STEREOGUM: Moby is up to something. Publicists for the veteran dance-music producer have been sending around a new track called “The Light Is Clear In My Eyes” with basically no information. It’s credited to Moby & The Void Pacific Choir, and it’s merely being accompanied by the photo above and a quote from D.H. Lawrence: “California is a queer place — in a way, it has turned its back on the world, and looks into the void Pacific.” The song is a driving postpunk number, and its video is a VHS pileup of cryptic images. MORE
SPIN: A guitar-screeching, scorched-earth number that reaches ear-numbing volume but feels like a totally welcome departure for the 50-year-old at this phase in his career. MORE
PREVIOUSLY: This story begins at a place of Moby’s choosing, a juice bar called The Punchbowl in Los Angeles, which is where I first meet up with him. He is small and pale, bespectacled and bald as Mr. Clean, but bright-eyed, warm and friendly. He’s one of those guys who seems lit from within. He’s wearing shorts and a ball cap and a Flipper T-shirt, all of which makes him look younger than his years. The only outward indicator of him having weathered 47 years on Earth is the gray tint of the stubble ringing his magnificent ivory dome. A diehard New Yorker for most of his life, Moby moved to Los Angeles three years ago and he wears it well.
“I thought I would live in New York forever because from my perspective it was the greatest place in the world because it was dirty and weird and filled with artists and bars and clubs and record companies,” he says. “It was just so interesting and run down, and scary and challenging, and sort of beautiful at the same time. I thought this is where I want to live forever. Then as time passed I changed and New York changed. I feel like such a cliché saying this, but New York has become like Singapore, in that it’s only for rich people. I noticed maybe 12 or 13 years ago that most of my friends who were artists couldn’t afford to live there anymore so they were moving to Philadelphia, they were moving to Portland, they were moving to LA, they were moving to Berlin because New York had become so expensive.
“One day, about four years ago, I woke up and realized that I was sober and living in a city that exclusively caters to drunks, fantastically so. If you’re going to be a drunk, New York is the best place to be a drunk. The bars are open until four, you can walk everywhere, and everyone is drunk. I was sober living in an area that had been populated by artists, but had been colonized by hedge fund guys. Nothing against hedge funds guys, I just don’t want to live around them. That grimy, filthy cold in winter and that oppressive heat in the summer and no nature. I started asking myself where else I could live that’s warm in the winter time, has access to nature, and is filled with weird artists – and honestly LA is the only place I could come up with. It’s a really interesting place to live because it’s such a new, weird, dysfunctional city.” MORE