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Baker's Dozen

Corrupting Sonic DNA: Moby's Favourite Albums
Luke Turner , September 24th, 2013 08:18

Moby talks Luke Turner through his formative musical influences, from Nick Drake and OMD to the sound of New York via Suicide, Silver Apples, Eric B & Rakim and Public Enemy


Nick Drake - Bryter Layter
I mentioned Johnny's record store, and as well as Suicide, which is ironic considering he killed himself, he got me to listen to Nick Drake. This is such a perfect record, the songs are perfect, the singing's perfect, the instrumentation (even though Phil Collins plays on the songs) is perfect. It was one of those records that didn't need any explaining. I walked in, it was playing, and I asked 'what's this?', I thought it maybe was a Cat Stevens b-side. He told me it was Nick Drake and that I should buy it and he gave me a discount on the record because he was such an evangelist for it, and thought it was one of the best records ever made and that people needed to learn about Nick Drake.

I took it home and fell in love with it. It's been a constant for me ever since. I can't imagine a month of my life that's gone by that I've not listened to it.

The funniest experience was the first real tour I did, in 1991, with the band The Shamen. It was the first electronic music rave tour of the States, and at the time I didn't drink, I didn't do drugs, I was a very naive little kid and I was on tour with the Shamen, who were all really partying quite hard. I think we liked and respected each other, but we didn't really have anything in common apart from a shared love of electronic music. One day I was in the back of the lounge listening to Nick Drake's Bryter Layter and the singer came back and you could see his face lit up, and you could see he was a huge Nick Drake fan. We bonded over that.

The next tour I did was with the Prodigy and Richie Hawtin, and the one after that was with Orbital and the Aphex Twin. During these tours there was a rave scene in the early 90s, but compared to the UK it was much smaller. It certainly existed. One of the reasons why the rave scene in the States is how it is, is because a lot of the people involved do way too many drugs. You get these DJs and performers who get really into the rave scene and then do more drugs in one night than most human beings should in a lifetime, so the burn-out rate is pretty high.

In 1996 I was dating this raver girl, and she had gone out and did three hits of ecstasy, three hits of ketamine, some acid and crystal meth and I just remember thinking 'how can your body handle that?' But I guess if you're 19 years old it can handle it for a little while. Definitely that type of drug use led to a lot of people burning out.