Moogfest, the music festival that is MUCH more than just a music festival, is coming up again in May and unless you have the power to split yourself in two it will be near impossible to see everything. So, to prepare you for the exciting things to come, Festi.World has put together a Top 10 list of essential things we think you should make sure not to miss while at Moogfest 2016.
10. Reggie Watts
Reginald Lucien Frank Roger Watts or as he is better known as, Reggie Watts will be taking the stage this year at Moogfest. The eccentric ex-band leader for IFC's comedy talk show Comedy Bang Bang, now band-leader for James Corden's Late Late Show will be doing what he does best. A mixture of absurdly hilarious comedy and wild sounding, heavily effected, comedic music that is the combination of duplicating harmonies with pseudo-gibberish and real-time beats. In his early career Reggie was known for making comedy shorts for internet video sites like Super Deluxe and College Humor. These days, with two live comedy albums, and several film, television, internet and music credits under his belt, he is known for his fantastic live performances.
If you need a good example of what Reggie Watts brings to the table (other than his fantastic afro) here is a video of Reggie from his 2012 TED Talk perfectly highlighting his improvisational skills and musical talents.
9. DJ Lance Rock & Yo Gabba Gabba!
Lance Robertson, better known as DJ Lance Rock from the hit Nick Jr. TV show Yo Gabba Gabba! will be taking the stage at Moogfest this year, and he is bringing his colorful cohort with him for a special all ages program. Lance has been always been a musician, often exploring the electronic genres in the music he creates. He has been in several bands, Most notably The Raymakers from Los Angeles. While performing with The Raymakers, Lance met Scott Schultz (The co-creator of Yo Gabba Gabba!) and was asked to don the orange hat and jumpsuit and host the show. Yo Gabba Gabba features some crazy looking characters that all love to sing and dance, and their performances get the young and old alike up on the feet and dancing, while learning things like the
importance of washing your hands and how to talk to somebody when they are sad. No matter how old you are, you will surely enjoy this program and maybe learn a thing or two. Check out what one of their live performances is like for a taste of things to come at Moogfest!
Bicep, is a DJ and Production duo from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Composed of Andrew Ferguson and Matthew McBriar, run the famous cult-defining music repository Feel My Bicep. The two parts of Bicep have been friends since they were teenagers, bonding over the dusty records they found in crates in the back of record stores looking for dance music, from Italo-disco to Acid House. Recently, they have made London their home base, but have been touring the world showing off their fantastic version of electro-house music. Check out their recent EP "Just" below for a great example of the music they bring to the table. Festi.World is making sure not to miss their set.
HEALTH is much more than an indie-rock band from Los Angeles. When HEALTH takes the stage the you hear a wonderfully confusing mixture of thrash and math rock. After the remix of their track Crime Wave by 2011 Moogfest performers Crystal Castles, HEALTH was blazing trails with their tribal drums, noise making machines, raw synths, squealing guitars, asymmetrical basslines, and a homemade guitar pedal/microphone called a Zoothorn. Their First two albums HEALTH and Get Color each have dance-remixed versions. To add to their credits, they composed and recorded the soundtrack to the award winning video game Max Payne 3. Just last year they released their newest album, Death Magic. Do be warned, their crunchy style is turned all the way up to 11. HEALTH
makes sure to never sacrifice volume when they perform, so if you think your ears can handle it you will certainly not regret seeing HEALTH.
6. Hacking Sound (Systems)
Hacking Sound (Systems) is one very cool sounding program happening this year that we would hate for you to miss! Moogfest says that the catalyst of program is resurgence of technological Maker Culture, and it's true. From the resurfacing of vinyl, people building tube amps to people building synths, guitar pedals and brand new instruments, it undeniable that culture of creating awesome sonic tools is here to stay. This program will venture into the world of circuit bending to open source manufacturing as well as to "reflect on how the last decade has been transformed by a host of arts-engineering software toolkits like Processing, Arduino, and openFrameworks." says Moogfest.
5. Explosions In The Sky
Every Top 10 has one, but this is the bias choice for this list from the writer of this article. Explosions In The Sky is a band with a very clear vision. It is impossible to properly explain the way that EITS has captured human emotions, and then expresses it through their music. The experience must be made first hand in a live setting to really grasp what Explosions can do with their music. You will be moved by the voiceless stories their music tells. You will feel like you can even almost talk back to the music, while it is telling you that everything is going to be alright. Explosions in the sky has been making music since the late 90's, releasing their first album How Strange, Innocence in 2000. More recently they have created movie soundtracks for the films Prince Avalanche, Lone Survivor and Manglehorn. Not but a few days ago on March 1st they released their newest single Logic of a Dream. Check it out below.
The Canadian born electronic musician and producer will be bringing her synth-y dream-pop style and finesse to grace the stage of Moogfest 2016. Claire Boucher (a.k.a Grimes) has been making music since 2009 after she was expelled from University for putting more time into her musical career rather than school. For that choice, we thank her. Grimes has become something of a phenomenon recently, headlining multiple festivals in 2015 such as Lightning in a Bottle. Last year Grimes released her fourth studio album Art Angles and it has been her biggest success to date. The album is her attempt at using as much live instrumentation as much as possible, a side step from previous work which is very synth and electronic heavy. Listen to her newest single SCREAM.
GZA, The Genius, famous rapper known for being one of the founding members of the Wu-Tang Clan is performing for a 2-day residency at Moogfest this year. With 7 albums to his name, GZA is a household name to any hip-hop head. GZA is not only known for is lyrical genius, but also as experimentalist and a scholar. GZA just recently dropped his newest, concept album Dark Matter, which is based on a journey through time and space. GZA is also currently working to improve science education in New York City through a partnership with Teachers College, Columbia University Professor, Christopher Emdin and website, Rap Genius. This initiative motivates young people to learn science through creating raps and engaging in a rap competition.
2. Technoshamanism & Transhumanism
These two Moogfest Programs tied the list for us and we are going to let Moogfest do the talking on these highly introspective and futurist conversations.
In regards to where he pulled his innovative ideas from, Bob Moog said, “Everything has some consciousness, and we tap into that. It’s about energy at its most basic level.” But how do we tune into that noosphere and bring next wave ideas to the fore? Who are the seers today, and how are they integrating technology into new “shamanic” practices in art and science? How do we understand rituals of trance in the context of electronic music? How can ancient traditions and cutting-edge brain research inform our pursuit of ecstasy?
Humans have long sought to transform nature, using tools to modify the environment around us or enhancing our own bodies to adapt in this world. Technology today continues to open up new spaces for transformative and transcendent experiences of life itself. From AI to augmented reality displays, with cloning and human genetic engineering, through organ transplants and prosthetics, emerging technologies are expanding many of our intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. Transhumanism is a movement to overcome fundamental human limitations. A conversation around this ambition is crucial to understanding emergent culture today and our science-fiction future.
Odesza, Also known as Harrison Mills (CatacombKid) and Clayton Knight (BeachesBeaches) have quickly risen through the ranks, headlining festivals and selling out performances, using their music as the guide. These two guys have done nothing but eat, sleep, and breathe music ever since they met their senior year of college back in 2012. The duo took the online platform Soundcloud by storm with their style of indie-tronica/chill wave. Their debut EP My Friends Never Die threw them into the limelight opening for acts such as Pretty Lights on his Analog Future tour back in 2013. The team has 24 tracks that hit #1 on Hypebeast and if that isn't enough to sway you, I strongly urge you to watch the beautiful new video for their 2014 track It's Only (feat. Zyra).
We hope that this list has peaked your interest and you can probably see what we meant when we said that Moogfest is a festival that is MUCH, much more than just a music festival. Moogfest was started to explore the future of music and technology back in 2004, and now 12 years later we are very excited to see what comes next.
Moogfest is May 19th - 22nd in Durham, North Carolina. For more information and to purchase passes to Moogfest head on over to their official website HERE and check out their full lineup below!