Electronic-music maestro Move D hits NYC for a night of superdeep beats.
Wed Feb 27 2008
When veteran producer David Moufang, better known as Move D, talks about the artists who helped shape his oeuvre, he sounds pretty much like any other music maker with a modicum of good taste. “Kraftwerk and Pink Floyd were very big for me,” says the German artist, who’s playing a rare NYC gig at Friday 29’s Easy Lover affair. “As a kid, my parents had a real cool record collection, and I can remember listening to Autobahn when it first came out in 1974. And when I was older and getting into more modern electronic music, it was Detroit techno producers like Carl Craig and Derrick May. Their music makes no concessions to commerciality and is really pure, unlike Eurotechno at the time.” All well and good, but then comes the curveball: “And also, records like Chill Out by the KLF were a big influence.”
Chill Out? The 1990 album that arguably opened the floodgates for a torrent of whale music and tampon-ad soundtracks? Admittedly, Chill Out is a great album—the KLF guys were known for often taking the piss, but were also very talented producers. Still, the chill-out/ambient tag is something most artists avoid at all cost.
“If people call your music ambient,” Moufang, 41, explains, “it’s like being cursed. It did get very much clichéd, and it’s not as cool or whatever as it once was, but I’ve done plenty of things that are probably not cool. I even have some whales singing on an old track called ‘Solitaire,’ but I think it makes sense musically. It wasn’t just to have a whale, it’s an important piece of the track.” Of course, it helps that Moufang’s version of chill-out—from his work with Jonas Grossmann as Deep Space Network in the early ’90s through numerous other collaborations and bountiful solo outings—is far more creative than most such material. Much of his work, such as 1995’s classic Kunststoff on the composer’s own Source label, sound as if Detroit techno had taken form in some sort of Elysian paradise rather than the urban dystopia of the Motor City. Stately yet rhythmically complex, blissfully melodic yet still funky as hell, it’s beautiful and warm postparty music.
And at any rate, Moufang’s also beefed up his beats in the last few years; much of his work is now in the deep-house genre, and his sound is reminiscent of a slightly smoother (but no less brilliant) version of Moodymann’s or Theo Parrish’s late-night experimentations. “Even when I was concentrating on the ambient stuff, I hated playing the ambient room,” he says with a laugh. “The incense and the people in those rooms were way too much for me, and I would always play in the house or techno room. So house music has always been big with me—and you can still, after all these years, be really creative with house music. It doesn’t have the strict rules that something like minimal techno has, which I can’t really be bothered with.”
Moufang’s thumpier direction comes after he kept a low profile in the first half of this decade, with releases few and far between. “I definitely went through a quiet period,” he says. “I have a wife and a son; she works and he took a lot of attention, which I didn’t mind at all but it kind of took away my energy for creativity. The label also took a lot of my time, but now that’s on pause because Source was really an album-buyers’ label and people seem to be more interested in singles now. And the kid is ten, so I have more time to do my own stuff again. As an old fucker, it makes me feel good that I can still do this!”
Move D plays Easy Lover Fri 29.