“I wanted to like Aphex Twin because I loved his records. But when he gave interviews, he criticised me”: Moby reflects on his feud with Aphex Twin

31 years on from their joint headline tour, Moby recalls the “sadness” he felt over his feud with Aphex Twin.

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[L-R] Moby and Aphex Twin

Credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images [L], Kristy Sparow/Getty Images [R]

Moby, Aphex Twin and Orbital‘s joint headline tour in 1993 promised great things, with dance music’s most exciting stars at the time teaming up for a trek. However, it ended up sparking a long feud between Moby and Aphex Twin.

The clash initially kicked off over transportation. Reportedly, Moby was keen to travel to each tour date by plane, while Aphex Twin and Orbital travelled by bus.

Environmental implications aside, the different modes of transport left Aphex Twin viewing Moby as an elitist. “He called me an elitist in the press, when actually I just had crippling tour-bus-inspired insomnia,” Moby wrote in his 2016 memoir, Porcelain.

In the same memoir, Moby also wrote about how difficult it was to enjoy Aphex Twin’s music after learning he held him in such contempt. “I wanted to like Aphex Twin, because I loved his records,” he admitted. “But when he gave interviews, he criticised me for playing guitar on stage.”

In an interview that same year, Moby also told the Rave Curious podcast that Aphex Twin had said he “couldn’t understand” why him and Moby had ever been booked on the same tour. Aphex Twin reportedly considered Moby to be “just a buffoon”.

31 years on, Moby has re-addressed the feud. Speaking to Stereogum, the electro star admits that “there was a sadness” to the feud. “I really liked his records,” he asserts. “I especially liked [Selected Ambient Works 85-92]. I went into that [1993] tour feeling like, ‘Hey, we’re all in this together.’ I realised pretty quickly they didn’t feel that way.”

Moby believes that Aphex Twin didn’t embrace the same joyful, heart-on-sleeve approach to music as he did. “What I loved about house music and rave culture was the celebration and joy of freeing yourself from all the repression and inhibition,” he explains. “[But] I felt like there was that period in the early ’90s where the intelligentsia were trying to kill off that joyful expression of emotion that made rave culture so transcendent.”

Moby isn’t necessarily burying the hatchet, but he professes he holds no grudge against Aphex Twin. “I don’t have any ill will towards anyone,” he claims.

He continues: “It did feel like, on the part of the intelligentsia, there was a collective embarrassment about the emotional expression of rave culture. It rubbed me the wrong way, because I love underground electronic music. I always have, even going back even to the ’70s and the ’80s.”

While Moby and Aphex Twin’s 1993 clash will continue to haunt Moby, it’s certainly not interrupting his tour schedule. The American dance star is set to play a European tour this September to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Play, the biggest-selling electronic album of all time. It will be his first tour in 10 years.

Most significantly, however, is that Moby wont be making a dime off of the tour. “What makes the tour most exciting for me is that I won’t be paid anything,” Moby writes on his website. “100% of my tour profits will go to European animal rights organisations.”

So, if you enjoy a good boogie and also support animal rights, the tour is a win-win. The Play tour kicks off at London’s O2 on September 19. Moby will also be heading to Antwerp, Berlin, Dusseldorf and Paris.

For tickets, head to Moby’s official website.


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