One crowd filtered out of Asheville Music Hall, following a set by Purchase, as a new wave of people made their way in. They were there for Chaz Bundick, whose performed in Asheville a number of times as chill wave act Toro y Moi. But for Moogfest this year, he appeared a Les Sins, spinning a set of dance music.
If Asheville Music Hall retained the heat generated by dancers at Purchase, the quickly at-capacity crowd for Les Sins turned the warm room into a sauna. Hot yoga fans would have been alarmed. A half-hour crept by during setup. But Bundick delivered, with deeply sultry grooves.
There’s something almost shamanic about the way heat, a crowd of bodies and an insistent beat creates a dance response. Something that wells up from deep within the subconscious — a primal memory from before humans walked upright and plugged in synthesizers.
Maybe a similar conclusion could be drawn from Dan Deacon’s durational performance at the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design. Visuals created by Hirsham Bharoocha and Jesse Hlebo threw bold colors and soft shapes across large screens on either side of Deacon. The musician manned an array of controls, looping vocals and sounds and operating a sort of player piano whose innards were exposed to the audience. A trumpet player added more texture to the sonic construction that, for all of its gadgetry and complexity, came off like a water-color soundscape for a deep sea odyssey.
But, even outside of the clubs and art galleries, music played on in the streets. Not that street performers are unusual in Asheville, but synthesizers on the street aren’t seen nearly as often as, say, fiddles and banjos. One stringed-instrument-free duo set up in front of the iron sculpture on Wall Street. With a Yamaha keyboard and a makeshift drum kit centered around a hand drum, two musicians crafted an airy, rhythmic, light-infused soundtrack to the warm spring day.