2. Moby - Move (You Make Me Feel So Good)
I can’t seem to escape Moby’s “Play” album, and I don’t even own it. Between the critical acclaim, the radio saturation, the tv commercial backing tracks (latest offender: BBC World’s use of “Porcelain”), and being pressured by my friends to buy the album (and Macy, and Travis), my indifference for Moby’s genre-fusing trickery is fast becoming active dislike.
However, it occured to me that since I do actually own a Moby cd, I should dig it out and see whether it still held a place in my heart. Surprisingly, 1993’s “Move” ep does, oh yes indeed. I don’t know why “Move” works so much better than any of Moby’s work before or after. Maybe it’s because it was Moby’s last significant release before becoming the American ambassador for techno, following which the personality completely consumed the producer. Anyway, there’s no sense of the artist hiding anywhere inside this track, although there are definitely signs that Moby knows his craft, and that craft seems to be genre-fusing after all. With its delirious diva wail and cheesy, triumphant piano fills, “Move” is basically handbag house. But Moby wraps its uplifting melody in a cool, trancey Euro-production, while the emphasis on glistening textures, eerie harmonies and studio effects places it firmly in the progressive house camp. Now I’m not saying that this elevates it to some superior plane - “intelligent handbag” anyone? - but the use of musical craftmanship stolen from too overwhelmingly serious sub-genres, trance and progressive house, in the service of something so delightfully frivolous means far more to me than a whole album of self-conscious artistry. Moby’s real gift is for making anonymous, peerless house music, and right now he should be hanging his head in shame.
Other great tracks on this release: “Unloved Symphony”, which combines anthemic ambience with totally nutter breakbeats, sounding a lot like DJ Crystl’s “Warp Drive”, only harder.