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The Best Of Moogfest 2012

  • Moogfest always draws a creative crowd. But the festival's proximity to Halloween inspires some fans to dress in unusual costumes.
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    Moogfest always draws a creative crowd. But the festival's proximity to Halloween inspires some fans to dress in unusual costumes.
    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Greetings, bronze-robot-man-from-the-future-space-alien-person.
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    Greetings, bronze-robot-man-from-the-future-space-alien-person.
    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Moogfest is held each year in Asheville, N.C., home to the festival's namesake, legendary synthesizer inventor Robert Moog. Fans flock from all over the world to hear the best in electronic performance, dance music and outer sound.
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    Moogfest is held each year in Asheville, N.C., home to the festival's namesake, legendary synthesizer inventor Robert Moog. Fans flock from all over the world to hear the best in electronic performance, dance music and outer sound.
    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • One of the highlights of this year's Moogfest was a performance by Morton Subotnick (left), a pioneer in electronic music. He performed his entire, now-legendary album Silver Apples of the Moon.
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    One of the highlights of this year's Moogfest was a performance by Morton Subotnick (left), a pioneer in electronic music. He performed his entire, now-legendary album Silver Apples of the Moon.
    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Morton Subotnick works the controls for a synthesizer originally designed by Don Buchla in the 1960s. Subotnick used a similar one to record Silver Apples of the Moon.
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    Morton Subotnick works the controls for a synthesizer originally designed by Don Buchla in the 1960s. Subotnick used a similar one to record Silver Apples of the Moon.
    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • In addition to electronic and dance music, Moogfest also features groundbreaking hip-hop performers, including Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, who struck a pose during his set at The Orange Peel.
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    In addition to electronic and dance music, Moogfest also features groundbreaking hip-hop performers, including Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, who struck a pose during his set at The Orange Peel.
    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Divine Fits, a rock group featuring Spoon's Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade's Dan Boeckner and New Bomb Turks' Sam Brown, was one of the few non-electronic or dance bands to perform at this year's Moogfest.
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    Divine Fits, a rock group featuring Spoon's Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade's Dan Boeckner and New Bomb Turks' Sam Brown, was one of the few non-electronic or dance bands to perform at this year's Moogfest.
    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Many of the performances at Moogfest married sound with stunning visuals, including this geometric light show from Squarepusher's set at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.
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    Many of the performances at Moogfest married sound with stunning visuals, including this geometric light show from Squarepusher's set at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.
    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • The English psych-ambient performer Shpongle performs at a sort of rainbow-colored throne.
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    The English psych-ambient performer Shpongle performs at a sort of rainbow-colored throne.
    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • A grim-faced "Big Brother" spaceman waves to fans during Primus' show at the Explore Asheville Arena.
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    A grim-faced "Big Brother" spaceman waves to fans during Primus' show at the Explore Asheville Arena.
    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • This viking-dog rocks way harder than you.
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    This viking-dog rocks way harder than you.
    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Fans lose themselves in a performance by the English electronic dance group Orbital, at the Explore Asheville Arena.
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    Fans lose themselves in a performance by the English electronic dance group Orbital, at the Explore Asheville Arena.
    Adam Kissick for NPR

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If it weren't for Robert Moog, a lot of the music you enjoy today might not have been possible. As the inventor of the Moog synthesizer, he gave rise to not only the technology needed for modern electronic music, but also the creative spirit that inspired countless musicians to take his vision and play with it, mold it and reshape it into mind-blowing works of art.

This past weekend, a remarkably gifted group of electronic and experimental rock artists gathered in Asheville, N.C., for the annual Moogfest. All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen and NPR electronic and dance-music contributor Sami Yenigun were there and, on this week's show, discuss some of their favorite sets, including a special performance from electronic-music pioneer Morton Subotnick, Andy Stott, DJ legends Carl Craig and Richie Hawtin, along with Ana Sia, Squarepusher, Exitmusic and more.

Hear full sets from some of the performers at Moogfest 2012.

Artists Featured On The Show

  • Morton Subotnick

    Morton Subotnick
    Adam Kissick for NPR

    Hear Morton Subotnick's full performance at Moogfest 2012.

    Subotnick released the first all-electronic album, Silver Apples of the Moon, in 1967. Last Friday, he returned to Moogfest 2012 in Asheville, N.C., to perform the whole thing live. Hear the performance in its entirety.

  • Andy Stott

    Andy Stott
    Adam Kissick for NPR

    Hear Andy Stott's full performance at Moogfest 2012.

    Stott is known for deep, brooding techno tracks that are shrouded in fuzzy tones. Hailing from Manchester, U.K., the producer has released music both under his own name and as Andrea.

  • Blondes

    Note: The Blondes' set at Moogfest 2012 was not among the shows NPR Music recorded.


    This is the official video for the Blondes song "Wine" from the band's self-titled full-length debut.

  • Ana Sia

    Ana Sia
    Adam Kissick for NPR

    Hear Ana Sia's full performance at Moogfest 2012.

    Ana Sia's DJ sets pull from a broad range of dance music styles, but are centered on bass-driven electronic beats. The San Francisco-based artist revealed her first full-length compilation, Surreal Estate last year.

  • Death Grips

    Death Grips
    Adam Kissick for NPR

    Watch Death Grips perform at the CMJ Music Marathon via NPR Music and WNYC.

    This group from Sacramento, Calif., has given some of the most memorable live performances of any act this year, with bass-heavy beats and intensely physical theatrics.

  • Squarepusher

    Note: Squarepusher's set at Moogfest 2012 was not among the shows NPR Music recorded.

    This track is "303 Scopem Hard" from Squarepusher's 2012 album Ufabulum, via KCRW.

  • Richie Hawtin

    Richie Hawtin
    Adam Kissick for NPR

    Hear Richie Hawtin's full performance at Moogfest 2012.

    Hawtin came up in the Detroit techno scene during the '90s, and built his reputation on a minimal style of dance music. It's not music for everyone, but those who follow any of Hawtin's numerous aliases do show with impassioned vigilance.

  • Carl Craig

    Note: Carl Craig's set at Moogfest 2012 was not among the shows NPR Music recorded.

    This cut is "Sketches, Pt. 4" from Carl Craig's 2012 EP Last Decade, released under the alias Carls Davis.

  • Disclosure

    Disclosure
    Adam Kissick for NPR

    Hear Disclosure's full performance at Moogfest 2012.

    Brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence grew up on the outskirts of London, and got their start in the U.K. garage scene making music as Disclosure.

  • Ahleuchatistas

    Note: Ahleuchatistas' set at Moogfest 2012 was not among the shows NPR Music recorded.

    This song is "Mistaken Identity" from the 2011 Ahleuchatistas album Location Location.

  • Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin

    Note: Tim Hecker's set at Moogfest 2012 was not among the performances NPR Music recorded. However, you can still hear Tim Hecker perform from Moogfest 2011.

    The song featured here is "Uptown Psychedelia" from Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin's album Instrumental Tourist, due out in November 2012.

  • Exitmusic

    Note: Exitmusic's set at Moogfest 2012 was not among the shows NPR Music recorded.

    This performance of "White Noise," from Exitmusic's 2012 album Passenger, comes via WFUV.

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