The future is now. Moogfest, which is Durham N.C.’s premiere electronic culture and music festival, proved it.
Named after Bob Moog, creator of the synthesizer, the display of futuristic music, technology, and philosophy was in full swing in downtown Durham where producers, professors, and music nerds alike gathered to see a who's who collaboration of artists and musicians on stage at venues scattered amongst the artsy and hip downtown area.
The Pinhook, a dive bar covered with pictures of old pin-up girls, was host to many local artists.
The Armory hosted some of the more upbeat and underground DJs at night and during the day hosted conferences and sit downs with artists such a Mykki Blanco. It also hosted IBM Watson, a computer program that DJs based on the users preference that they input into the system on a computer.
The Carolina Theatre, host of mission control for the festival, contained the most awesome of the awesome performances, Explosions in the Sky. Last but not least, The Motorco Music Hall featured two stages. One, inside the venue where Gary Numan and GZA from Wu-Tang clan preformed their first sets. The second, the main stage, which was the only stage that felt like a traditional festival and that's not a bad thing.
Surrounding Motorco was a kick-ass North Carolina barbecue joint and brewery that were a wonderful place to stop to soak up the day's drinks before the headlining events at the MainStage as the sun went down. The food was fantastic, not to mention the beers were almost as good as Ommegang's!
Among the artists at the MainStage was the great talents of GZA, Grimes, Odesza, and Miike Snow. All preformed phenomenally. Most impressively was Odesza, who was interviewed at a session in The Carolina Theatre by Hrishikesh Hirway, host and producer of Song Exploder. Song Exploder is a online radio talk show in which Hirway interviews artists while dissecting their latest songs. Odessa sat down and discussed a song off the new album "In Return." The interview and song review can be found at http://songexploder.net/episodes once the interview is edited. Odessa is headlining many festivals this season, including Mysteryland at Bethel woods.
However, the music wasn't the only thing to see. Some of the groundbreaking technology present at the festival was unbelievable; like something out of Star Trek. There was some very interesting performances that incorporated new technology and modern electronic music, such as IBM Watson.
All of the amazing technology and performances also brought a pretty awesome crowd. There were artists everywhere, and many successful people of the electronic industry. I was fortunate to run into Robert Robinson, a co-worker of the late Bob Moog, before Odessa’s performance, who said he was present when Bob “wrote the electronic code on graph paper for the synthesizer with his hands.” It was quite amazing to meet someone who was part of a project so influential to music such as Robert.
The Moog synthesizer changed music forever and Moogfest 2016 just changed the game and upped the standards for technology in the festival scene.