The year 2023 could not have started any better for Moby fans: On January 1st, the musician released his 17th studio album AMBIENT 23. Surrounded by ambient sounds, he pleads for serenity and courage, at a time that could hardly be more suitable.
The record follows REPRISE (2021), a work featuring early Moby songs enriched with new orchestral arrangements. In December 2022 he teamed up with José James, among others, for the joint song “ache for”. A production similar to the title and sound of his latest release already came out with AMBIENT in 1993.
When the title “AMBIENT 23” lives up to the record
According to its December 19 social media post, AMBIENT 23 was recorded with “crazy old drum machines and synths” and features “early Ambient heroes” like Martyn Ware, Brian Eno, Jean-Michel Jarre and Will Sergeant inspired”. As for the title, Moby cryptically explained, “It’s called AMBIENT 23 for obvious and odd reasons (23 is an interesting number).”
In a separate update posted on the day of release, he added: “2.5 hours of analogue ambient music. Made to fight fears (my own and hopefully yours too). In 2023, may we all be less fearful (and may we all stop looking for validation from a culture we don’t respect…).”
This is how the production came about
In a previous post on December 30, the artist and animal rights activist showed his followers in a short video how intuitively he recorded and modified sounds for AMBIENT 23:
Here you can listen to the entire production, or also: Moby’s Ode to Courage in 2023: