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Festival Coverage

MoogFest: A Look Back

 

 

 

This coming Thursday sees the arrival of the annual Thanksgiving holiday here in America. Like everyone else, I’ll be eating turkey among family. I’ll also be thinking about what I was thankful for this year, and perhaps the thing that pops up the most is live music. I’ve seen plenty of it this year, mostly great, and one of the highlights was the second annual MoogFest in Asheville, North Carolina.

Friday, October 28

Atlas Sound

My first stop at this year’s MoogFest was at The Orange Peel to catch Atlas Sound. With Deerhunter, Bradford Cox tends to mix sprawling psych-rock landscapes with gorgeous melodies. His solo project, Atlas Sound, follows a similar sound, but whereas Deerhunter can get very loud and very rocking, Atlas Sound songs tend to be quieter, more fragile affairs, usually absent of electric guitars. Sitting on a stool in the middle of the stage, Cox played and sang delicate melodies that he would then loop over one another. Songs would build from vocals and guitar to a great wall of sound. This was the third time I had seen Atlas Sound, and while I enjoy Cox’s solo performances, I’ve seen what he’s capable of with a band backing him (Atlanta band The Selmanaires backed him at one of those prior shows). While he certainly does a fine job on his own, the songs just sound better when he brings a band along. After catching a few songs, I decided to move along and head over to the Asheville Civic Center.

Tangerine Dream

I must make a confession: prior to MoogFest, I had not listened to one second of Tangerine Dream’s music. So when I first walked into the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium half-way through the band’s set, I was pleased to hear psychedelic, ambient soundscapes coming from the speakers. This went on for a couple songs. Then things just got….. weird. The music quickly devolved into cheesy, Mannheim-Steamroller-like synth-schlock. Guitarist Bernhard Beibl and saxophonist would play solos that sounded straight out of a 1970’s porn flick. While it was interesting to watch leader Edgar Froese experiment with all manner of Moog synthesizers, plus the fact that he looked like some sort of urban witchdoctor with his hat, scarf, glasses, and long white hair, I ultimately walked away disappointed, knowing what the band was capable of.

Moby

 

TV On The Radio

 

Brian Eno’s Illustrated Talk

Crystal Castles

Amon Tobin

77 Million Paintings

Active Child

M83

Neon Indian

Passion Pit

Ghostland Observatory

Gold Panda

 

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Categories
Festival Coverage

The Road To Moog

On Oct. 28, Moogfest 2011 will officially begin in beautiful Asheville, N.C. The festival, now in its second year, brings together artists from across the electronic and experimental music spectrum to celebrate the legacy of synth pioneer and music technology visionary Bob Moog. From musical legends such as Suicide, Tangerine Dream, and Terry Riley to up-and-comers CANT, Oneohtrix Point Never, and araabMUZIK to Amon Tobin’s elaborate and visually stunning ISAM show, the three-day festival truly provides something for every ear. In the days leading up to, during, and after the festival check back regularly to the WKNC Blog for various Road To Moog features, including interviews with artists playing the festival and reviews and photos from the festival.