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“On a basic level,
all the matter in
the universe is essentially made
up of stardust.”
——Moby, astrophysicist
MOBY'S WHALE OF A NEW ALBUM
He's Not Dicking Around This Time
Call it bald ambition. This time, expectations will be higher, but V2 Records artiste Moby—space suit and all—is ready for the challenge.

His new album, 18, hits shelves on May 14. It’s the multimedia maven’s first set of new material since Play in June ’99. After selling a mere 8,000 its first week,  Play racked up an OTC total of 2.1 million. That disc’s success was fueled by the fact that all 18 tracks were eventually licensed for commercial use,  including such hits as “Bodyrock,” “Honey” and “South Side,” a duet with Gwen Stefani.

The new album’s title refers to the number of tracks on the record, though Moby hints it has added significance to anyone “who has spent time in Israel or is familiar with UFO conspiracy theories.” Guests include Sinead O’Connor, Mic Geranimo, MC Lyte and Angie Stone.

“Not to be too arrogant, but I love this record,” he claims. “It worries me, ’cause normally when I make a record, I have very mixed feelings about it.”

The video for the first single, “We Are All Made of Stars,” was directed by Joseph Kahn (Eminem’s new clip, Britney Spears, DMX). It features Moby as a space alien who lands in Hollywood, where he encounters a who’s-who of exotic celebrities, including Todd Bridges and Gary Coleman in an impromptu Diff’rent Strokes reunion, as well as Vern “Mini Me” Troyer, Corey Feldman, Thora Birch, NSYNC’s JC Chasez, Dave Navarro and Tommy Lee. The video’s already been added to MTV Buzzworthy, VH1 and MTV2. The single was Most Added at PoMo and APM radio and goes to Top 40 and Hot AC on 5/20.

Says V2 promo domo Matt Pollack: “We set out to feed his base and the KROQs and WXRTs have responded. It’s an eventful release for us, and so far, the vibe has been great.”

Moby says the song was inspired by his interest in quantum physics. “On a basic level, all the matter in the universe is essentially made up of stardust,” he explains.

V2 vows to pull out all the stops to market and promote the album, including:

*An online/offline retail promotion offering 18 “Collectible Artcards” designed by Moby to anyone who pre-orders the album. Those who order the disc can stream it immediately via a secure password.

*Moby will perform on Saturday Night Live’s season finale (5/18).

*He will appear on Jon Stewart (5/13), Carson Daly (5/14), David Letterman (6/19) and Jay Leno (mid-July).

*MTV’s Seor Moby’s House of Music will air biweekly on Saturday nights.

*An MTV special, Dinner and a Moby, will premiere 5/10.

*An AOL "First Listen" program launched last month.

*In-stores at N.Y.’s Virgin Megastore (5/13) and Tower (5/14).

*Moby’s own headlining jaunt begins in July, followed by his second annual Area:2 tour, which launches later that month with David Bowie.

*Features in Spin, L.A. Times, N.Y. Times, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Tower Pulse, USA Today, Elle, Esquire, GQ, etc.

V2 product manager Rachel Mintz says, “This is the most extensive online marketing campaign we’ve ever done here.”

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