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(Older reviews archived alphabetically by artist name.)

  Baby Monkey  
  Voodoo Child  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:
  bill E. joel  

According to his bio, Richard Hall, aka Moby, aka Voodoo Child, is not Chinese. He doesn't appear to have Asian ancestry, or to have even spent a lot of time in the Far East. Nevertheless, his CD output suggests he is the direct spiritual descendant of Hu Phlung Pu, the inventor of the so-called Chinese Water Torture. You know, the one where they tie you down on a big table full of hideous implements; but then don't use any of them. Instead, they simply set up a reservoir of water over your head with a tiny hole in it. Just enough to drip every few seconds. Drip ... drip ... drip. At first, you laugh with relief "Ha ha ha...No scourging? No disembowelment? Just water? This I can handle." Then after a while, drip drip drip the repetition builds and it becomes annoying. As time goes on, drip drip drip the minor annoyance drip drip drip gives way to obsession, then drip drip drip to agony, and finally drip drip drip to madness. No physical injury or damage results from the process, but the simple monotonous repetition drives you insane.

shock the monkey

So it is with Baby Monkey. A simple sample or synth line drip is laid on top of a monotonous track and repeated for 4-6 minutes. Drip drip drip. Just as drops of water are used to chip away inexorably at a person's resistance, so the monotonous monkey beats down the musical consumers of the world. It's the only way to explain his continued career People have just been beaten into submission by the drip drip drip. One track segues into another with little discernable difference Dull sounds in dull settings, one after another. No subtlety, no artistry. Just a clot of lifeless programming with all the charm of a card reader working its way through a stack.

this monkey's gone to heaven

For this record, Hall's excuse is that he spent a night in a subterranean tunnel outside of Glasgow and listened to "hard sexy straightforward" dance music. Therefore, he was prompted to make a record with the same attributes. How awful to have such modest goals and to fail so miserably. It's just a suggestion, but maybe he needs to ditch the vegan Jesus shtick and eat a steak or something.

touch my monkey

Hard sexy straightforward dance music is visceral. It grabs you in the gut or the groin or the ass or the feet and won't let go. It's all about the move that body, shake that ass, push it, work it, make you sweat. Even for the spaz dancers like Ian Curtis or Peter Garrett, it's about catharsis and the physical expression of the emotional state. So, sprouts and lentils just don't cut it for making that visceral connection. If dead meat is the problem, maybe he should just chase down some free range poultry and lick it. I hear some folks like to suck toads. Maybe a close encounter with Bufo marinus would help him get that vital connection that is totally absent from this pale assed lifeless limp dick CD.

spank the monkey

If Baby Monkey is his idea of sexy, I pity the poor soul who is the receptacle for his dry dusty demon seed. With its soft beats and flaccid tunes, this cd is in keeping with the philosophy that sex is evil and needs to be repressed, where only a married man and woman can do it, and then only with eyes closed, in the dark. Next time, instead of sitting in a tunnel somewhere for sexual inspiration, do some field work. Download some internet porn or rent a Girls Gone Wild DVD.

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Oddly enough, considering his nigh ubiquitous presence, we have never reviewed Moby before.


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