I subscribe to Spotify – some of you won’t like that, I know. I got rid of our turntable, CD player, speakers and amp and have yet to replace them, so the only way I get to play music that isn’t the radio is streaming tracks from either my iTunes library or Spotify through my Sonos. Every week Spotify pushes a new playlist to me called Discover Weekly. It is made up of tracks based on my listening habits – it’s how I came across Lift to Experience. The other week a track popped up called Ride On and I thought “ooh that sounds like Play era Moby” but it wasn’t Moby, it was this guy called Little Axe and the album the track came from was The Wolf That House Built.
Play by Moby is the sort of album most people have in their record collection. It was quite different to the work that came before it which was predominantly techno-ish club music. Play melded a bluesy sound with electronica, it felt mellower to me than his previous work and as I’d pretty much stopped going clubbing by this time, it also felt a bit more grown up; an album you could stay in and chill out with. For Moby it was a breakthrough as it brought him international acclaim when it was released in 1999 (remember that year).
I think Little Axe is the stage name of musician Skip Macdonald, but I’m not entirely sure because in some places I’ve seen Little Axe referred to as a group. Wiki doesn’t tell me much about Macdonald other than he’s worked with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five which fails to explain the awesomeness of The Wolf that House Built released in 1994 and the later album Hard Grind released in 2002. Both albums ooze blues, jazz and dub rhythms with a hint of electronica thrown in over repeating deep south samples. The Wolf That House Built is so reminiscent of Play and yet it came a full 5 years ahead of Moby’s seminal work.
Yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to fill in the gaps in my musical knowledge. What can you tell me about all this and who else should I be tracking down?