Moby, Early Underground

Michaelangelo Matos

By Michaelangelo Matos

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Early Underground


There has been a tendency to write Moby out of the early rave story: he's American, and England was where the action was; he never really put his stamp on a specific subgenre the way someone like Goldie did with jungle or Aphex Twin did with ambient, preferring to dabble in a few different areas; he was a pop star in training, in a scene where radical anonymity ruled. But he also made some excellent records, several of which are collected on this odds-and-sods compilation. Despite Moby's early titular fixation on classic rock ("Barracuda," "Voodoo Child," both also early pseudonyms), this is early-'90s house and techno at its most purely utopian (and naive). "Go (Original)," the skeleton on which the later, Twin Peaks theme-added version was built, is purple-hued proto-trance with a cuddly feel; "Party Time" is Manchester-baggy piano house pushing into the ecstatic. Fairly dated, Early Underground is a nice snapshot of its period nevertheless.