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Voodoo Child 

Baby Monkey (V2)

Apparently Moby has become disenchanted with all the avant-garde, high-concept work he's been doing for the past few years. So the Other White Vegan (better luck with your next congressional race, Dennis), inspired by a night spent raving till dawn in a Glasgow railway tunnel, took a break from his normal studio activity in order to revisit his halcyon days and record a no-frills, straightforward dance record under the Voodoo Child alias.

Far from being chock-full of block-rockin' beats and raved-up synth riffs, Baby Monkey sounds more like something an aspiring DJ would make on the Casiotone keyboard he got for his seventh birthday. On several of the would-be dance-floor stormers, Moby stacks up layers of panoramic synth chords that sound turgid and outdated. His kick-drums pack the punch of a Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robot, and the snare and high-hat crescendos sound cacophonous and tinny.

The few tracks that merit repeat listening trade on a more minimal after-hours vibe. "Electronics" combines a carefully burnished keyboard melody with delicately resonating cymbals and a roly-poly bass line, while "Last" wraps a squelchy acid riff around a new-wave arpeggio and a dangerously careening siren call for a trip to techno's dark side. As for the rest, well, let's put it this way: Tracks like "Unh Yeah" would probably be better named "Please, No."

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More by Steve Boughton

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