by Alli Marshall
Moog organizers sweetened the already sweet Moogfest deal this week with more announcements. Full lineup is at moogfest.com.
• Rapper Nas (with a nine-piece live band) has been getting the most mileage on Twitter. According to the Moogfest blurb, "his latest album, Life Is Good, directly addresses his divorce from singer Kelis (he holds her wedding dress on the cover) but instead of being cliché or gratuitous he weaves his personal observations and life experiences like only one of the best of all time can do." I usually think of break-up albums as the territory of heart-on-sleeve indie rockers, so a hip-hop spin on heartbreak is a fresh take.
• Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin will make their U.S. debut as a duo, "jamming on numbers from a yet-to-be released collaborative project that was recorded earlier this year." Try to figure out what that will sound like. The music of Canadian musician Hecker has been called “structured ambient,” “tectonic color plates” and “cathedral electronic music," according to his bio. Lopatin is the guy behind equally hard-to-describe Oneohtrix Point Never (which performed at Moogfest last year), and half of Ford & Lopatin (also Moogfest 2011 alums).
• Morton Subotnick pioneered "the development of electronic music and multi-media performance." He was working on analog synthesizers back in the '60s when the rest of the country was putting flowers in their hair and singing folk songs on acoustic guitars. According to his bio, "His work Silver Apples of the Moon has become a modern classic and was recently entered into the National Registry of Recorded works at the Library of Congress." At age 79, he's proof that Moogfest (and electronic music) isn't just for kids.
• buke and gase (all lowercase) are an indie-rock duo from Brooklyn. Their names are not Buke and/or Gase, or Buke and Gass, as they used to be known (or even "bike and case," as spell check insists). They're Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez, and their sound comes from improvised instruments "such as the 'toe-bourine'; the 'buke,' a six-string formerly-baritone ukulele; and the 'gass,' a guitar-bass hybrid," according to NPR. Their sound is all layered and textured and kind of a cacophony but a happy one. And one with a strange of ringing, clanging order. What they don't use (though, to listen to the duo, you'd think otherwise) are loop pedals.
• Ahleuchatistas is the local act on the lineup, and a mighty choice at that. The guitar and drum duo of Shane Perlowin and Ryan Oslance, respectively, pretty much redefines what it means to be a guitar and drum duo each time they take the stage. Perlowin does use pedals (the better to craft those intricate, jazz-informed, industrial-tinged textures). Oslance wears chains and little else while he plays. Without lyrics, Ahleuchatistas draws listeners into strange and gorgeous soundscapes that are every bit as rocking as they are nuanced.