In an interview with Mixmag, electronic music icon Moby expressed his disappointment with some producers in the EDM scene. The interview took place on the night of Moby’s maiden ambient performance at the Masonic Temple in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. He pointed out that producers who are making music solely with the goal to reach the top 40 charts are ruining the dance music industry with “bad records”, and the whole situation makes him sad. He pointed out that one of the odd things about producers who are making these “bad records” is that they’re compromising artistry for a low payout. “In the old days if someone compromised they’d sell 10 million records. These days you’ll get 10,000 downloads. So why even consider it when there’s no incentive?” Moby said. He pointed out that the majority of the people who are pursuing commercial success aren’t making “inspiring music”.
It’s indeed true that over the past few years the number of music producers has increased exponentially, not only in the EDM scene but across music as a whole. This is in large part due to the fact that technology has made it much cheaper and easier for anyone to produce, record, and distribute music. You can create an entire album and release it on iTunes, Amazon or other digital retailers without ever leaving your bedroom. Moby’s sentiment is shared by people in other genres, for example American rapper Nas released an album titled Hip Hop Is Dead a few years ago in reference to the fact that people are making music which sounds the same, and there’s no heart put into it. Porter Robinson also expressed similar sentiments during his keynote address at EMC where he impressed upon the need for originality. Technology is no substitute for true musical talent, and maybe it’s time for artists in influential positions to speak up and encourage up and coming musicians about the value of being unique and original.
Moby also took time to discuss the re-release of his album Hotel: Ambient which was originally released in 2005 but did not get as much exposure as he had wished. He considers it one of his best works hence the reason for the re-release.
Other than the show at the Masonic Lodge, a second ambient performance is scheduled for today, December 21, 2014 at Joshua Tree. The ambient show features three huge screens which show images that accompany the music being played. The images were created by Moby himself. As per a previous interview Moby said “The idea is that the show starts very quietly then slowly builds.” He continued to explain that “by the end, it’ll be more dance oriented – not hands-in-the-air raving, though, but more experimental. Throughout the course of the set, there’ll also be ambient reworkings of my better-known songs like ‘Porcelain,’ ‘We Are All Made of Stars,’ and newer ones like ‘Almost Home.’”
Also in another interview concerning the re-release of Hotel: Ambient he has been quoted as saying “EMI had the rights, and I kept asking them to release it on its own. Because it was a tiny record, they had no interest. It has no vocals, no drums. Finally, the rights reverted back to me, and I thought it would be nice to re-release it. It’s 2014, so I don’t expect anyone to buy it.” I guess it makes sense why he’s giving the music away for free. You can buy Hotel: Ambient from iTunes, Amazon and all the usual digital retailers or you can download it for free on Moby’s website, mobygratis.