For a festival so heavily geared towards electronic acts, Moogfest does a solid job at implementing artists that don’t solely delve into the dance music world. Sure the lineup is driven by acts like Dillon Francis, Kraftwerk and Flying Lotus, but for every electronic powerhouse there’s an equally exciting visionary from another field. Folks can mindlessly dance their asses off to some EDM or they can soak in the life-affirming intellectualism found in acts like Saul Williams…while still probably dancing their asses off.
For those that aren’t familiar, Saul Williams is a visionary of sorts, an outspoken actor/poet/musician that crafts serendipitous works of art that peer deep into the listener’s mind and picks away at your thoughts and beliefs. Williams first started to receive acclaim in the late 90’s for his work as a poet and musician, performing alongside the likes of The Fugees, Nas, Erykah Badu and Allen Ginbserg. But over the years Williams has drastically altered his styles with each subsequent album, traversing from a spoken word hip-hop artist to an industrial leaning emcee to a dance-pop auteur all within the same decade. Perhaps that’s why his list of collaborators range from acts like Trent Reznor and Rick Rubin to Janelle Monáe and Joey Bada$$.
Williams has proven to be a versatile artist, he may not always be doing the same thing, but he’s always doing it with an overwhelming amount of passion. I must admit I’m not entirely sure of what to expect from his Moogfest performance, his latest album Volcanic Sunlight was a far poppier effort than his previous works, but the album is also three years old at this point. Whether we’ll be getting blasted with new material or a solid mixture of his dense catalog, I can guarantee that it’ll be a stimulating performance to say the least.
Saul Williams will be performing on Saturday, April 26 at New Earth – Main Room at 10:30 pm