"...He made an album called 'Animal Rights' -- he's not about wearing fur. He shaves his head; he doesn't even like his own fur!"

CmdrTaco on Moby, from Geeks in Space

Over the years of his career, Moby has gotten the rap of being a "Straight Edger" or a "God Boy", but in an interview with Liam Mayclem of TechTV's AudioFile, he has a few points to say on that front:

You're also a Christian and a vegan?

Uhm, not really. For some reason over the last couple of years, or maybe the last nine years since I started making records I've gotten all these cliches that follow me around. That I'm a Christian, non drug-taking, non-drinking -- all these cliches and some of them are sort of half-true but some of them are completely un-true. Like there is the reputation that I don't drink and that I'm some sort of monastic ascetic. I love to drink, I like to be out in the world, I like to have sex, I like to do the things that most normal people like to do.

I think Moby is an amazing artist and has a musical talent in his field that rivals most other composers and artists.. but I'm really glad it's in the techno/ambient world because punk and him don't mix very well (but that's simply my opinion).

In watching the interview from TechTV, one quickly gets the feeling that he's uncomfortable with attention and maybe even fame. He pulls the hood of his pullover tightly over his head and looks around suspiciously almost like he's trying to hide from everyone but the one he's talking with, like he feels unworthy of the accolades and attention he garners.

But from what I know of the way his administers his music it's obvious he's not some pie in the sky flighty composer. He has sold the promotional rights a to most of his later works, but sold them selectivly for companies and products that he would support and as suck serve as a vehicle of extended the exposure of his work.

mobo = M = mockingbird

moby /moh'bee/

[MIT: seems to have been in use among model railroad fans years ago. Derived from Melville's "Moby Dick" (some say from `Moby Pickle'). Now common.] 1. adj. Large, immense, complex, impressive. "A Saturn V rocket is a truly moby frob." "Some MIT undergrads pulled off a moby hack at the Harvard-Yale game." (See Appendix A for discussion.) 2. n. obs. The maximum address space of a machine (see below). For a 680[234]0 or VAX or most modern 32-bit architectures, it is 4,294,967,296 8-bit bytes (4 gigabytes). 3. A title of address (never of third-person reference), usually used to show admiration, respect, and/or friendliness to a competent hacker. "Greetings, moby Dave. How's that address-book thing for the Mac going?" 4. adj. In backgammon, doubles on the dice, as in `moby sixes', `moby ones', etc. Compare this with bignum (sense 3): double sixes are both bignums and moby sixes, but moby ones are not bignums (the use of `moby' to describe double ones is sarcastic). Standard emphatic forms: `Moby foo', `moby win', `moby loss'. `Foby moo': a spoonerism due to Richard Greenblatt. 5. The largest available unit of something which is available in discrete increments. Thus, ordering a "moby Coke" at the local fast-food joint is not just a request for a large Coke, it's an explicit request for the largest size they sell.

This term entered hackerdom with the Fabritek 256K memory added to the MIT AI PDP-6 machine, which was considered unimaginably huge when it was installed in the 1960s (at a time when a more typical memory size for a timesharing system was 72 kilobytes). Thus, a moby is classically 256K 36-bit words, the size of a PDP-6 or PDP-10 moby. Back when address registers were narrow the term was more generally useful, because when a computer had virtual memory mapping, it might actually have more physical memory attached to it than any one program could access directly. One could then say "This computer has 6 mobies" meaning that the ratio of physical memory to address space is 6, without having to say specifically how much memory there actually is. That in turn implied that the computer could timeshare six `full-sized' programs without having to swap programs between memory and disk.

Nowadays the low cost of processor logic means that address spaces are usually larger than the most physical memory you can cram onto a machine, so most systems have much less than one theoretical `native' moby of core. Also, more modern memory-management techniques (esp. paging) make the `moby count' less significant. However, there is one series of widely-used chips for which the term could stand to be revived -- the Intel 8088 and 80286 with their incredibly brain-damaged segmented-memory designs. On these, a `moby' would be the 1-megabyte address span of a segment/offset pair (by coincidence, a PDP-10 moby was exactly 1 megabyte of 9-bit bytes).

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

In very short

Moby is a one - person music factory of epic dimensions. He has sold millions and millions of albums, seemingly without losing his head.

Moby - The person

Moby's real name is Richard Melville Hall. He was born September 11th of 1965 (bit of a shock on his 36th birthday, in other words) in Harlem, New York City. He lived most of his life in Connecticut, but has lived in New York since 1990.

Moby is a relative (great-great-grand-nephew) of Herman Melville, the writer of the famous novel Moby Dick, which is how he chose his nickname. He has also worked under the names of DJ Cake and Voodoo Child

Moby is not just an accompliced musician, he also has strong opinions in other matters; He is a vegan and a rather religious person, although it rarely "shines through" to his music.

Mobys lifestyle is in strong contrast to that of most of the people frequenting the techno and rave styles that he represents.

Moby - The musician

Moby started to play the guitar in 1974, and joined his first band in 1979. He subsequently played in Vatican Commandos, awol, caeli seoul and gin train. After his period of punk and rock music, he went on to make more electronical-type music. Little was he to know he would later in his life write musical history.

Moby got his first 4-track recorder in 1982, and started recording and making music. In '84 he started DJ'ing in New York and Connnecticut. He released his first single/EP in 1990, and his first album/LP in 1993.

As early as 1991, Moby topped the british techno music charts with Go

The Techno / electronical music scene is notorious for having anonymous artists (ref. The Prodigy, who were going strong for many years before they made it big). Apart from the beforementioned Prodigy, Moby is one of the few names people recognise from the scene.

Although he has done plenty of work before he became famous, it wasn't until Play was released that Moby became a music god. He has sold to several platinum records in the UK and the US. Play is also the first album in music history that has had every single one of its tracks licensed out for use in movies and / or other productions.

Moby has become hated by hardcore fans of the techno genre for trivialising the music beyond the limits of the genre. This might be true, but he has also helped introducing hordes of new fans to the music style.

The music

Moby and SharQ

Moby's music is very independent, and has all the characteristics of searching. Personally I heard about Moby the first time while living in the US in 1997. I like to Score, the album he released that year, is a collection of film scores. An absolute masterpiece that somehow seemed to me like the middle of a sentence - something had happened before, and something was about to happen.

After discoveringI like to Score, I found Ambient, a very moody instrumental album with obvious roots in euro-techno, without further comparison. Ambient is a collection of soft, rhythmic songs with various degrees of darkness. Slowly modulating from being on the border of happy to being downright gloomy, Ambient became a very important album to me. After Ambient I bought Animal Rights and Moby, his first, self-titled album.

Just when I was trying to convince all my Norwegian friends how great Moby was, something happened. Moby released a new album, with the inconspicious-sounding title play. With Play, Moby sold millions of albums, and suddenly the whole world knew his name.

Mobys albums are a journey through a large part of the 1990s electronical music history. As an ode to his earlier work, Moby released Songs 1993 - 1998 as sort of a "best of" collection of his work before Play. If you have only heard Play so far, get Songs 1993 - 1998. If you like what you hear there, get your butt on CDNOW and order the whole range of albums - you won't regret it.

Moby in general

Moby has never conformed to musical genres too well. He put disco, rock, punk, pop, breakbeats, dance, soundtracks, ambient techno, electronic music, jazz and blues on one side of the equation. On the other end, Moby's signature-style music appeared.




Movies where his music is used:


  • www.moby.org
  • www.moby-online.com
  • www.allmusic.com
  • MTV
  • some original research (in particular the movies list)


"Here ya go, guys. Here's the equipment that Moby's last CD was recorded on."

-- Don Fleming's recollection of an interview he did with the BBC, as he gestured toward Alan Lomax's ancient reel-to-reel recorder.

Though Moby has a nice-guy reputation and a fervent fan base, often overlooked is the fact most of the material on his breakthrough album "Play" was lifted directly from field recordings made by Alan Lomax.

Moby's hit "Natural Blues" sampled extensively from "Trouble So Hard," an obscure 1930s recording sung by the late Vera Hall.

Lomax, now 87 and retired in Florida, collected the Vera Hall material during one of his many trips through the American South, where he recorded such figures as Muddy Waters. Hall's work is merely a small fragment of the thousands of hours of tape in the Lomax Archives' vaults.

Moby sampled the songs legally, having paid a nominal licensing fee for their use, but Hall's heirs, as of 2002, have only seen a fraction of the royalties Moby has.

Moby seems untroubled by such thoughts.

"I wish I had stories about me getting them myself," Moby told a CNN reporter in 2000, "hanging out in prisons and farms in Georgia, Atlanta or Alabama, or whatever. But no, I just went around the corner to my old record store and bought the reissues."


Personal reportage, conversations with Don Fleming, October 2001-May 2002.

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