On Moby’s Animal Rights, 25 Years Later…

I’ve been making these alternate / minimal music posters for a couple of years now for some of my favorite albums, and below is my take on “Animal Rights” which turned 25 years old in 2021.

First, a little backstory. I heard Moby when getting into electronic music and the rave scene back in 1993. I was quickly turned into a technohead after I bought “Go”, Moby’s iconic early 90s techno track as an import single and then I proceeded to buy everything the artist made (and I could get my hands on), including records and singles by his techno alter-egos UHF, Brainstorm and Voodoo Child. I also bought his self-titled techno release, “Early Underground” compilation CD and “Ambient” – all released with a small label called Instinct Records.

In 1994 or so it was announced that Moby had signed with Elektra Records and his new album “Everything Is Wrong” would be released by the label. I drove the owners of my local records stores crazy going in weekly asking for the record after it had been released. This was before the internet made it so easy to get information, so Rolling Stone magazine and the local record store was where we got everything. “Everything Is Wrong” FINALLY came out in 1995 and it was chock-full of Techno bangers, as well as some cool ambient tracks and a couple of tracks that had some guitars and rock elements.

I say all this to say, when “Animal Rights” was announced, I was REALLY excited for more techno. So excited, in fact, that I purchased the UK import immediately upon release, took it out to the car, popped it into my CD player and BOOM – a punk rock record? To say I was surprised was an understatement. After the initial shock though, I found that I liked it, and that the UK bonus CD “Little Idiot” became an instant favorite with it’s heartbreakingly beautiful ambient tracks.

Overall, “Animal Rights” wasn’t what I expected, but listening to it now, 25 years later, I think it might have aged better than some of his early techno tracks. I think “Animal Rights” stands on its own – if you come to it from “Go” and “Everything Is Wrong”, its totally different. If you come to it from “Play” or “18”, you’ll probably be shocked, but I like it all the same.