby has never conformed to musical genres too well. He put disco, rock, punk, pop, breakbeats, dance, soundtracks, ambient techno, electronic music, jazz and blues on one side of the equation. On the other end, Moby's signature-style music appeared.




Movies where his music is used:


  • MTV
  • some original research (in particular the movies list)