Moby - Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? (Background and Context (He was a…
Moby - Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?
Background and Context
He was a guitarist who left University to become a DJ and play with his band, AWOL
He also plays keyboard, bass and drums
Moby’s real name is Richard Melville Hall
His big break was 1991’s single Go, which used a sample from a TV series theme tune
He went on to work with and remix artists including The Prodigy, Orbital and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
It reached No. 16 in the UK charts in 1999
is from the 1999 album Play
This is an example of Club Dance music
There are a wide variety of sub-genres including:
Roland TR909 drum machine
Sound source for drum loops
Emu Proformance piano sound module
Piano sound source
Yamaha SPX990 Multi-effects unit- To apply reverb and delay to tracks
Roland Juno 106 Synth bass sounds
Yamaha SY22 and SY85 synthesisers
String/synth pad sounds
Akai S3200 sampler- Sampling the vocal sounds off the original record and any subsequent editing
Moby left the original background noise intact
This adds depth to the music, enhancing the texture
The vocals in the song are sampled from a 1953 Gospel Choir recording
The song has only 6 chords
Am, Em, F, G, D, C
There are 3 chord sequences in 8-bar blocks
Uses sus2 and sus4
Moby changes the harmony for each sample:
Sample 1 (Why does my heart) feels like A minor
Sample 2 (These open doors) feels like C major
Chorus is more ambiguous - the common notes of the chords hint at C major
Both vocal samples are in A minor
Modulates to C major in 2nd half of chorus
Rhythm and Metre
It has a consistent tempo of 98 bpm
It features a hip-hop style drum loop (backbeat)
The track is in (4 crotchet beats per bar)
Piano accompaniment alternates between static and syncopated rhythmic figures.
Texture and Effects
The telephone voice EQ adds interest
Echos and shouts come in in the chorus
Textural contrast comes from instruments coming in and dropping out, based around the different chord sequences
Panning - the positioning of a sound in the stereo field. It may be used to give the impression that the sound is moving from side to side.
Texture builds up - piano solo, adds vocal, adds rhythm (drum loop), then bass, then strings.
Reverb - this effect makes it sound like you are performing in a large space like a church
The texture of the song varies frequently
Delay - a type of echo, like bouncing off the walls of a cave.
dying repeats of the delay effect on the EQ’d vocal echo
a quiet delay repeat of the snare (from the drum loop)
There is a complete textural contrast in the break when we can only hear
the general reverb tailing off
The dynamics throughout the song are closely linked to the textural changes.
The opening is piano and, in general, the dynamics increase slowly but constantly before a quieter ending.