Mix Master Mike and The Gaslamp Killer Win Friday at Moogfest

In one night, we caught Mix Master Mike, Darkstar, Kraftwerk,  TOKiMONSTA, The Gaslamp Killer and Dillon Francis. I’m not sure how we moved our legs at the end of it, but I can say there was this switch force defiant of bodily rest that instituted a mad energy within us, through to the messy ends of Mad Decent‘s abrasive warehouse lineup. Check the best below:

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Overheard at the Broadway outdoor stage on Friday evening by a viciously dancing, long-haired female fan: “It’s like he knows where my body wants to go before I do.” It was true- Mix Master Mike is a master of rhythm and scratch, funk and heightened energy that changes form minute by beat-screaming minute. The Beastie Boys turntablist played everything from the famous “Intergalactic” lean to Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement,” The Beach Boys and The Beatles mashed with dubstep drops so wild and meticulously spun- nobody could predict but everybody certainly followed. The show was free to non-Moogers and there were plenty of kids on shoulders to show for it- MMM was quite the affair to front the best night of music at Moogfest.

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Benjamin Bensussen aka The Gaslamp Killer breached the faint line between minor sensory delirium and complete, uncontrolled wonder on Friday at The Orange Peel. To categorize his music would be utterly trivial- deciphering how it makes you feel is the only worthwhile analysis. His sinister tones and disorderly progressions made us bounce like unafraid bass wolves; taking form outside of ourselves, we found elation in bodily presence and strong organic movement. Confident variations on mood and the extreme existential awareness of GLK extended like energy finally mad and free as it was meant to be, destroy, murder, kill the silence and fade the fake demons out with a sonic reality much higher, darker, stranger and louder.

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To walk between the two furthest venues in Asheville takes 10 minutes. This allowed us to catch half of Darkstar’s ambient performance inside the Diana Wortham Theatre. It was a dim and relaxing choice that allowed Mooger muscles to settle. Odd synth effects painted us dreamy and thick like cocoa spun with milk, atmospherically building towards mindful rest, the active form of nothing that lent us clear and healthy heads.

Kraftwerk was a modern spectacle. Through 3D glasses we traversed the world from a spacecraft, dodged satellites, rode the Autobahn and dove inside the imaginary innards of a computer. Numbers, form and repetition rang hard as themes were expressed with extreme minimalism. All four members, now in their early 60’s, wore gradient body suits, stood at identical podiums and remained emotionless for the duration of the set. Their feet formulaically tapped on effects pedals as number blankets rolled across the screen. While the long-time fans could be seen ecstatically jumping, the 20-somethings scooted awkwardly to Hütter’s distorted vocals, “MAN, MACHINE, SEMI-HUMAN BEING.” This show might just be the thematic core of Moogfest.

Brainfeeder’s TOKiMONSTA ran wild with an amplified hip hop set, sampling classics and feeding bass drops with her iconic stage swag- we’ve found a new lady to jaunt to. Other Brainfeeder artists featured throughout the weekend: Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Lapalux, The Gaslamp Killer and Dr. Strangeloop (visual effects).

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Photos by Tiffany Wen / Groovenik and Nosferatune

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