Moogfest ’12: Amazing DJs & Electronic Acts on Tap

Asheville, N.C.—The time for Moogfest has arrived. For the third consecutive year, thousands of music fans will stream into Asheville, N.C., for a weekend of performances from some of the world’s most experimental artists, as they celebrate the memory of electronic-music pioneer Robert Moog.

Set to play Oct. 26-27 at various venues in the gorgeous college town nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains, Moogfest’s lineup will include a tightly curated group of acts, including DJs and electronic artists like Richie Hawtin, Four Tet, Shpongle, Orbital, Squarepusher, Pantha Du Prince and Miike Snow.

The show will also present an amazingly disparate collection of talent that includes legends (Thomas Dolby), avant-gardists (Harold Budd/Keith Lowe), Dark Wavers (Cold Cave), indie darlings (The Magnetic Fields featuring Stephin Merritt, one of America’s great songwriters), drone-mongers (Tim Hecker/Daniel Lopatin) and hip-hop innovators (Nas, Gza, and El-P).

Carl Craig: DJ Times will co-present the techno legend at Moogfest.

Carl Craig: DJ Times will co-present the techno legend at Moogfest.

On Saturday, Oct. 27, DJ Times will co-present Carl Craig as he spins his magic at the Orange Peel. We caught up with the Detroit-techno legend just as he’d returned to the Motor City from the Amsterdam Dance Event.

As a longtime electronic-music fan and artist—not to mention ongoing user of analog synths—what does it mean for Craig to be playing Moogfest, an event tied so close to the legacy of Mr. Moog?

“Of course, it’s very special,” he says, “because anybody who has used synthesizers, anyone in their right mind, would want to at least be able to give praise to the legend. I’ve seen that Moogfest has been going on for a few years, but it’s great to be involved with it now.”

What was it about hearing analog synths for the first time that lit up Craig? “Just listening to the radio, I’d notice things like Parliament-Funkadelic,” he recalls. “Bernie Worrell, of course, is a master. There were jazz records where Herbie Hancock was using ARPs and Moogs and that kind of stuff, so it was a big for me to hear those sounds on the radio.

“At first, I wasn’t as in tune with synthesizers as much as I was with guitar and bass and drums, you know? So, of course, when it came time to understand the technology, after the 808 with Kraftwerk came on the scene and then the LinnDrum with the ’80s synth-pop—Human League, Duran Duran and all that kind of stuff—I just knew what I wanted to do.”

So, what can Moogfest fans expect Saturday night from his midnight-to-2-a.m. DJ set at the Orange Peel? Says Craig, “I’m gonna bring the music I play, music I’ve made, and maybe I’ll push some electronic experimentation—we’ll see. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Additionally at Moogfest: On Oct. 27, the show will present a handful of daytime seminars at the Diana Wortham Theatre. They include: “Creative Expression Through Interface” featuring synth pioneer Morton Subotnick and Nine Inch Nails’ Alessandro Cortini;  “Shaping Hits with Moog Synths” featuring Orbital’s Phil and Paul Hartnoll and N.E.R.D./The Neptunes’ Chad Hugo; and “The Bob Moog Google Doodle: How a Pioneering Legacy Inspired Innovation.”

 – Jim Tremayne


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