Over at AMG we can’t wait for Moogfest! The Asheville, North Carolina electronic music, technology, and arts festival is less than a month away (April 23-27), and in all our enthusiasm we narrowed down a list of artists (night performers) that we would just die if you did not get a chance to see at the festival! There is a plethora of of ticket combinations available on the Moogfest website including GA, VIP, and individual day, but whatever you decide get your tickets soon!
Wednesday, April 23rd
Pet Shop Boys
When you have the opportunity to see an electronic music act who have been around since the 80’s, you take it. The Pet Shop Boyz are one of the most successful pop duos to come out of the Uk ever with 12 top ten studio albums, 40 Top 20 singles, and 4 number one records. They incorporate a stunning and unique visual presentation to accompany this music that you won’t want to miss at Moogfest. Their latest album “Electric” was released last March. “It evolves as a response to their previous album, whereas ‘Elysium’ had a reflective mood, ‘Electric’ is pretty banging!”
Steven Ellison is commonly identified as a hip hop producer, but he draws inspiration from many different genres. You’ll gather a sense of jazz, electronic, and even Brazilian music listening to his music. His beats are one of the most unique you will ever come across with a foggy, slightly messy and off tempo feel to them. Ellison made beats for Atlanta’s own Cartoon Network for their Adult Swim programming before releasing his debut full-length, 1983, which resembled the work of fellow avant-garde hip-hop producers Madlib, J Dilla, and Ammoncontact on Plug Research in 2006.
Thursday, April 24th
It will be a true honor to be in the presence of the pioneers of EDM at this year’s Moogfest. They have basically influenced every electronic artist or producer to follow in thier footsteps since their invention of the man-machine sound in the 70’s. Kraftwerk, which translates into Power Plant, was honored at this year’s Grammys with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The band is traditionally reclusive so I will be quite a treat that they’re to play three sets at this year’s Moogfest (1 Thursday and 2 Friday). One of my favorite Kraftwerk legend stories come from Coldplay’s Chris Martin who requested to use the melody from Kraftwerk’s Computer Love for his new song Talk. After his handwritten letter passed through lawyers and the band, he finally received a written response with only the word, “Yes,” written on a piece of paper.
Friday, April 25th
Another synth and EDM pioneer, Giorgio Moroder is an influential Italian producer, songwriter, deejay, and performer. He’s well known for his collaborations with Donna Summer back in the disco days, but his most recent claim to fame comes from his work with a little group called Daft Punk on their 2013 release of Random Access Memories. (You may have heard of them.) He has his own track on the hit album called Giorgio by Moroder where his voice and story were spotlighted. When Daft Punk gives you an entire feature track on their comeback album, you know you may have made it. Moroder is working on a new album of his own currently that we will hopefully get to preview at the festival.
Jennifer Lee, aka TOKiMONSTA brings a classical side of EDM to the table such as “textural soundscapes fused with vintage sensibilities with progressive inclinations”. She is known for her refreshing and unique take on electronic/indie/R&B, and dance music. TOKiMONSTA’s utilization of live instruments, percussion, digital manipulation, and dusty vinyl create an unbelievable sound that you’ll have to catch live when she play’s day 3 of Moogfest!
A personal favorite, Dillon Francis is a heavy hitter in the EDM world and one of the founders of the moombahton sub genre. When he’s not producing new, killer tracks like Without You or Get Low, Dillon is an Instagram celebrity and one of electronic music’s most beloved funny guys. His parody alter-ego, DJ Hanzel, is constantly challenging Francis to “go one deeper Dillon” making light of the aspects of EDM that are joked about daily in the music world. When he’s not playing DJ Hanzel he’s looking for his dad and bromancing with Zedd or Calvin Harris or basically any other big name producer. Go follow his posts right now if you already aren’t!
Saturday, April 26th
Don’t let their remix of the calmer, Blue Foundation’s Eyes on Fire track fool you. Zeds Dead brings a bumping live show that will surely fill your drum and bass/heavy electro quota, and they’re not afraid to push boundaries challenging themselves and their listeners. The first time I saw them was at Spring Awakening festival in 2013, and was immediately sold by the guys creativity and unique set list that is so hard to find these days. You can catch ZD on the Mad Decent Label tours, or better yet right here at Moogfest. It’s sure to be one of the more upbeat sets of the festival, and the one I’m probably most looking forward to.
Maya is a bad ass British recording artist and songwriter who has even dabbled in painting and directing. She has a wildly distinct sound to her music. I literally fell in love with Paper Planes when it came out back in my middle school days, and Bad Girls again just recently. She defies any and all conventions of pop music by incorporating a range of political, social, philosophical and cultural references in her lyrics. You either love her or you hate her, but by no means can you just ignore her.
Eliot Lipp’s status as an electronic music pioneer is known to scene connoisseurs and weekend warriors alike. My personal interactions with Lipp’s live show have included his opening set for a Pretty Lights headlining tour right after he signed to the PL Label, and desperately trying to track down earphones for his Silent Disco set at String Cheese Incident’s Hulaween festival last year. His melodic instincts and tunefulness are what have earned him such wide appeal, his songwriterly connection to music’s storytelling possibilities, even without words. It only takes one listen to fall in love with his signature sound.
Even if you don’t recognize the name, you’ve definitely heard RJD2’s music. He has scored the theme for Mad Men and his singles such as The Horror and Ghostwriter have served as the soundtracks for several major advertising campaigns. Personally, Ghostwriter has been the alarm on my phone for years now, so I guess at this point it leaves a bittersweet taste in my mouth. PSO- don’t make a song you love your alarm clock or you’ll grow to hate it. He now records on his own label RJ’s Electrical Connections will hes newest addition to the label being, Icebird, his collaboration with Aaron Livingston.
Sunday, April 27th
Treasure Fingers, the DJ and producer born Ashley Jones has been making it rain in the disco with innovative remixes and original tracks. Jones is far from a new jack, having racked up over a decade of international club experience and studio chops as part of the legendary drum & bass group, Evol Intent. Yet as Treasure Fingers, he’s found a way to merge his diverse influences and deep history into a signature sound, packed with intricate basslines, chopped-up, gritty synth melodies, and party-ready drum breaks.