WATCH: Moby Grinds Out No-Wave Night Terror with The Void Pacific Choir in “The Light is Clear in My Eyes”

So much for the mild-mannered vegan restaurateur.

Way before he became a stealthy capitalist, Moby was a good-for-nothing punk. In the early ’80s, his group The Vatican Commandos put out a string of 7″s before disbanding, and Moby would gravitate to the electronic music that eventually made him a millionaire many times over. Years later, with techno beginning to test the waters of the mainstream, he’d swim profoundly against the current with 1996’s Animal Rights, a straight-ahead punk record that found him covering Mission of Burma’s imperial “That’s When I Reach for My Revolver.”

Now, with little in the way of warning and less in he way of explanation, Richard Melville Hall has dropped a mysterious, heavily processed YouTube single for the song “The Light is Clear in My Eyes.” The track is apparently a collaboration with The Void Pacific Choir, who have only one other recording under their belts—a bland electronic ballad with Robin Schulz called “Moonlit Sky” that shares no discernible aesthetic qualities with “The Light is Clear in My Eyes.”

“The Light is Clear in My Eyes,” though, is far from bland. Its grimy, processed surface sits heavily on a ground-out beat, Moby intoning the lyrics in a flat chant. It’s sharper and smarter than the bratty Vatican Commandos tapes, and played with far more warmth than Animal Rights. The press release quotes D.H. Lawrence on California, which the British author called “a queer place — in a way, it has turned its back on the world, and looks into the void Pacific.” Seems about right, but you can judge for yourself with the video below.

For more information—or, for more mystery, really—consult the project’s website.

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