Moogfest 2016: Gary Numan, Grimes, Blood Orange in North Carolina - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music Lists

Moogfest 2016: Grimes, Gary Numan, Blood Orange in North Carolina

Electronic-infused musical acts like Odesza and Oneohtrix Point Never were also showcased

2016; MoogFest; Gary Numan; Moogfest, Moogfest 2016, Grimes, Gary Numan, Tim Hecker, Ben Frost, moogfest asheville, moogfest technology, coding music, dj coding, moogfest future

Gary Numan played albums like 1979's 'The Pleasure Principle' and 1980's 'Telekon' in full at Moogfest 2016.

The1point8 for Rolling Stone

A formidable, diverse line-up of musical performers at this year's edition of Moogfest – which took place in the "Research Triangle" of Durham, North Carolina, over three days from May 19th through 21st – was nothing to scoff at, as it explored a nexus of adventurous sounds and accessible ideas. As Chris Weingarten notes in his recap, the most "now" music at the fest was the "digital-based, sculptural, sound-stretching mutant techno of Rabit, Tim Hecker, Ben Frost and Oneohtrix Point Never. Also, performances by Grimes, GZA, Laurie Anderson, Gary Numan, Blood Orange were also highlights. As Weingarten notes, popular kids show Yo Gabba Gabba! invited "both adults and children to experiment with new sounds," but it was "more like TED Talks Jr. inserted into a cascade of technical nightmares." Check out more exclusive photos of the convergence of musicians, scientists, futurists, relentlessly optimistic tech types that may prognosticate the future of music.

MoogFest; Laurel Halo

Theonepointeight for Rolling Stone

Laurel Halo

Laurel Halo has worked with artists such as John Cale, Julia Holter, and NH’Koxyen/Terepa – and now hosts a monthly show on Berlin Community Radio – DJ'd on May 19th, 2016.


Theonepointeight for Rolling Stone

Robert Rich’s Sleep Concert

An immersive all-night show, Robert Rich's concert was a "synthesis of found sound, prepared drones, and live instrumentals at very low volumes, very slowly" that took place from midnight to 8 a.m. the next morning.

Mammal Music; Moogfest

Theonepointeight for Rolling Stone

Mammal Music

"Using Mammal Music, you become a wilderness DJ by combining musical loops, natural sounds and animal calls to make unique musical mixes" was an especially whimsical way of saying: "The museum put some whale sounds into a sequencer."

Qrion; 2016; MoogFest

Theonepointeight for Rolling Stone


Hailing from Sapporo, Japan, Qrion is currently preparing to release her first full-length album later this year.

Onyx Ashanti; 2016; MoogFest

Theonepointeight for Rolling Stone

Onyx Ashanti

A cyborg musician, Onyx Ashanti's "non-stop experimentation and exploration of sound and form is powered by his 'Exo-voice' sonic prosthesis, an instrument he created that fuses technique and technology into a full-body musical system, playable with hands, arms, mouth and body."

2016; MoogFest; Gary Numan

Theonepointeight for Rolling Stone

Gary Numan

Gary Numan played albums like 1979's The Pleasure Principle and 1980's Telekon in full. As Chris Weingarten explains in his recap: "His synths were full and warm and precise, but the stiff, strutting New Waver android behind hits like "Cars" and "We Are Glass" has been seemingly juiced by the mutual appreciation with tourmates Nine Inch Nails. The 58-year-old bucked and stomped his boots and slammed mike stands. His arrangements of these once synth-heavy and chilly tunes are now chugging with electric guitar, but lose none of their robotic luster. Through a weekend of showcasing new technologies, one of the best performances was also one of the most human."

Sylvan Esso; 2016; MoogFest

Theonepointeight for Rolling Stone

Sylvan Esso’s Nick Sanborn

Nick Sanborn is one-half of Sylvan Esso, and he's now released Penumbra, Sanborn's debut EP under the name Made of Oak.

Hundred Waters; 2016; MoogFest

Graham Morrison for Rolling Stone

Hundred Waters

Comprised of musicians Nicole Miglis, Trayer Tryon, and Zach Tetreault, Hundred Waters cascades acoustic and electric.

I Speak Machine; 2016; MoogFest

Theonepointeight for Rolling Stone

I Speak Machine Performance

Vocalist/composer Tara Busch and filmmaker Maf Lewis are I Speak Machine. Together they make "brooding soundtracks and horror/sci-fi films, creating audio and visual in unison and giving both elements equal prominence."

Grimes; 2016; MoogFest

Theonepointeight for Rolling Stone


Grimes turned "cutting-edge experimental ideas into a pop spectacle," according to Chris Weingarten. "Between the huge crowd, the massive bass and the dancers, everything about her set looked like a pop show, but the sounds were as out-there as many of the weekend's chillier, more expressionistic acts. You could hear the cold, harp-like, synthetic-sounding synths that power artists like Fatima Al Qadiri and the desiccated Weather Channel music of vaporwave. Grimes turned the distorted, nostalgic noises of the past into an exultant, extroverted pop future."

Yo Gabba Gabba; 2016; MoogFest

Theonepointeight for Rolling Stone

Yo Gabba Gabba!

Popular kids show Yo Gabba Gabba! invited "both adults and children to experiment with new sounds."

2016; MoogFest; Dawn Richardson

Graham Morrison for Rolling Stone

Dawn Richard

Since she started as a member of Danity Kane, the singer-songwriter has had solo success, releasing her sophomore album, Blackheart, last year.

Dorit Chrysler; DJ Lance Rock; Mark Mothersbaug; 2016; MoogFest

Theonepointeight for Rolling Stone

Mark Mothersbaug, DJ Lance Rock and Dorit Chrysler

Dorit Chrysler is one of the few Theremin virtuosos and she joined Mark Mothersbaug DJ Lance Rock for the Yo Gabba Gabba! set at Moogfest.

Moon Ribas; 2016; MoogFest

Graham Morrison for Rolling Stone

Moon Ribas

Catalan choreographer Moon Ribas is the co-founder of the Cyborg Foundation, an international organization that aims to help people become cyborgs, defend cyborg rights, and promote cyborgism as an artistic and social movement. 

Laurie Anderson; 2016; MoogFest

Theonepointeight for Rolling Stone

Laurie Anderson

Always an innovator, Laurie Anderson spoke with Jana Hunter, from the band Lower Dens, on the final day of Moogfest.

Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.