Renowned as a celebratory cross-section of art, music and technology, Moogfest is gearing up for its long-awaited return to North Carolina in several weeks’ time. After taking a year off, the biennial festival, which commemorates the late American synth pioneer Bob Moog, will celebrate advances in music at its new home in Durham.
Moogfest’s program is comprised of two major divisions: Future Sound and Future Thought. The former, its aural experience, is a masterfully curated body of artists in the hip-hop, pop and electronic realm while the latter serves as a platform for artists, thinkers, inventors and entrepreneurs to discuss new ideas and make way for experimentation.
Grimes, ODESZA, Miike Snow and Bob Moses are standouts among Moogfest’s electronic talent, while other notable names like Explosions in the Sky, Blood Orange and Oneohtrix Point Never are also scheduled to perform across the festival’s four days. Below, we present the top 5 electronic acts you can’t afford to miss…
Indie electronic band Hundred Waters made their big break in 2012 upon the release of their first self-titled album and unlikely pairing with Skrillex’s OWSLA imprint. Having gone on to release their sophomore effort, The Moon Rang Like A Bell, and produce their own festival, FORM Arcosanti, it’s easy to say that the group came to prominence much faster than the average producer. Expect to hear chart-topping tracks like “Show Me Love,” featuring Skrillex and Chance the Rapper, during their inaugural Moogfest set.
When / Where: Thursday, May 19 at 7:00pm – Motorco Park Stage
Sam Shepherd, best known under his moniker Floating Points, is a man of many talents. From electronic musician to neuroscientist to co-label head, the English producer released his debut studio album, Elaenia, in November 2015 following the release of about a dozen singles and EPs across the last six years. The breadth and sui generis nature of Sheperd’s tastes, spanning jazz, classical, soul and electronic, is nothing short of incredible. To say that Floating Points is truly a one-of-a-kind would be an understatement, and his forthcoming Moogfest performance is no exception.
When / Where: Thursday, May 19 at 8:30pm – Motorco Park Stage
Best known for his sampling capabilities, Ryan Hemsworth had his humble beginnings five short years ago when he began producing beats for rappers. He’s the DJ whose sets lean rap and hip-hop – so much so that fans can easily identify Hemsworth’s influencers like Drake and Future. The Canadian DJ and producer has housed a sound of his own; a sound that will undoubtedly bring an eclectic range of styles to the table.
When / Where: Thursday, May 19 at 1:00am – The Armory Stage
As underground dance music continues to popularize among millenials, larger (and brighter) spotlights are inevitably shone on its respective artists. Canadian live act, Bob Moses, falls under this category as a duo that embodies the acme of “pop-savvy” songwriting and the underground. Together, the couplet continues to expand the musicality of underground dance music in an unapologetic manner. With two EPs under their belt since joining forces in early 2011, Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance unveiled their debut album, Days Gone By, late last year. Supplemented by a coveted performance on Ellen DeGeneres and a slate of major festival appearances at Ultra and Coachella, Bob Moses continue to leave an indelible mark on electronic music.
When / Where: Friday, May 20 at 7:20pm – Motorco Park Stage
A leading force in the UK disco, garage and house sound, DJ Harvey has been cited as The Keith Richards of dance music by Rolling Stone as they named him one of 25 DJs that rule the earth. Having recently announced his forthcoming summer residency at XOYO, the Londoner will step up for his first club residency in 25 years. If one thing’s for sure, Moogfest attendees had better brace themselves for a stunning set from one of electronic music’s finest.
When / Where: Saturday, May 21 at 11:00pm – The Armory Stage