If you know even the slightest bit about music over the last 100 years, you’d know that the development of sound amplification through the electric guitar in the early 1930s and the the development of the commercial synthesizer in the late 1960s have permanently changed the sound of modern music, giving musicians a variety of ways to expand and experiment with their sound cheaply and easily. And of course, without the development of the commercial synthesizer, electronic dance music would have been exorbitantly expensive and difficult for countless artists we have come to love.
But if you really know music, the name Robert “Bob” Moog would be extremely familiar to you, as he’s best known for the development of the best known and popularly used commercial analog synthesizer. And as the synthesizer became smaller and easier to use, an increasing number of bands were able to use it. Started in here in NYC, Moogfest was conceived as a five day festival to celebrate not just Moog’s life but his inventions and how they’ve changed the course of music, as well as Moog’s legacy as a true sonic pioneer. The performing artists are not only those who use Moog instruments for their own works, but also those who create musical experiences that embody the essence of Bob Moog’s visionary and creative spirit. The festival also offers interactive experiences, visual art exhibitions, installations, film screenings, panel discussions, question and answer sessions, and workshops. Back in 2008, the festival moved to Asheville, NC where Moog had spent the last 30 years of his life, and interestingly enough where his company Moog Music is located.
This year’s lineup is arguably one of the best electronic festival lineups you’ll come across this year as Kraftwerk, the legendary pioneers of electronic music; the Pet Shop Boys; M.I.A., the legendary Nile Rodgers and the band that first put him on the map, Chic; Moderat, El-P, the legendary Giorgio Moroder and others. The folks at Aloft Hotel Asheville will also be hosting and sponsoring the Media Arts Project – part of it involves a special light installation designed to enhance the user’s experience by creating a multimedia, multi-sensory experience. It sounds pretty fucking trippy, if you ask me.
And if you’re heading down to Asheville, I guarantee that the absolute highlight of the festival will be Kraftwerk as they use incredible 3D and 2D projections during a set that includes “The Man Machine,” “Robots,” “Trans Europe Express,” “Tour de France,” and others. I actually caught them at the United Palace Theatre and the set was a mind-blowing spectacle. Check out a few Instagram photos from that set below.
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