Moby – Wait For Me

June 19, 2009

waitformeThe latest album from New York City based artist Moby was, according to its press, inspired by a speech by David Lynch, which characterized “creativity for its own sake” as “a beautiful, wonderful thing.” The result, Wait For Me, recorded in Moby’s home studio, is a work of sustained, mostly quiet beauty, instrumental for the most part, but featuring some vocals, mostly female, though Moby himself sings on “Mistake.” Listeners looking for dance tracks like “Feeling So Real” or “Bodyrock” will be disappointed, but fans of Moby’s ambient and moodier music in general will enjoy Wait For Me quite a lot. What lyrics there are tend towards the somber, sometimes borderline melodramatic, as with “Hope Is Gone,” but in general the album holds together very well. Wait For Me isn’t really much of a groundbreaking release, but it is easily Moby’s most satisfying work in some time. Standout cuts: “Pale Horses,” “Shot In The Back Of The Head,” “Scream Pilots” and “jltf.”

peachesifeelcreamI have nothing against Lady Gaga, but frankly, after listening to I Feel Cream, the new album from Berlin based American electroclash musician Peaches, it’s a little hard to take her seriously. Though I Feel Cream takes a while to really catch fire, despite the early appearance of the first single, “Talk To Me” (on which Peaches shows she can really sing), once the album does get started four tracks in with “More”, it makes Lady Gaga’s songs sound like the slickly made top 40 throwaways they mostly are. Peaches’s songs, by comparison, feel raw, effortlessly sexy and most of all, positively adult in their wit and sophistication. She works with a number of different collaborators this time out, primarily with Simian Mobile Disco, and the result is a bit more poppy than her past efforts, but still as entertaining and as playfully edgy as electroclash gets. I Feel Cream is by no means her masterwork, but it’s great fun to listen to for the most part. Standout cuts: “Talk To Me,” “More,” “I Feel Cream” and “Mommy Complex.”

telefontelavivThe fourth and possibly final* album from Chicago based electronic band Telefon Tel Aviv (Charles Cooper and Joshua Eustis) is a intensely moody collection of music, recalling work by contemporaries M83 and Boards of Canada, as well as Freur, Yaz, the Cocteau Twins and New Order. The ten tracks included here are richly atmospheric and sometimes densely layered, with whispery vocals that drift in and out of the mix. The album is so low key at times that it may lose some less patient listeners, but in general, I found this to be a pretty compelling, highly listenable record, with moments of real and haunting beauty. If you’re a fan of any of the above artists, or of electronic music in general, then I very much recommend Immolate Yourself to you. Standout cuts: “Your Mouth,” “Stay Away From Being Maybe,” “You Are The Worst Thing In The World” and “Immolate Yourself.”

*Shortly before the release of this album, Charles Cooper died at the age of 31.

theprodigyThe fourth album from UK based techno band the Prodigy (Liam Howlett, Keith Flint and Maxim Reality), Invaders Must Die is a most curious record: The band has made no great attempt to update their sound, made no lame attempt to make it “relevant” to 2009. So why does Invaders Must Die, which sometimes sounds like it’s caught in a time warp, rock so hard? Maybe it’s something as simple as that after nearly twenty years, the Prodigy know how to make a dance record, but from from first note to last, Invaders Must Die kicks absolute booty, frequently in a most spectacular way. Call it purity of vision or call it what you will, but whatever the reason, I was bowled over by how much I enjoyed this album. Standout cuts: “Invaders Must Die,” “Omen,” “Take Me To The Hospital” and “Warrior’s Dance.”

Moby – Last Night

April 3, 2008

“Old school takin’ you back again…”

Last Night is a new concept album from Moby, self-described “bald dance musician,” about a night out in Manhattan. Tracks like “Everyday It’s 1989” make it clear that Moby’s not just looking back at the immediate past, but the past in general. Accordingly, Last Night often sounds a short aural history of dance music, in no particular chronological order, from the 80’s up until now. Not that Moby is out to teach listeners anything, as Last Night is mostly about enjoyment and fun, though like any long night, things get a bit moody and introspective towards the end, i.e. “Degenerates” and “Mothers Of The Night.” It’s an energetic, beautiful and celebratory album, maybe not the next step in the artistic evolution of Moby, but a most pleasurable reflection. Standout cuts: “Ooh Yeah,” “Alice,” “Disco Lies” and “Mothers Of The Night.”