Filters, Futurists, & Funk: Moogfest is an Electronic Utopia

February 1, 2016 -

Milli Encarnacion

What comes to mind when you hear the name, Moog? Modular enthusiasts jump to identify the iconic name with those unique sounds emitted from a complex megaboard. As for guitarists, Moog's name conjures images of numerous pedals, including the preferred Moogerfooger range - and as the proud owner of a Moogerfooger Low-Pass Filter, I can vouch for their greatness. Then there are the thousands, or millions, of musicians who envelope their tunes with the brand's legendary synthesizers. Overall, Moog's impact on music, especially electronic, is exponential. Daft Punk, deadmau5, and Carl Craig all consider the infamous sound-transformers to be pivotal in bringing their ideas to fruition. It's a marvel that what started as audio experiments from a post-grad engineer in the mid-'60s paved the path of electronic music as we know it today. (That post-grad engineer, by the way, turned out to be Dr. Robert Moog.)

From May 19-22, Moogfest - "a synthesis of music, art, and technology" - will take over Durham, North Carolina, wielding a plentiful string of artists and speakers. Noted as the festival's "most experiential" lineup yet, the four-day technology fete will feature headliners Gary Numan (three nights), GZA (two nights), ODESZA, Laurie Anderson, Oneohtrix Point Never, Suzanne Ciani, Blood Orange, Explosions in the Sky, and Sun Ra Arkestra. The headliners join keynote presentations from transhumanist activist and pharma tycoon, Dr. Martine Rothblatt, as well as computer scientist and virtual-reality pioneer, Jaron Lanier. More than one hundred performers will join the evening celebrations, including Simian Mobile Disco, The Orb, DJ Harvey, Kode9, Lunice, Ryan Hemsworth, Juliana HuxtableYACHT, and more to be announced. Moog is just as invested in technology as it is in music - so, of course, daytime during the festival will feature a conference whose wealth of panels, workshops, and installations will help in illustrating the future of creativity. Tech-obsessed audiences even have the option of building their own synthesizer with the Engineering VIP package.
Moogfest 2016
Phase II will be announced Tuesday, February 9th. Purchase tickets here. Visit their website to watch a hilarious lineup announcement video, in which the one and only Reggie Watts is front-and-center.

In the meantime, before the Phase II lineup announcement coming next week, enjoy this playlist featuring artists included in Moogfest's Phase I lineup announcement.
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