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Album of the week: Moby – Play

What is it: Lush, bluesy electronica
Why was it so significant: It set a new standard for electronica and pop music alike.
Where does it work best: Anywhere at any time.

Re-issued on vinyl for the first time, Moby’s Play is our album of the week. The fifth studio  album of the New York producer is significant watermark for electronica and pop music as a critical success in both fields, and for good reason. Play was an instant commercial triumph for its ability to fuse elements from the distant corners of electronic dance music with R&B and Blues, reconstructing them into popular forms that were more accessible to the average man while remaining true to the producer’s underground dance music roots. Moby’s clever combination of samples your able to sing a long too and big dance beats within the electronic tradition heralded a new era for this music in which it could be both a cult hit and reach a populist mainstream.

Tracks like Honey, Natural Blues and Find my Baby were instant commercial successes as singles and Play is one of these rare albums where there’s never a boring moment. What’s more it’s stood the test of time and listening to it today, the characteristics that made it so endearing are still there. Whether it’s sweet melodic phrases or Moby’s innoccently composed moments at the microphone, it’s hardly an album that can be ignored and it’s no surprise Rolling Stone magazine considered it one of their 500 greatest albums of all time. Almost every person old enough will have a favourite moment from this record, and even amongst some of the other new records out this week, and stands as a giant moment in recording history and it should find a welcome home in our collection, sure to get a lot of love from the folks behind the bar.