In the early 2000s, a couple good friends of mine got married and I was asked to be in the ceremony. Well, ceremonies. Actually, it was a day long wedding, starting in the morning with a Vietnamese ceremony, followed by pictures in the early afternoon, a Christian wedding in the early evening and then a dancing reception that lasted until the wee hours of the morning. It was a fabulous day that left me an exhausted mess the day after.
I wouldn’t say that the day was filled with music, dance party excluded, but I did pick up a new favorite artist that day and it was Moby. The recessional music for the evening ceremony was a couple tracks off the Play album and a better choice could not have been made.
Sampling has been a mainstay in music far before recorded music really brought it to the forefront. Musicians were always borrowing and tweaking lines that some other musician had also borrowed and tweaked. When you’ve got a whole 12 notes (Western music only) on which to play, its mathematically difficult to come up with a line that is truly original. Yet, somehow Moby seemed to have done it.
It wasn’t that any single line was really unique, but the combination of them, especially when you pull back and evaluate this album as a whole, that sets it apart as one of the greatest I think our culture has ever produced. I say our culture, because that is what this album is, a homage to the music that we’ve produced since the beginnings of recorded music. Moby’s ability to find and integrate classic content from the earliest recordings shines through in this album. His mixture of them with his own modern beats is well done in the extreme.
While the album has fallen out of my regular rotation, mostly because I played it out (yes, I made that pun), it still holds a special place in my mind, both for the memories to which it is associated and the artists love of music.