Moogfest was already a full week ago, but I feel like I was running around Durham yesterday. As exhausting as it was, part of the fun of Moogfest was the mad dash of finding new and exciting activities. Grown up life prevented me from going to as many panels as I wanted to, but I was pumped to get over to GZA’s talk with Duke’s Dr. Mark Anthony Neal. If you listen to GZA’s music you can tell why he’s nicknamed “The Genius,” but as someone from a similar background, it was refreshing to listen to insights from an an intelligent Black man from the hood who made it in hip hop without being strictly about money, drugs, and guns.
Surprisingly enough for me, I didn’t just want to stay in my hip hop bubble (it’s easy to do as the Hip Hop Music Director), so I checked out some things that I didn’t exactly plan on doing. Having never played a Moog synth, going to the Modular Marketplace and trying out some of the toys, as well as watching how they’re made was extra cool. Afterhours DJ Marcel the Lion and I spent hours in there creating and wishing we had some way to record our work!
Additionally, as somewhat of an outsider to electronic music, I found it fun to see how fans interact with their favorite artists. The Reggae Soundsystem Party at Bull McCabe’s was probably my favorite stop off of my expected path. Mad Professor spun some super dope dub music. The house-style drum patterns, mixed with the good vibes of reggae, brought me back to the Bronx for a couple hours, minus the dancing… Sorry Durham, y’all cant dance to reggae like we do in the BX!
What I found most interesting about all of the new music I tried out was how audiences interact with their favorite artists. Audiences ranged from tame (at Health’s set), to hyped (Grimes and Odesza), to flat our weird (The Orb and DJ Harvey). The weirdest seeming to congregate at The Armory which cranked out DJ after DJ all weekend with a non-stop dance party. But weird is a good thing, especially when artists like The Orb have been mastering it for years, amassing a following of people ranging from younger than me to my mom’s age.
Enjoy the pics of my travels from last weekend!
–DJ Iron Mic
(all pictures taken by Charles Morse for WKNC)