Legendary electronic artist Moby has launched a new record label: always centered at night.
“The goal for always centered at night is to do something uncompromising,” said the musician. “To make music that is emotional, atmospheric, and potentially beautiful. And what better use of this weird privilege I have than trying to foster creative expression that has uncompromising integrity?”
The multi-platinum selling, award-winning songwriter and animal rights activist will “not be going for a billion streams on Spotify,” according to a press statement. (Though the label is accessible via Spotify and other digital and social media platforms.) Also, he says, there is a constant subtext within the DNA of the label, his disdain for “our current, fear-driven, algorithmic-based culture.”
Added Moby, “There’s so much fear out there. I talk to my friends who are creatives and it breaks my heart because they don’t trust themselves anymore. It seems like the only criteria is: “Can I sell this to a corporation? Will a corporation pay me to make it? Will I get enough ‘shares’ and ‘likes’?” “What happened to the idea that art and culture should be a contemptuous refuge from the mainstream, as opposed to this lickspittle, running dog accommodation to the mainstream? And so what I have to say to artists I want to work with is: ‘Look. We’re trying to make something unique, idiosyncratic, and personal and the music and lyrics don’t need to explain themselves. They can be obscure, they can be whatever you want them to be.’”
As part of the new label launch, Moby and Aynzli Jones released a new single, “Medusa,” which you can check out below.
Moby wants to highlight the tactile, face-to-face music culture he fell in love with decades ago.
“I fell in love with Sly & Robbie, Grace Jones, Soul, electronic and early hip hop records, realizing that these musical traditions were so much more interesting than the music I had been listening to,” he said.
“There was something about the process of crate-digging when you found that rare record that hooked you, and you weren’t even thinking about sharing it with a billion people. The lack of ubiquity back then always felt precious to me. A lot of the New York music I grew to love had this sort of unconventional beauty to it, and I’m hoping to pay homage to and honor that idea; that music can be beautiful, melodic, but also atmospheric and at times, challenging.”
He adds that he’s dedicated to discovery.
“Part of my job, in addition to writing music, is doing whatever I have to, to find voices I love,” Moby explained. “Whether it’s Spotify, Soundcloud, or YouTube, just as I used to dig through record bins, I’m obsessively looking for unique and extraordinary talent. always centered at night is a place for an emerging and fascinating variety of singers to join with me in making music they might not have been able to make elsewhere.
“I love the idea of building a record label that creates music that’s not for everyone. I’d rather make and put out music that is special to ten people, than ubiquitous to millions. Life is ridiculously short and random, you might as well do something interesting with your time here.”
Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images