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Ambient Makes the Charts! Moby's Other Hotel Disc

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Moby proved he could record just about anything and hit #1 in the charts when he released the rather low-key ambient album, Hotel, in 2005. Though it has to be mentioned that it was given as a freebee with the spoonful of sugar that was known as Hotel proper.  Hotel Ambient is a pretty straightforward ambient album, the sort that could easily be used with most slideshows without interfering with the viewer in any way.  Still, it did very well, just as most everything else has in the Moby brand. So why has he chosen to release an expanded version in 2014? Well to expand it, of course, and perhaps to give it a road test on its own.

Not the Main Stage

The ambient tracks had been released as bonus material with the main Hotel album and now they get their own attention and separate release—and that’s probably a good thing. There is absolutely nothing offensive about this ambient album, though there is nothing challenging here either.  Hotel Ambient may never provide the soundscape for a hotel or other space, but it is clear that it may have introduced a new audience to the notion of ambient music—the genre known for such bright lights as All India Radio, Tangerine Dream, and Brian Eno, among many others. Those latter artists certainly have a more developed and engaging ambient style, but they don’t release the sort of electronica pop-radio-hits Moby is known for either.

The ambient disc certainly contrasts to the flowing electronic pop sounds of, for example, “Where you End” and most of the other tunes on that straightforward pop album.  No wonder many ignored or were perplexed by the bonus disc. Albums such as Animal Rights and some others certainly flirt with the ambient style, but nothing is as blatant as this one.  The 2014 release contains three extra tracks and some extended versions and will be an album Moby fans may at least read to without being interrupted by lyrics and voices. Other studiers may find something to put in the background here as well.