So my husband and I were getting into a disagreement today over the extent to which Moby had an influence on techno (and I use that term loosely, perhaps electronic music is an even better term) in today’s commercial world. I think he was actually more arguing dates and semantics, but my position is that I would largely credit Moby with much of the “electronic” sound we hear in today’s commercials, sitcom themes, sporting events, and movie themes. Of course without countless hours of time to go back through twenty years worth of music and look at the trends it’s impossible to prove. Moby was not the only person to be putting out such sounds in the early to mid-90’s, but he was I believe, a major proponent of the licensing of such music, and the force that drove such music into the market full-force.
Many other sources discuss the commercial success of Play as being what really showed that electronic music could be commercially viable, when it was not previously thought to be so. I tend to think that the cogs of the wheel of commercial success were set in motion even a few years before that.
Just consider that his commercial media credits trace all the way back to a movie (Cool World) in 1992, and well over twenty movies since then(Heat, The Bourne Identity, Black Hawk Down, Any Given Sunday and more), at least eight commercials, and then documentaries, tv promos and shows (e.g The Sopranos), trailers, etc… Moby’s success with “Play” did indeed somewhat prove that electronic music, though it may rise and fall in the club scene, was definitely here to stay in our media world.
I’ve tried searching and have yet to find an electronic producer who has such a prolific resume of media. I also have yet also to discover evidence of a large body of electronic music coming from one source before Moby.
Heck, I don’t suppose it matters. I have respect for the guy, respect for his music, respect for his ideas. He’s a modern day composer who has caused music to evolve, helped people to evolve in the music they listen to, and evolved musically himself.