There are few figures in dance music from America—or, indeed, the world—who have remained a strong presence in the public eye as Moby.
While the past decade has seen dance music reach a mainstream audience with more fanfare than ever before, the renowned artist and activist achieved commercial and critical success for his work in the early 1990s. More than 20 years later, he remains an active contributor; in 2016, he released his 13th album, These Systems Are Failing and penned Porcelain: A Memoir, an autobiography on his years in the New York scene between 1989-1999.
In “Black Lacquer,” a pivotal chapter of his book, Moby recounts the experience behind “Go,” his progressive house remix of “Laura Palmer’s Theme” from the David Lynch’s classic, Twin Peaks. The song, initially released as a B-side, would become his breakthrough hit, paving the way for his future high profile remixes of Michael Jackson, Daft Punk, Metallica, and more.
Since Moby’s early success, remixes have become an astute, commonplace way for producers to make their first marks in the industry. The collaborative art of remixing has also remained a crucial part of Moby’s career—one which he intends to celebrate with his ongoing remix project.
Taking its name from the Porcelain chapter, “Black Lacquer” is an endeavor to show off the power of the revisionist artform. The project sees Moby tap over 40 influential and burgeoning artists from the realms of techno, house, D&B, and mainstream EDM. Above & Beyond, Hardwell, Loco Dice, and Sander van Doorn are only a fraction of the high profile remixers to join “Black Lacquer.”
In “Black Laquer: A Remix Project,” artists from labels such as Spinnin’, Diynamic, Anjunabeats, and Suara try their hands at one of four Moby classics: “Natural Blues,” “Porcelain,” “Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad,” and naturally, “Go.” A core mission of the endeavor is for remixers to receive the credit and compensation which Moby strongly feels their creative efforts warrant. To ensure this, he’s stipulated that all “Black Lacquer” contributors receive full artistic license, stating, “What they do with the remix is completely up to them, and if the track is a success, they can benefit.”
In a unique interview series, Dancing Astronaut has partnered with Moby to give a deeper look into the “Black Lacquer” project. Over the course of the next several weeks, we will be presenting features discussing the stories behind certain remixes with a variety of the artists involved. In doing so, we hope to uncover new details of the individual remixers, but also, to paint a larger picture of the project in its broadest form.