By: Greg Gargiulo
Spend a night out in any major city and the possibilities are infinitely vast. For Moby - electronic engineer and self-confessed nightlife addict - the goal of his latest, Last Night (Mute) was to capture the very essence of the nightclub scene and translate it to a record, touching on as many of those possibilities as space would permit. The desired end result was to convey the careless abandonment that comes with one music-infused night out, when the beat usurps all unrelated concerns and becomes the sole directing force.
Moby hits the mark with unflinching accuracy on just enough tracks to make up for the small handful that fall short before reaching the intended target. The opening "Ooh Yeah" sets the tone nicely, with a head-swaying rhythm, airy guitars and synthesized celestial voices inviting the listener to become part of a strange world that exists only long after the sun has set. Chrissi Poland provides accentuating vocals on "Live For Tomorrow," which starts off steadily, then unexpectedly morphs into a jungle escapade capable of a transporting power similar to Play’s "Porcelain."
Tracks like "I'm In Love," "Everyday It's 1989" and "Disco Lies" are wanting due to lukewarm progressions that don’t seem to fully blossom, which others like "Alice" and "257.zero" overcompensate for. "Alice" stands out prominently from the otherwise carefree, pleasant content here, yet manages to somehow fit in and develop the disc's movement nonetheless. The raw hip-hop beat and guest vocals by Aynzli Jones and S.O. Simple & Smokey (of the UK-based 419 Squad) suggest a wrong turn made while traveling to the next hot spot, a section of the city where hooded shadows lurk on corners rapping of troubles unknown to the passersby. "257.zero" is pure big beat - heavy bass, dramatic keyboards that rise and fall gently but emphatically and voices counting at random as if announcing the flight number of a plane or spaceship preparing to launch. The breaks are reminiscent of something you"d hear at a sweaty underground club at 4 am, just when things start to pick up.
The final ambient trio covers the simmering effects of leaving the last club after the music has stopped and not knowing what to do with your self. "Sweet Apocalypse" uses a downtempo Asian flute of some sort and mellow strings lined up with a steady, popping beat, while "Mothers of the Night" quells things even more with its quiet single drum and melody. "Last Night" puts the story to rest, as the piano dies down amidst traffic horns and other signs of life in the distance, still active despite the ungodly hour.
JamBase | Dawn
Go See Live Music!