If you’re like me, these days you’ve been depending on KCRW more than ever. We're living in some very strange times on so many levels, but never has the power of music been more evident. Digging through KCRW’s performance archives, I’ve been transported to moments in time, evoked beautiful memories and added to a rich musical education. From iconic legendary artists to the next up and coming superstar, there's a common thread that resonates loud and clear: we are witnessing history with these raw, intimate and vulnerable sessions.
With so many to choose from for this TBT, a favorite of mine was Moby’s MBE performance on June 11, 1999. This was on the heels of releasing his pivotal masterpiece Play. Being a massive fan of his — since the early techno days — you could only imagine how excited I was when I found out that he was gonna be performing in the basement studios. Dance music was, and will always be, number 1 in my book, but I related and gravitated to this album immediately. Start to finish, the record is a thing of beauty with peaks, valleys and emotional dynamics that has received accolades over the years as one of the greatest albums of all time. Even back then, we all knew it.
At the time, I had only been volunteering but a few months, and I made the rookie mistake of bringing in my Canon Rebel (film) camera into the building with the hopes of snapping a pic with one of my DJ inspirations. The morning of the session, I saw him walking towards me from the opposite end of the long, narrow hallway that led to the performance studio. I built up the courage, introduced myself and asked if he'd be cool taking a picture. Being the super nice guy about it, he agreed. Immediately following, MBE producer Ariana Morgenstern comes at me, pulls me aside, and commences to rip me a new one! I understand now that it was important to protect the guests, for countless reasons, but mainly so the artists would feel comfortable stepping into our sanctuary. It all happened so quickly. I went from excitement to thinking ‘that's it… I’ll be kicked out of KCRW.’ But over 20 years later, here we are.
As for the session, In addition to dropping his anthem “Go,” the archive includes some of the debut recordings of what are now considered classics like “Honey,” “Bodyrock,” and “Find My Baby.” All performed with a full band! Since then, he's been on air with us close to a dozen times. It's an honor to call him a close friend of the KCRW family after all these years! Let’s step into the time machine and revisit this magical session with Moby right here on Morning Becomes Eclectic.