Back to the future. The Future of Creativity, among other programming, dares to ask what music will sound like in a century.

Back to the future. The Future of Creativity, among other programming, dares to ask what music will sound like in a century.

Moogfest has been many things over the years, from a small get-together of Moog fans to a New York event with a few headliners to a festival that at times veered toward being just another big rock fest. But this year, it’s evolved into something special and new. Amidst a wildly-varied nighttime mix of big-name musical acts, it’s become a hub of futurism and music technology. It suggests a Moogfest that isn’t just about some artists and the Moog of the past. It could be a place to learn about the inventions of the future. And that’s a zeitgeist I’d love to see (and hear) more of.

Science fiction is back in the mix; optimism is headlining again. The future is back.

A few highlights:
Numbers make music, as Brian Crabtree and Trent Gill of monome explore algorithmic rules and patterns for music.

MAKE on music and DIY, with Forrest Mims and Nicolas Collins on the same panel in some kind of nerd singularity.

A huge lineup of innovators including Buchla, Linn, Oberheim, Smith, and more.

Sci-fi futurism, plus the rebirth of Omni magazine.

Alternative interfaces, a modular marketplace, creative teams from Google, MIT’s ground-breaking instrumental creations, the future of musical visuals, music and gaming, and sonification and cybernetics.

There’s even math from Futurama and The Simpson. And something called “Moog Yoga” – aw, should’ve brought my pants.

Nighttime brings back the synths, too, if you want to hear them – particularly in the showcases, with heavyweight synth users from Com Truise to Erika to Holly Herndon to Jimmy Edgar and everything in between. Warp, RVNG INTL, Ghostly, and Movement Detroit bring some deep electronic sounds, and then Austin’s famed Switched On music store takes over the Moog Store with their own showcase.

My own involvement, carrying the CDM banner:

Instrument design with the people who make them at Moog and Teenage Engineering. Cyril Lance of Moog and Jesper Koothoofd of (OP-1 maker) Teenage Engineering join me at 5pm upstairs at the Masonic Temple. It’s a rare chance to get insight into the design thinking that creates these instruments and products.

A conversation with Cliff Martinez. Martinez is the composer behind the brilliant scores for Drive, Contagion, Solaris, and many other favorites; it’ll be a pleasure to sit down with him. See: The Music of Cliff Martinez. (Q+A is at a different time, trying to look that up.)

Music listening

Whether or not you’re in Asheville, we can bring you some music from the coming experience.

You can tune in to some of this on Boiler Room – and for anyone who has tuned out on that series, Erika is a good reason to tune back in.

Live from the Moog Factory

Moogfest has also posted hours and hours of mixes from artists and selectors. Here are my favorites:

The wonderful ADULT. poses a music mix that again embodies the creativity and breadth of Ghostly International, in sounds spooky, strange, grooving, and entrancing. The Ghostly stage is definitely high on my list.


Jim Haynes “This is Radio Sweden”
HTRK “Poison”
Xeno & Oaklander “Par Avion”
Solvent “No One Should Be Living Here”
Brian Aneurysm “Das Element Des Menschen”
Matthew Dear “Anger Management”
JTC “Alpha Helix
Bodycode “Equidistant”
Audion “Motormouth”
2 AM/FM “Sweatbox”
Lowfish “No Longer Accepting Complaints”
John Foxx vs ADULT. “Tonight, We Fall”
Tropic of Cancer “More Alone”
Com Truise “Alfa Beach”
Shigeto “No Better Time Than Now”
Black Swan “Passing, Heartbreak”

For a little Detroit basement sound, Keith Kemp has produced a mix of all-original cuts, one that will simply not allow your hips to stay in one place:

Andy Toth – Linwood ( Keith Kemp remix )
Carl Craig – Angel ( Keith Kemp unreleased Detroit edit )
Keith Kemp – Gooey Hands – Blank Artists
Carl Craig – Angel ( Keith Kemp unreleased Detroit edit )
Keith Kemp – Grumpy Stumper – Beretta Music
Keith Kemp – Heart Bumps – Cryovac
Keith Kemp – Vector Ride – Beretta Music

All tracks written & produced by Keith Kemp
Recorded in one take in my basement studio in Ferndale, MI using
NI Traktor, 2 x NI X1 controllers, Allen & Heath Zone 62 DJ mixer.

North Carolina’s own band Heads on Sticks does the obvious but necessary thing and picks out some of our favorite music from the whole lineup, a bit like the red circles you see on people’s programs. Yes, we’re catching these sets. Yes, Flying Lotus, Kraftwerk, Moderat, Factory Floor, Holly Herndon, and…

Kraftwerk- Ruckzuck
Flying Lotus- MmmHmm ft. Thundercat
Moderat- A New Error
Body Games- LORDS
Bernie Worrell Orchestra- Spread The Woo To The World
Factory Floor- Fall Back
Giorgio Moroder- Faster Than The Speed of Love
Daedelus- Perpetually
Holly Herndon- Movement
Heads On Sticks- I Can Get Back
No Regular Play- Nameless
Com Truise- ’84 Dreaming
Tin Foil Hat- Whatever
Chic- Sao Paulo

Finally, for some deep sounds and bass music, Body Games delivers more favorites:

1. XR2 (MIA)
2. Thank You (Busta Rhymes feat. Q-Tip)
3. Fresh Cut Flowers (Lapalux)
4. Idle Withdrawal (Com Truise)
5. Damager (Body Games)
6. GNG BNG (Flying Lotus) + Dulce & Gabanna (Riff Raff)
7. I Don’t 1 2 Lose U (Machine Drum)
8. Shonny (Clark)
9. Neon Lights (Kraftwerk)
10. Lament (Heads on Sticks)
11. Rusty Nails (Moderat) + Psychic City (YACHT)
12. It’s Boring / You Can Live Anywhere You Want (YACHT) + XR2 (MIA)

Got stuff you want CDM to cover – no matter how obscure? Let us know now.

Full schedule