New York City-based electronic musician, producer and activist Moby shares healing, soulful track and video “Should Sleep” with J.P. Bimeni, which is out everywhere now via his brand new label Always Centered At Night. The blissful single pays homage to the 1980s underground dance music scene that took New York City – and the world – by storm. The uncompromising nature of the song doesn’t bend for any algorithm. With emotion as the sole guide for every element of creation, the funky soul of the track seeks out the same ecstatic, healing and deeply grateful feeling that only music, dance and community can make when combined.
Out today, “Should Sleep” embodies the distinct carefree joy that comes with being on a dance floor surrounded by strangers after midnight. Setting the scene of the track’s origin, Moby recalls, “After disco died in the late ’70s, and before house music took the world by storm in the late ’80s, New York was home to an underground dance music scene that was curated and maintained by revered DJs like Larry Levan and David Mancuso. As a punk rocker in the early ’80s, I went out to clubs like Great Gildersleeves and the Ritz to see bands like Black Flag and Bad Brains.” Eventually, Moby found himself discovering new, hidden underground clubs but like the Fallout Shelter, Am/Pm, The Loft, and Paradise Garage, where he was exposed to underground dance music like ESG, Lolleata Holloway, the Peech Boys, People’s Choice, Cheryl Lynn, Manu Dibango, and countless others.
These sounds laid the foundation for the latest work, a track that Moby says transcends one’s background and identity, adding it’s “100% a tribute and an homage to that scene, when Larry Levan and David Mancuso played iconic tracks by loose joints and brass construction and the Peech Boys to an ecstatic audience of straight, gay, Black, white, Asian people, all joined in building nightly churches out of music and sweat.” Moby adds the track, “makes me feel like I’m on the dance floor at David Mancuso’s loft celebrating at midnight with joyful strangers.”
London-based vocalist J.P. Bimeni couldn’t be more thrilled to team up with Moby. Bimeni shares, “With music, I discover more and more that it is permeated with a good kind of magic in so many layers. Music brims with enchanted tentacles through time and space, and to the point, it illustrates this collaboration with Moby–in the music and with the music. It is surreal for me, as I think about the journey I am on, have been on and am now working with Moby (internal scream, over the moon).” With “Should Sleep,” Bimeni adds, “I feel that through this work, there’s simple wisdom, warmth, healing, uplift, breath and steadfastness.”
The track’s accompanying video, directed by Moby and Mike Formanski, shows both J.P. Bimeni and Moby in their elements and happy places: Moby in his home studio, playing a myriad of instruments with his dog pal bagel close by, and J.P. in New Orleans, surrounded by nature as he sings and dances. Like the song, the video was also created independently in two locations, yet it comes together as one, cohesive and vibrant unit.
Moby is a multi-platinum-selling, multi-award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, author and animal rights activist. Now, leading his own label, Moby aims to shift the current music landscape, bringing Always Centered At Night to life due to Moby’s disappointment for what he calls: “our current, fear-driven, algorithmic-based culture.” On the label and what makes it different, Moby says, “I’m perfectly happy for Always Centered At Night to never make money. Rather, the goal is to do something uncompromising. To make music that is emotional, atmospheric and potentially beautiful. And what better use of this weird privilege I have than trying to foster creative expression that has uncompromising integrity?”
Now, with over 15M streams across platforms, the label looks ahead to share much more in the coming months. Its debut release medusa, a collaboration between Moby and Grammy-nominated artist and Doja Cat collaborator Aynzli Jones, on air with serpentwithfeet, fall back with rising star Akemi Fox, ache for with José James, a critically acclaimed jazz artist for the hip-hop generation and recently, transit with rising Dutch-Sudanese singer Gaidaa.