Durham, North Carolina
May 19 - 22
Moogfest is a unique festival that brings together music, art, and technology.
Listen to the 80+ artists peforming below. Learn more about conversations, workshops, installations and screenings taking place throughout Durham.
As a composer of electronic and electroacoustic music, Davachi engages in practices of analog synthesis, psychoacoustic manipulations, and studio composition. Her work focuses on the experience of enveloped sonic dwelling, often utilizing extended durations, gradual transformations in texture, and simple harmonic structures that emphasize variations in overtone complexity and natural phasing patterns.
Reggie Watts is an internationally renowned vocal artist / beatboxer / musician / comedian who wows audiences with his live performances which are 100% improvised. Using his formidable voice, looping pedals, and his vast imagination, Reggie blends and blurs the lines between music and comedy.
Founded by producer-composer Ryan Lott in 2007, Son Lux “works at the nexus of several rarely-overlapping Venn Diagrams” (Pitchfork). With the recent additions to the band of guitarist-composer Rafiq Bhatia and drummer Ian Chang, Son Lux is now a ferocious trio both live and on record.
Breaking away from making electronic music on his laptop, Sam Shepherd–the DJ, producer and composer otherwise known as Floating Points–engineered his debut album Elaenia while deejaying in cities across the globe and working towards his PhD in neuroscience. Elaenia draws inspiration from classical, jazz, electronic music, soul and Brazilian popular music, putting Shepherd in the spotlight as a composer who has produced an album that bridges the gap between his rapturous dance music and formative classical roots.
While old folks lament the younger generation's disappearing attention span, 19-year-old Daye Jack is busy creating album-length experiences that overflow with vibrant soul and acute focus. Pronounced dah-yay, Daye Jack was born in Nigeria before moving to Atlanta at the age of six. He credits the slow, soulful vibe of Atlanta's suburban sprawl for the genesis of his sound. Be it snarling raps or soaring melodies, the hip-hop vocalist continually finds new ways to express his exploration of both the world's oldest truths and its newest technologies.
Dylan Scheer (Via App) is a producer and performing artist based in Queens. She sculpts and collages her synthesized sound with popular culture semiotics and audio samples from a wide range of user-upload sites and field recordings to create a confused, dynamic narrative. Her work references an amalgam of club music throughout history, while refusing to adhere to any categorizable style.
Born in 1982 and a 10-year resident of Los Angeles, Gengras has defined his practice with the art of synthesis. Starting with a string of short-run cassettes detailing the interior curvature of his well-worn vintage budget level Moogs & moving into the more diverse sonics of modular synthesis explored on recent releases, the focus has remained, sculpting new sounds from raw voltage & creating engrossing sonic environments.
Born and raised in the city of Montreal, Canadian producer / DJ Lunice has always been a disciple of hip hop. Coming up on breakbeats and having taken a stab at nearly all elements, from graffiti to beatboxing, he cut his teeth as a breakdancer and perfected his sense of rhythm and ear for music before hitting the decks and making his own beats. Now, Lunice overthrows overflowing dance floors everywhere he goes with his unique style: a perfect fusion of traditional and new outlook trap production.
Acclaimed DJ Karen Gwyer was born in Iowa and raised by cellist parents. Recording while living in London and pregnant with her son, she assembled an intricate collage for her mesmeric debut LP. Needs Continuum combines spiritual chanting, percussion and sci-fi synth-hum to forge a new frontier in techno.
Demo Taped, the moniker of Atlanta native Adam Alexander, is an Electronic Soul solo project dedicated to spreading love and good vibes. Adam strives to spread a general feeling of happiness and love through his upbeat rhythms, soft vocals, and unique synth melodies combined with dreamy, electronic R&B textures.
Patricia is the main solo project of prolific Brooklyn-based, Chicago-born producer Max Ravitz. Initially emerging with a sound that arrived closer to the hazy house of Terekke, with added acid elements, over time Patricia has drifted into harder, darker territories. Ravitz makes tracks that sound as if they can only exist in a physical place—whether they're spinning around on a dusty 12" or thumping against your chest in a crowded basement club, Patricia's rough-edged tunes are tailor made for tangible, real-life experiences.
With a production range spanning across the spectrum of hip hop, R&B, dance music in its many forms and even indie rock, Canadian artist Ryan Hemsworth has landed himself in the eye of today's musical storm- navigating smoothly across genres and making it all fit in his inclusive imaginative world. Having originally explored his musical voice as a singer and guitarist in his teens, Hemsworth rose to fame soon after his love affair with drum loops and samples took flight.
As a multifaceted, quadruple threat artist, Skepta embodies a scene’s ability to shift on its own terms. The Tottenham-raised Londoner — a product of the area’s Meridian Estate after a move from east as a toddler— was a major player in grime’s early days, operating behind the scenes as a DJ and producer with Meridian Crew in the early 2000s. A decade into his MC career, Skepta is bringing his worldview to a global audience in undiluted form.
Morton Subtonic is a pioneer in the development of electronic music and an innovator in works involving instruments and other media, including interactive computer music systems. The work which brought him celebrity was “Silver Apples of the moon,” [1966-7] commissioned by Nonesuch Records, marking the first time an original, large-scale composition had been created specifically for the disc medium. It has become a modern classic and was recently entered into the National Register of Recorded Works at the Library of Congress.
As Raekwon and Method Man explained on the Wu-Tang Clan’s first album, GZA is the group’s “head,” the stone tablets, the scrolls. Yet since we yield to the temptation to fetishize GZA’s large vocabulary, for us, for now, GZA’s raps speak in tongues. His dense, recalcitrant flows and rhyme schemes symbolize his own refusal to be legible to labels. His classic 1995 solo debut album Liquid Swords only gains stature with time as we begin to come to terms with its revelation, but GZA’s apocrypha remains too grimy for canonization.
Annexing evermore hip-hop and R&B territory for his native Toronto, Tory Lanez's baritone and rumbling basslines, haunted by ghosts of UK grime, has a more sinister, dystopian edge than is often associated with the Toronto scene.
Professor Toon is a Baltimore-born record producer, rapper, and songwriter/musician. He discovered his love for the stage while attending North Carolina's Durham School of the Arts. His production harnesses electro-pop and trap influences as well as modern hip-hop. His high energy performances have invigorated several prominent music venues, and he has rocked notable shows alongside the likes of GZA, De La Soul, Juicy J, Mike Posner, Meek Mill, and Big Sean.
Jaakko Eino Kalevi is an electronic musician from Tiituspohja, Finland. Born and raised in the central Finnish lakeland city of Jyväskylä, Jaakko’s musical journey began in the mid-90s when, aged eleven or twelve years old, he discovered the progressive metal of US rockers Dream Theater, whose riffs he would play on guitar. Hip-hop came next, and Jaakko learned to make beats using Fruity Loops and a sampler. There followed passionate investigations into reggae, disco, techno, and whatever else his friends or the internet happened to introduce to him.
For sixteen years, sunn O))) have been challenging the way we think about music. Core members Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson have forged connections between the worlds of Metal, Drone, Contemporary Composition, Jazz, and Minimalism with startling results while remaining true to the eternal principles of volume, density and weight. The live line-up for this special concert at Moogfest 2016 will consist of Stephen O’Malley, Greg Anderson, Rex Ritter, Attila Csihar, and Tos Nieuwenhuizen. All hail.
Olivia Block “creates electroacoustic sound compositions for performance, recordings, installations, cinema, orchestra and chamber music concerts.” Her work incorporates her interests in found materials, ethnographic sound, and site specificity. She has had residencies and premiered works at The Berklee College of Music, Mills College of Music, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
North Carolina-based Ralph Lee “Mac” McCaughan has been one of the most influential figures in independent music for over a quarter century. McCaughan started the legendary alternative rock band Superchunk in 1989. McCaughan’s Merge Records, founded in 1989 with Superchunk bandmate Laura Ballance, has nurtured some of indie rock’s most important records, including Arcade Fire’s Funeral, Spoon’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, and Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.
Daniel Bachman is a six-string and lap steel guitar player from Virginia, currently living in North Carolina. Bachman grew up steeped in the traditional music of the Commonwealth, drawing from and expanding on it in his own fingerstyle guitar albums. On record and in person you’re introduced to a veritable landscape of winding guitar with Bachman treating his guitar lines and licks in a way that resembles the earth itself at its most pristine and delicate, yet also primal and overpowering.
Moses Sumney has emerged in the past year as an independent artist to watch, riding a wave of word-of-mouth praise based on hushed recordings and dynamic live performances. Raised between Southern California and Ghana, he was so shy growing up that he would write songs avidly but hide them inside his mattress. After moving to Los Angeles to attend UCLA at age 20, he taught himself to play the guitar and gingerly started performing on campus, writing soul-infused folk tunes using guitar and layered arrangements built on loop pedals.
Devonté (Dev) Hynes is a producer, songwriter, and artist based in NYC. He has written and produced songs for a wide range of artists including Solange Knowles, Florence and the Machine and Tinashe. As Blood Orange, Hynes gravitates more toward R&B and electronic music while hanging out in the seedier districts of the Minneapolis Sound. Hynes and Blood Orange’s penchant for descending melodies that linger over past relationships illuminates an underlying concern with wrenching slum beautiful, danceable truth out of fleeting love and flickering hope.
Heathered Pearls is Polish-born Brooklynite Jakub Alexander. Curator for Tycho’s ISO50 blog, co-founder of the Moodgadget label, and A&R at Ghostly International, Alexander has been entrenched in the industry since 2002. He was first introduced to the power of ambient music by his mother at an early age, discovered techno as a teenager living in the Detroit area, and gradually learned to create his own vision of the genres. Alexander's ever-evolving project expands into the realms of music, art, and performance.
Born in 1981, Gwenno Mererid Saunders is a Welsh musician and dancer, fluent in Welsh as well as Cornish. She was singer and keyboardist with the Pipettes, with which she was known by Gwenno Pipette. Her first solo full-length LP, the Welsh-language "Y Dydd Olaf," was released in October 2014 on Peski Records. In 2015, Heavenly Recordings re-released her debut album, which was awarded Best Welsh Album at the 2015 National Eisteddfod, and was nominated for the 2014-2015 Welsh Music Prize.
Straight out of Asheville, NC, RBTS WIN is comprised of Javier Bolea and Cliff B. Worsham. The duo weaves sample-based psych-pop production under the specter of soul and R&B. With guitarist Josh Chassner in tow, RBTS WIN has gained a reputation for cathartic live performances awash in voices, guitars, analog synthesizers, and drum machines. The band’s music is sometimes labeled dark wave or chill-hop.
Comprised of musicians Nicole Miglis, Trayer Tryon, and Zach Tetreault, Hundred Waters cascades acoustic and electric. The trio met in middle school in Florida and formed the band in their adult years. The fusion of their talents quickly gave rise to a sound that has fans raving and critics drawing comparisons to Stereolab, Bjork and Four Tet. It attracted the most unlikely of label bosses, Skrillex, who signed the band to his OWSLA label. The band is also responsible for co-founding and curating the application based micro festival, FORM Arcosanti.
DJ Kyle Hall is burgeoning into the latest storied DJ from Detroit. His mentors in this illustrious tradition include Carl Craig, Omar-S, Theo Parrish, Rick Wilhite, and Mike Huckaby. His “Plastic Ambash” released on FXHE in 2007, as well as a Kyle Hall radio mix concocted by Omar-S for fabric, began to spread his name and raw, explosive talent around the globe, from Detroit to Ibiza.
What started as great music blog, FeelMyBicep, turned into something better: Bicep. Matt McBrian and Andy Ferguson grew up together in Belfast where they began scouring crates for dance music, from Italo-disco to Acid House, as teens. Since then, they’ve moved to London, started amassing a following for their sets and the blog, and began releasing their own music. Currently the duo is touring, recording and the blog has become a record label (and remains a really great blog).
Eyes Low is a producer whose work is meant for late nights in dingy dark clubs. Based in Raleigh, NC, Eyes Low's all-hardware live set blends club, house, and techno into cohesive tracks built to burn dance floors. Filled with skittering hi-hats, cracking snares, thumping kicks, infectious bass, and swirling pads, his sound has an irrepressible glow that will move your body and leave your head ringing.
Since her critically acclaimed third album, Visions, was released, the Canadian electronic musician and producer Claire Boucher (a.k.a. Grimes) has toured the world and become an international phenomenon. During this time she wrote, produced, and performed hundreds of songs while teaching herself new instruments, opening up her sound palette to incorporate beloved childhood influences like the songs of Dolly Parton, Bollywood film soundtracks, and 90’s industrial rock.
Paula Temple sometimes performs under the pseudonym Jaguar Woman. She is the co-developer of the MXF8 MIDI controller.
Lotic is DJ and producer J'Kerian Morgan. Raised in Houston, Texas and now operating out of Berlin, Morgan is a resident at the city's famed Janus parties. His Berlin-via-Houston sound is an apocalyptic mix of haunting synth melodies, destructive beats, and skewed experimental electronica. In clubs, Lotic is known to harness abstract leanings through hybrid live/DJ sets of gut-wrenching bass and lurching hip-hop rhythms, occasional shards of contemporary R&B splintered with tactile hi-hats, consistently swirling crowds into an unabashed party vortex.
As England came down from Thatcherism, the Orb pioneered ambient house by slowing down Chicago house and adding ambient synth textures gleaned from the likes of Brian Eno. The Orb released their classic first album, The Orb’s Adventures Beyond the Underworld, in 1991. Through several other personnel and even aesthetic iterations, the Orb has been lighting up early mornings ever since.
Steve Moore and A.E. Paterra, the multi-instrumentalists behind Zombi, have re-imagined the architecture of progressive rock and dynamic instrumentals, carving a niche in underground music distinctly their own. The band’s signature sound, achieved using only electric bass, drums, and a collection of analog synthesizers, is deceptively lush considering its two man skeleton crew ensemble.
Born in 1980 in Melbourne, Australia, Ben Frost relocated to Reykjavík, Iceland in 2005. His albums fuse intensely structured sound art with militant post-classical electronic music, shape-shifting physical power with immersive melody, concentrated minimalism with fierce, rupturing metal. Frost's various collaborations and alliances underline his continuing fascination with finding ways of juxtaposing music, rhythm, technology, the body, performance, text, art, beauty, and violence, combining and coalescing the roles and procedures of various artistic disciplines in one place.
The former front man of experimental rock band Battles, American composer and electronic musician Tyondai Braxton has since focused on commissioned symphonic works as well as his own critically acclaimed album Central Market – which has been performed by world-renowned orchestras. In 2012, Braxton collaborated and performed with legendary composer Philip Glass. In 2013, Braxton premiered HIVE, a multimedia sound installation/performance, at NYC's Guggenheim Museum, with subsequent performances at Sacrum Profanum Festival in Krakow, The Barbican in London, and the Sydney Opera House.
Liz Harris, aka the ambient iconoclast Grouper, was born in Northern California and grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. She self-released first album, Grouper, on CD-R in 2005. In addition to her several albums, she performed Violet Replacement, which was comprised of two extended tape collages that were first commissioned in New York and Berkeley. In 2012, she premiered Circular Veil, a collaboration with Jefre Cantu-Ledesma consisting of a sleep cycle depicted in seven hours of music. Her latest album, Ruins, came out in 2014.
Hailing from Brisbane, Australia, producer UV boi somehow peppers frantically percussive, ever-shifting drumbeats over chill, almost Foreign Exchange-style keys and vocal harmonies while managing to sustain exciting grooves.
MC Denzel Curry was born in 1995 and grew up in Carol City, Florida. One of the hungriest up-and-coming MCs, sporting an explosive flow bristling with triplets yet dexterous and lyrical enough that it garnered props from Earl Sweatshirt, Denzel Curry is poised to bring even more noise.
The Black Madonna is known for fluent and dynamic vinyl sets, which span from disco to techno. Her energy, infectious joy, and ability to connect with the room in concert with her skill, has cemented her as crowd favorite. Her DJ mixes for Beats In Space, Little White Earbuds and Bicep’s Rinse FM show remain highly regarded, selected from deep crates and executed with precision. In late 2013, she became first ever Creative Director of North America’s oldest independent venue Smart Bar, bringing a decidedly anti-establishment philosophy to her curatorial style.
Gary Numan hails from Hammersmith in West London. After joining the punk group Lasers, he formed a new wave band, Tubeway Army, with drummer Bob Simmonds. In 1979, Tubeway Army scored an epochal Moog synthesizer-based UK No.1 hit, “Are ‘Friends’ Electric.” Following this, Numan began working as a solo artist under his own name. Under this name, Numan released his biggest U.S. hit, “Cars,” and classic albums such as 1979’s The Pleasure Principle and 1980’s Telekon. “Are ‘friends’ Electric” and “Cars” are among the iconic Moog concoctions.
Early in his career, he was known as Jetone and oriented toward techno. But in the mid-2000s Tim Hecker pioneered drone across several albums, such as 2006’s critically acclaimed Harmony in Ultraviolet. Migrating across vistas of distorted, digitally processed pipe organs with Ben Frost resulted in the similarly lauded 2011 LP The Ravedeath, 1972. Hecker has also collaborated with Oneohtrix Point Never, lectured in the burgeoning academic field of Sound Studies, and worked with visual artists such as Stan Douglas and Charles Stankievech.
Laurel Halo’s music culls sounds from Detroit to Germany, from Jamaica to the UK. Born in Michigan and based in Berlin, she has put out both instrumental and vocal records on Hyperdub. In the past, she deejayed at the renowned WCBN-FM radio station in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and now hosts a monthly show on Berlin Community Radio. She has worked with artists such as John Cale, Julia Holter, and NH’Koxyen/Terepa.
Shallou is an experimental electronic act formed in March 2014 in New Orleans where he attended college. He was inspired to create electronic music in a city where it is extremely underrepresented.
Like most kids in his native town of Charlotte, North Carolina, Leroy Shingu had a head filled with hip-hop dreams growing up, even trying his hand at freestyling when he was all of nine years old. But a trying background starkly different from the blissful suburban reality of his peers would compel the rapper better known as Well$ to turn that childhood fantasy into a promising career as a rapper.
Born in Italy, Suzanne Ciani studied music formally in the U.S. In the 1970s, she composed music for commercials for Merrill Lynch, General Electric, AT&T, and Coca Cola. She also reproduced sound effects on the synthesizer for companies, most famously the sound of a Coke bottle being opened. Other such credits include logo sounds for Energizer and ABC. She was the first woman to score a major Hollywood film (Lily Tomlin’s The Incredible Shrinking Woman).
Houston-based DJ Rabit is helping stoke what The New Yorker has called “the resurgence of grime.” His highly praised debut album Communion was released in late 2015.
Explosions in the Sky is often described as post-rock, and thus grouped with bands that ostensibly transcend rock conventions in order to explore other moods and textures. Yet Explosions in the Sky conjure rock mad scientists, rock deconstructionists, third rail conductors, coaxing 8-minute epics out of rock’s cathartic nucleus, breaking atoms. The way a lonely guitar arpeggio erupting into ringing guitar lines and crashing drums can capture the ascent from wistful longing to don’t-ever-wonder clarity.
Based in Los Angeles, YACHT’s figureheads, Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans, are opposing forces but the unlikely pairing is the source of their power. YACHT’s knowing references to technology, feminism, and media are layered in complex arrangements in songs about holograms and phones, police violence and identity, sex and the future.
Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg might be best known as Bloodshy & Avant, a production duo who have worked with Britney Spears, Madonna, and Kylie Minogue. The pair won a Grammy for for Best Dance Recording in 2005 for their work on Spears’ “Toxic.” Andrew Wyatt is a writer and producer who has collaborated with a diverse range of artists, from Michael Tighe to Spank Rock. Together, Karlsson, Winnberg, and Wyatt form Miike Snow, an indie electro-pop trio.
The same phosphorescent weight found in Nick Sanborn’s work as half of Sylvan Esso is manifest on Penumbra, Sanborn’s debut EP under the name Made of Oak. Bittersweet hooks float through weighted bass while personal textures click, strum, and breathe, giving a tense intimacy to his melodies. Nick is an unconventional producer who combines these elements with deftness and tact, using a palette he has spent years creating.
Quintron has been making genre-defying noise and “Swamp-Tech” dance music in New Orleans for over fifteen years. The majority of his ten full-length albums have the psychedelic soul of New Orleans garage R&B, filtered through a distorted Hammond B-3, and a cache of self-made electronic instruments. Miss Pussycat, otherwise known as Panacea Theriac, is a New Orleans based puppeteer. The Quintron and Miss Pussycat live show is one of barely controlled electronic chaos, “Swamp-Tech” dance beats, small explosions, clothes, and entertaining puppet stories.
Michael David Quattlebaum Jr., aka Mykki Blanco, is a rapper, poet, activist, and performance artist born in 1986. As a child, Quattlebaum lived in San Mateo, California, then moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. Quattlebaum published a book of poetry, From the Silence of Duchamp to the Noise of Boys, with OHWOW in 2011.
Dawn of Midi is a Brooklyn-based acoustic ensemble made up of Aakaash Israni from India on double bass, Amino Belyamani from Morocco on piano, and Qasim Naqvi from Pakistan on drums. Formed in 2007, the band name was happened upon after Naqvi casually uttered the phrase by chance as a non-sequitur for the improvised music the trio was making at the time.
While love songs are familiar fodder in pop music, Holter manages to stay fascinatingly oblique and enigmatic on her new album. Have You in My Wilderness is also Holter’s most sonically intimate album. Like Holter’s previous albums, Have You in My Wilderness is multi-layered and texturally rich, featuring an array of electronic and acoustic instruments played by an ensemble of gifted Los Angeles musicians.
Occupying the fertile ground between organic band land and an all-electronic production project, Bob Moses draw on the two poles to resonate across both. A duo with an individual name, Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance’s musical endeavor plays with this kind of duality all over their debut album Days Gone By: an exploration of discreet, personal moods, coalescing dance music’s giddy rush with introspective song craft. Borrowing from both but slaves to neither, the record is equally effective headphone listening as it is deft club euphoria.
Multi-instrumentalist, singer, and producer Panagiotis Melidis, born in Veria, Imathia, Greece, started to write music as Larry Gus (“λάρυγγας” is greek for larynx) in 2006. Combining sample-based ethics and crystal clear psychedelic pop melodies into an infinitely dense amount of layers and polyrhythms, he also became known for energetic and chaotic live performances, which involve singing and playing various percussion over samplers with a Sufi-esque ritual intensity.
Afrikan Sciences (Eric Douglas Porter) stands solidly as one of the most innovative producers to surface in recent times. Affectionately titled the Rhythm Czar, Porter has steadily become one of the most well respected creators in electronic music. Once described as the love child of Afrika Bambaataa and science-fiction writer Octavia Butler, the grandSun of Ra, Porter's production has always crafted a marriage between various forms of music and sci-fi with an emphasis on freedom in tempos and meter.
Hieroglyphic Being, aka Jamal Moss, has long been a pillar of the modern Chicago house scene. He was a protégé of house legend Adonis, and his roots in Chicago house extend back to Ron Hardy, who in the mid-1980s picked up Frankie Knuckles’s baton at the storied Warehouse (renamed Music Box) and brought the scene to full bloom. Recent solo work such as “The Fourth Dimensions of a Nubian Mystic” show Hieroglyphic Being continuing to mine ancient languages for undiscovered grooves.
Founding member of the legendary group Underground Resistance as a 'Minister Of Information' with ‘Mad’ Mike Banks & Jeff Mills, Robert Hood’s seminal works on Jeff Mill's Axis and his very own M-Plant imprint paved the way for a wave of stripped-down dancefloor minimalism that directed much of techno's path throughout the late Nineties. Robert Hood makes minimal Detroit techno with an emphasis on soul and experimentation over flash and popularity.
In January 2013, DAWN released her solo debut album, Goldenheart. Goldenheart received universal acclaim and reached #1 on iTunes R&B/Soul in just a few hours. Contemporary music critics hailed DAWN as one of the best new acts in pop and R&B. In 2015, DAWN released her sophomore album Blackheart in January. Since its release, Blackheart has gone on to much critical acclaim. Andrew Ryce, in his review for Pitchfork, said that the "innovative production" is about five years ahead of its time.
Earthly is the electric duo from Carrboro, North Carolina consisting of Brint Hansen and Edaan Brook. The pair's brotherly relationship is apparent in their music – each track builds upon Brint and Edaan's distinct contribution of sound that mix and meld together, to the point where the layers can't stand alone. The duo decisively cobbles together voices, kicks, and synthetic sound to create vibrant yet enigmatic songs in both their recorded works and live performances. The songs are rich, rhythmic, romantic, and at times damaged.
Hailing from Sapporo, the snowy capital of Japan’s northernmost island, Qrion released her first two EPs via SenSe while still attending high school. Internet acclaim and anticipation of her softly-lit, melancholy-tinged melodies eventually led to SenSe’s servers being overloaded during the free release of 2014’s「sink」, a download-only mini album. Later that year, a high-profile collaboration with electronic producer Ryan Hemsworth exposed Qrion’s music to wide audience, gaining her recognition from fans and critics across the globe.
Daniel Lanois’s outsized mark on music continues to spread. A protégé of Brian Eno, Lanois worked on classic Eno albums and collaborated with Eno in producing U2’s albums. Lanois has also produced for Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Peter Gabriel, Neil Young, and Willie Nelson. Lanois’ songs have been covered by a multitude of artists. Recently Lanois has stepped into a solo career with 2014’s Flesh and Machine, which combines all of the eclecticism of his career work in a new album and live show featuring dubbing, processing, and sampling in real time.
In 2012, a new voice emerged from the wider surge of electronic music in the U.S. ODESZA’s Summer’s Gone stood out from the crowd; it was a collection of songs, not just beats; and its irresistible, startling dreaminess, addictive drums and fathoms-deep bass set it apart from the by-the-numbers brutality of EDM’s also-rans. In an age of manufactured internet buzz and carefully plotted hype, ODESZA’s story was refreshing: A new duo unveiled their music on the internet, and the world paid attention.
Hanz is the moniker of Durham, North Carolina-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Brandon Juhans. Hanz released his first album, Reducer, in 2015 on Tri Angle Records as a free download. Stacked with unpredictable yet groovy rhythms, screwy vocal samples, and eerie chords that remain captivating throughout, the album includes “Capsule,” a deconstruction of the Junior M.A.F.I.A. chestnut “Get Money” at once ebullient and disturbing.
Christian Rich is a Grammy nominated, Nigeria raised, Chicago born, LA-based Artist, Producer, DJ duo consisting of twin brothers Taiwo Hassan and Kehinde Hassan. In November 2014, they released their first eyewear collaboration with Italian eyewear company LGR and are set to release their next edition in fall 2015. When asked about their versatility in music, Kehinde puts it simply that they are "designers who are popular in designing music."
The legendary electronic music act Silver Apples was originally formed in 1967 as “an electronic rock duo featuring Dan Taylor on drums and Simeon on a homemade synthesizer consisting of 12 oscillators and an assortment of sound filters, telegraph keys, radio parts, lab gear and a variety of second hand electronic junk.” Silver Apples disbanded in 1969, but a quarter century later, an unlicensed German re-release of their material stoked interest in this pioneering band, and Simeon re-activated Silver Apples.
He might’ve cut his teeth drumming in a punk band called Ersatz, but there’s nothing fake about the soul of London-born DJ Harvey’s spinning. His mixes reach back into the hallowed halls of dance music’s past, such as the Paradise Garage, seamlessly yet funkily incorporating house, techno, garage, disco, rock, and whatever else he can stuff into his crates. One can still hear the influence of the fascination with hip-hop that helped him hone his percussive cutting style in the 1980s.
Stemming from the D.I.Y. noise scene in downtown L.A., HEALTH make mathy indie rock with tribal drums, squealing guitars, asymmetrical basslines, and a homemade guitar pedal/microphone called a Zoothorn. As a four-piece led by Jacob Duzsik, the band played its first show after practicing together for six months, and started making a go in Los Angeles, playing ten-minute sets with like-minded local bands like Ex Models, No Age, and Mika Miko.
“Can I make it clear?” Lorely Rodriguez asks within the opening moments of her debut album, Me. Her singular voice is the centerpiece of Me, her first fully-formed vision of an album, following her previously shorter and more abstract releases as Empress Of. “Don’t tell me who I am,” she sings seconds later. Me plays out like diary entries from one woman’s voice musing on the personal, the political, and all the middle ground between.
NASA’s first ever artist-in-residence, Laurie Anderson is one of America’s most intrepid creators. She launched her recording career with 1981’s hit “O Superman,” her prophetic Eventide Harmonizer and vocoder-mediated meditation on Americana, commercialism, geopolitics, and race. Anderson has published seven books, invented several electronic instruments, and her visual work has been presented in major museums around the world.
King Mez is one of the rising stars of North Carolina’s fertile rap scene. Born on a military base, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, King Mez grew up in Southeast Raleigh, North Carolina. In good Southern rap tradition, King Mez brushes past gangsta-conscious binaries, and from North Carolina he is well positioned to similarly transcend binaries of Southern and Northern hip-hop aesthetics.
London-based producer Ryan Lee West, better known under the name Rival Consoles, is notable for making synthesizers sound human and atmospheric. Foremost a guitarist, growing up listening to rock rather than club music, his desire to create a more organic, humanized sound sees West often draft early ideas on traditional, acoustic instruments like the guitar or the piano; forming pieces that capture a sense of songwriting behind the electronics.
Jerrilynn Patton, known as Jlin, is a steel mill worker and acclaimed electronic musician from Gary, Indiana. Growing up, Patton’s parents exposed her to a variety of musicians; her favorites included Anita Baker, Sade, and Rachelle Ferrell. She also listened to footwork at a young age. At the dawn of her life as a musician in 2008, Patton played a song of hers for her mother that sampled Teena Marie’s "Portuguese Love". Her mother's response prompted Patton to light out from footwork’s emphasis on samples in search of her own sound.
Canadian born Darwin cut her teeth in recent years as a resident at the infamous underground Berlin club Griessmuehle. Her sounds span the UK to slicked out, robotic, sci-fi inspired techno, which you can hear on her emerging label SPE:C.
Italian-born composer and performer Alessandro Cortini is a musical voyager. Having spent considerable time performing lead electronics in addition to revisiting his initial instrumental forays in guitar for Nine Inch Nails and How to Destroy Angels, as well as continuing a solo project under the banner SONOIO, Cortini released his first recordings under his given name. Under his Skarn alias Cortini once again displays his strengths as an interdisciplinary and incredibly talented producer and composer.
Experimental doom and sludge metal duo the Body formed in Providence, Rhode Island in 1999, tapping into the city's thriving noise and experimental scene. Chip King (guitars and vocals) and Lee Buford (drums and various electronic instruments) released their self-titled debut album in 2004, followed by many more—including an anthology compilation and a collaborative album with friends Braveyoung in 2011.
Oneohtrix Point Never, the recording alias of Daniel Lopatin, derives from “106.7,” the frequency of Magic WMJX, a Boston radio station. Born in 1982 in Wayland, Massachusetts, Lopatin’s electronic music muse was conjured in part by his Russian Jewish immigrant father’s dubbed jazz fusion tapes.
Born Darren Cunningham in England, Actress has been making greyscale electronic music for years. Influenced by hidden geometries, rap, Chicago house, Detroit techno, et al, his music drones intelligently. Cconceptual but not academic, his music is asking us to think but also to listen.
Julianna Barwick is an American musician born in Louisiana, raised in Missouri. Currently she resides in Brooklyn. She builds her music around by looping and layering her voice. Barwick attributed her sound to her rural, church choir upbringing. She starts off most tracks with a single phrase or refrain, then employs a loop station and occasionally a piano or percussive instrument to develop the song into a swirl of lush, ambient folk.