DB Burkman, otherwise known as DJ DB, was one of the first British DJs to bring drum and bass across the pond, and has been a fixture in America's rave scene since the early 90s. In this column No Skool Like the Old Skool, he'll be sharing long-forgotten mixes, photos, flyers, and other treasures from his archive. Break out those notepads…
This Moby set was recorded in 1994 and is mostly a mix of old-school rave classics. Two decades from when it was originally recorded, it's resurfaced for our nostalgic listening pleasure.
When I first arrived in NYC in 1990 I had a short lived Friday residency at a sick club called MARS. On the second floor was another DJ named Moby who was just at the start of his NYC DJ career. Moby was doing all kinds of shit with turntables and extra gear. Not being a gear-head I couldn't tell you what they were.
I was already a fan because of Moby's game-changing anthem "Go" (warning, nerd alert: It's a little-known fact that "Go" was actually a B-side track on his first EP, Mobility). His way of creating live music as part of a DJ set was really way ahead of its time and I was totally blown away. What also impressed me about him was how friendly he was when I approached him with all kinds of geeky questions—not the typical DJ attitude.
When I started my first job working for a record label—Profile Records—the art director there was a partner in the indie label that Moby was signed to, so I'd get hooked up with promos of all his releases.
In 1991 when I attempted to do an all UK-style rave music night called Brilliant, Moby was my first choice of guest performer and he kindly agreed to play. The club night itself failed after a few weeks, it was just a few months too early for NYC.
I nicked this incredible photo from techno legend Kevin Saunderson's Facebook. It's from the "Area:One Tour" in 2001 that Moby (bottom right) had put together. Check out Paul Oakenfold (right above him) and Josh Wink (I think to the left in shadows) - see who else you can spot!
When Saunderson posted this photo on Facebook, he commented:
"I was on the first ever Area Festival [tour] around the U.S. with Moby, Carl Cox, Paul Oakenfold, Derrick May, Juan Atkins and a bunch of others. The festival was designed to bring electronic music and all sorts of other genres in front of the masses, kind of like Lollapalooza. I took a camper and brought my family with me, which made it real pleasant."
These photos were taken by Mike Danko at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC in 1997.
This press shot was taken by the legendary rock photographer Anton Corbijn.
Another great early press photo. Check the hair, also the "COST and REVS" stickers on the traffic signal.
Moby has been a constant in my musical life, and was a very integral part of many of the parties I was involved with back in the day.
He continues to make wicked music and his recent albums Last Night and Innocents were pretty great! The cool thing is 20 years later, with 20 million albums sold, Moby is still friendly & approachable.