What sets America’s surviving electronica star apart from his still-anonymous peers is that even the average music fan could identify Moby’s distinctive instrumentals. Although his ninth album mostly relegates vocals to the status of semi-obscure extras, it plays like a retrospective of his signature sounds — particularly the ecstatic pianos and wailing divas of his early dance-floor anthems, and the somber synth strings and woeful gospel snippets of his 1999 mainstream breakthrough, Play. After the clunky, sample-free pop rock of 2005’s Hotel, this nostalgic retreat to rave’s glory days reasserts Moby’s strengths: No one does techno spirituals better.
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Interview with Moby at SXSW 2008