At Moogfest, Electronics Stimulate Ears and Emotions
Moogfest has emerged as the opposite of typical electronic-music festivals. It largely ignores so-called "big room" dance music in favor of sounds that stretch boundaries and explore sonic phenomena. Four-hour "durational" performances and an eight-hour, overnight "sleep concert" favored drones and meditative music. Moogfest also, in the state that passed and then repealed a divisive law on bathroom use, made a point of featuring performers and speakers who are gay, female, transgender or nonbinary - including a keynote stage interview with Chelsea Manning of WikiLeaks fame.
This year's Moogfest was scaled down from previous editions. Its biggest hitmaker was probably the socially conscious rapper KRS-One, whose Boogie Down Productions was a force in 1980s hip-hop. But it brought together a rewarding collection of performers whose gear, in the end, was beside the point. Below are 15 highlights.