Richard Melville Hall – a distant relative of literary icon Herman Melville – is a 48-year-old vegan, animal rights activist, and photographer, born in Harlem and raised in Connecticut. He’s produced, co-written and remixed music for such acts as Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Britney Spears, Metallica, Brian Eno and Guns N’ Roses.
He’s also a singer-songwriter, musician, and DJ who has sold over 20 million records worldwide. He has done so under such names as Voodoo Chile and Schaumgummi, and as a member of such bands as Vatican Commandos, AWOL, Caeli Seoul and Gin Train … and most prolifically under a most recognized of pseudonyms.
He is MOBY.
For well over 20 years he’s been making beautiful sounds we mortals have classified as electronica, alternative rock, hardcore punk, acid house, techno, EDM, ambient and more. He’s an artist hard to define, yet hard not to listen to and be impressed by the creativity that he brings to the studio and stage.
His 11th studio album, Innocents, was released on October 1 and has quickly caught the eye of critics and fans. It features 12 tracks, including seven on which Moby collaborates with other artists, and it’s co-produced by Grammy-winner Mark ‘Spike’ Stent (Muse, Depeche Mode, Bjork, U2, Coldplay).
For a taste of what to expect, I’m happy to present the first two official videos from the album.
The first, A Case for Shame, is Moby’s directorial debut and features the soulful voice of Al Spx from the band Cold Specks. Moby says this about the video on his YouTube channel: “It has a specific meaning for me, but i’m hesitant to say what that is, as it might have a very specific meaning to you, and it’s completely open to anyone’s subjective interpretation. It’s an experimental video, inspired by some of my early heroes of experimental film, like jack smith.”
Video #2, The Perfect Life, is more celebratory, and this time we find Moby collaborating with Wayne Coyne – one of the few artists that can go toe to toe with him as one not afraid to create outside of the bounds of norms. Coyne, the frontman for The Flaming Lips, is a bizarre creative creature who doesn’t give a shit what anybody thinks – not about his music, turning his music into jingles or how he directs his own films. A good fit for Moby.
Moby continues on YouTube: “I thought of Wayne for this song because The Flaming Lips have evolved into this very open, celebratory band when they play live, and that was the perfect vibe for what I was imagining for The Perfect Life.”