Hark! A vintage synthesizer, off in the distance!
This weekend, Asheville, North Carolina, will be playing host to the third annual MoogFest, "the festival of electronic and visionary music that celebrates the innovative spirit of Robert Moog." Robert Moog, of course, invented the Moog synthesizer, the iconic instrument heard on virtually every piece of music created through the 1970s. Everyone from the Magnetic Fields to Explosions in the Sky will be present at this year's MoogFest, and to that end, we got Matt Hendrickson, Director of Marketing at AC Entertainment, to give us the rundown on the five bands who represent the cream of the crop at Moogfest.
1. Carl Craig, Sessions (2008)
One of techno’s titans, Carl Craig has consistently pushed the genre’s boundaries while recording under his own name, delivering various works and multiple stellar remixes under various aliases. Sessions neatly ties those disparate influences and sounds together: whether you're a fan of Craig's jazz-inflected Innerzone Orchestra, the disco/breakbeat/funk of Paperclip People, and/or his more experimental work as 69, they're all represented on this compilation.
2. Disclosure, The Face EP (2012)
Barely out of their teens, brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence mine the familiar territory of U.K. funky, garage, and house, but put a fresh twist on it that only youth can provide. Their new single “Latch” features the lush vocals of Sam Smith, which pushes them into more synth-heavy R&B territory.
3. Tim Hecker/Daniel Lopatin, Instrumental Tourist (2012)
Ambient kingpin Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never team up for this gorgeous slab of dissonance and squelching synths. Fortunately, it's well-balanced with pastoral moments that shimmer and percolate with sweeping delicacy. The full album is out November 20, but the single “Uptown Psychedelia” provides a nice first dose.
Listen: "Uptown Psychedelia"
4. Killer Mike, R.A.P. Music (2012)
A colossal manifesto in the spirit of Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet, R.A.P. Music finds Atlanta’s Killer Mike tossing out furious, socio-political lyrics that are jaw-dropping in their dexterity. Produced by underground hero El-P, tracks like “Reagan” find fresh new outrage in the well-trodden '80s, while “Anywhere But Here” takes on police brutality. The album's depth is staggering: rarely do you see rap music go from macro to hyper-local in the space of a few tracks.
Listen: "Anywhere But Here"
5. Bear In Heaven, I Love You, It’s Cool (2012)
BIH’s third album is more eclectic pop than their usual Can-esque drone. (That said, they did stream a version that was slowed down 400,000%, which took 2,700 hours to play.) Still, despite the plethora of hooks, the album has plenty of soothing ambient wash, a layer of sound that compliments the music rather than obscuring it.
Listen: "Idle Heart"