7:15 to 8:15 p.m. — In less than a year, Divine Fits has gone from an unknown entity (at one early and badly kept secret show, they were billed as “The Hot Skull”) to playing a Lollapalooza aftershow and two New Year’s Eve shows with The Black Keys in Vegas. Then again, Divine Fits members (Britt Daniel of Spoon, Dan Boeckner of Wolfe Parade, Sam Brown of New Bomb Turks) are the kind of musicians who fans follow closely. And, with the early success of just-released A Thing Called Divine Fits, they promise to be much more than a one-hit wonder. http://www.divinefits.com — A.M.
8:45 to 10 p.m. — One of just a handful of female performers at Moogfest, Santi White (aka Santigold) already wowed at Bonnaroo this year (one report noted “choreographed dance moves with her backup singers/dancers involving pom poms and briefcases”). And, having toured with the Beastie Boys and Kanye West and recorded with Karen O and Q-Tip, it’s a safe bet that Santigold will bring to the stage plenty of energy — along with the self-described “sonically eclectic but with some epic curveballs” spirit of her new album, Master of My Make-Believe. http://www.santigold.com — A.M.
10:30 p.m. to midnight — Not only does British dance duo Orbital have its roots in the late ‘80s rave scene, their ‘89 track “Chime” became something of an anthem for raves. Brothers Phil and Paul Hartnoll disbanded in 2004 but regrouped in ‘09 (20 years after “Chime”) and have been playing big festivals ever since, such as Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts (with a guest appearance by “Doctor Who” actor Matt Smith). http://www.orbitalofficial.com — A.M.
12:30 to 2 a.m. — Ambient musicians Simon Posford (aka Hallucinogen) and Raja Ram build the sonic journey that is Shpongle using acoustic guitars, flute (played live by Ram), Moroccan drumming, samples of Turkish singing, cello and double bass. Though from the U.K., Shpongle has a huge following in Japan. The duo can site authentic psychedelic roots: 70-year-old Ram was a founding member of ‘60s-era psychedelic rock band Quintessence. http://www.shpongle.com — A.M.
Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
7:30 to 8:45 p.m. — The Magnetic Fields’ jangly ballads and poppy hooks are the creative vehicle of Stephin Merritt, the band’s principle songwriter and driving force. Merritt is as comfortable with synth-heavy electro pop as he is with minimalist folk and fuzzy garage rock, and the multi-instrumentalist’s deep crooning vocals and pointed, witty narratives — as biting and sarcastic as they are humorous and universal — are always there to make listeners feel at home. http://www.houseoftomorrow.com/tmf.php — D.S.
9:30 to 10:45 p.m. — Thomas Dolby will forever be remembered for the ‘82 hit “She Blinded Me with Science” and his dance friendly synth-pop of the same decade, but the producer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist is a musical Renaissance man of sorts, combining his love of computer generated tones with funk, jazz and world styles, even collaborating with Bob Weir, Jerry Garcia and Eddie Van Halen on ‘92’s Astronauts and Heretics. In the ‘90s, he founded Beatnik Inc., which pioneered the polyphonic ringtones that dominated early mobile phones. These days, Dolby serves as musical director for the TED Conference series and tours the country with his Time Capsule, a “chrome- and brass-plated trailer” where fans can produce their own 30-second video message to the future. http://www.thomasdolby.com — D.S.
11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. — Kieran Hebden was first a member of Fridge before breaking out on his own as Four Tet. Asheville’s Marley Carroll has noted Hebden as a major influence; the British-born musician — despite being a solo act — often collaborates with artists of all ilks, from producer/DJ Bonobo (who regularly plays Asheville) to indie-folkie Andrew Bird to metal band Black Sabbath. His newest album, Pink, streams on his website. http://www.fourtet.net — A.M.
The Orange Peel
7 to 8 p.m. — Darren Cunningham (aka Actress) is the British A&R scout who discovered 2011 Moogfest alum Zomby. And, though he’s very private when it comes to his own musical endeavors, The Guardian calls him “more cerebral than your average techno artist.” His newest album, R.I.P., takes inspiration from the less-than-party-inspiring themes of death, God, the devil and John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Never fear: We’re promised his Moogfest set will be “a more raucous affair.” http://www.honestjons.com — A.M.
8:30 to 9:30 p.m. — Formed in Philadelphia in ‘05, dark-wave group Cold Cave is mainly the project of singer-songwriter Wesley Eisold, who regularly collaborates with other musicians (like Dominick Fernow of Prurient and Caralee McElroy of Xiu Xiu). The band’s label, Matador, says they “strive for balance, between the ugly and the beautiful, between rupture and rapture.” http://www.coldcave.tumblr.com — A.M.
10 to 11 p.m. — As Pitchfork put it, “Death Grips are angry. It’s unclear why.” The trio (Stefan Burnett, Andy Morin and Zach Hill) bursts out of the speakers with a Rage Against the Machine kick and punch, only it’s hard to say what they’re raging against. Instead, songs built on industrial grind and electronic chaos provide an antiseptic and non-melodic platform for the band’s spit-fast outbursts. http://www.thirdworlds.net/main/death.php — A.M.
Midnight to 2 a.m. — Artistic freedom seems to be a driving force for DJ, producer and composer Carl Craig. From his Planet E label to his tours as 69 (six nine), Craig ventures into jazz elements and futuristic thinking. A native of Detroit, he is credited with inspiring the evolution of drum ‘n’ bass. He also works on collaborations of techno and classical, film scores and remixes. http://www.carlcraig.net — A.M.
Asheville Music Hall
9:30 to 10:30 p.m. — Toronto singer and keyboardist Robert Alfons (aka Trust) recently released his almost-self-titled debut EP, TRST, with drummer Maya Postepski (of 2011 Moogfest alums, Austra). This is darkly-melodic dance music that hints at Bauhaus, only more shimmery and less unrelentingly heavy. Alfons’ spooky baritone is at its resonant perfection on the velvety, industrial-lite “Candy Walls.” http://www.ttrustt.com — A.M.
11 p.m. to midnight — South London sibs Guy and Howard Lawrence are synth-pop duo Disclosure. They’re really young (like, the younger brother isn’t even legal drinking age in the U.K.) but their music is dancey and not afraid of a club beat. There’s also polished sophistication to Disclosure’s tracks, which feature either sampled vocals or borrowed vocalists (most recently, Sam Smith and Ria Ritchie). http://www.disclosureofficial.com — A.M.
12:30 to 1:30 a.m. — Producer Guillermo Scott Herren (aka Prefuse 73) has lived everywhere from Miami to Barcelona and worked in nearly every genre, from ambient to hip-hop. No stranger to collaboration, he announced this year via Twitter a project with Brainfeeder visual artist/musician Mtendere Mandowa (aka Teebs). The resulting electronic wanderings are called Sons of the Morning. http://www.prefuse73.com; http://www.teebs.bigcartel.com — A.M.
Diana Wortham Theatre
7 to 8 p.m. — Singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Julia Holter collaborates with a number of artists and has recorded two solo albums alone in her bedroom (most recently, Ekstasis). While her singing voice is pretty and dramatic (think Laurie Anderson), her work pushes the boundaries of experimentation, eschewing aesthetic beauty for strangeness and texture. Her song “Bars in Afternoons,” at more than 15 minutes, consists mainly of sounds field-recorded in watering holes. http://www.juliashammasholter.com — A.M.
8:30 to 9:30 p.m. — Manchester-based producer Andy Stott crafts albums for the Modern Love label that fall under techno but edge up against ambient. Stott also records under the alias Andrea; SonicRouter describes Stott’s sound as “breathing a weirdly organic, sample-ridden life into steppers’ riddims and old hardcore tracks.” His most recent recording is the visceral, atmospheric We Stay Together. http://www.modern-love.co.uk/artists/andy-stott — A.M.
10:15 to 11:15 p.m. — Canadian sound artist Tim Hecker composes the sort of music that earns descriptions like “tectonic color plates” and “cathedral electronic music.” Daniel Lopatin (aka Oneohtrix Point Never, from Brooklyn) crafts droney, ambient sonic experiments on vintage synthesizers. The two teamed up this year on free jazz-inspired collaboration, Instrumental Tourist, on which, the musicians say, they “designed a sound palette from the acoustic resonance of digitally sourced ‘instruments of the world.’” http://www.sunblind.net; http://www.pointnever.com — A.M.
11:45 p.m. to 12:45 a.m. — Musician/poet/composer Harold Budd is another elder statesman of the festival; his career in music dates back to the early ‘60s with work in minimalist, drone and ambient sounds. His collaborations with bassist Keith Lowe include an ‘09 performance (with Budd on piano) in celebration of Budd’s book of poems, Colorful Fortune. At Moogfest, Budd and Lowe will perform “These Old Love Songs,” selected works from Budd’s discography. http://www.haroldbudd.com; http://www.avl.mx/m6 — A.M.