Sunday, October 20, 2013

NIN, Bassnectar at mountain festival this weekend

Nine Inch Nails, Bassnectar, the Orb, and Pretty Lights are among the headliners at the inaugural Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit in Asheville this weekend. The three-day festival, which picks up where Moogfest began, begins Friday with Purity Ring, Deltron 3030, Daniel Johnston, Half Japanese, Silver Apples, Neutral Milk Hotel, XXYYXX, Baths, Claude Vonstroke, Laurel Halo, Jherek Bischoff, Rustie, Sparks, and Amerigo Gazaway. Those acts, along with Bassnectar, play across five venues - the Arena, Orange Peel, Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Diana Wortham Auditorium, and Asheville Music Hall.

Saturday's lineup includes NIN, Animal Collective, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Gary Numan (pictured, top), Chromatics, Actress, Big Black Delta, the Bug, Robert Delong, Ital (Live), Raime, Cashmere Cat, Sorne, I Speak Machine (Tara Busch), Zola Jesus and JG Thirlwell, and Bosnian Rainbows. Saturday also marks the US premier of King Britt's FHLoston Paradigm featuring Pia Ercole - a new-meets-old electronic music experiment of sorts.

Pretty Lights, Cut Copy, and the Orb close out the festival Sunday along with Pantyraid, Schlomo, Disclosure, Jessie Ware (pictured above, bottom), Tourist, Adventure Club, Alan Howarth, Mount Kimbie, William Basinski, How to Dress Well, T. Williams, Ulrich Schnauss, Autre Ne Veut, and Darkside.

There's also much more than music going on, especially for electronic musicians and those into home recording. Panels include an inventors roundtable discussion and an artist spotlight with veteran electronic musician Gary Numan (best known in the mainstream for his `80s hits "Cars"). There's also demonstrations with the guys behind Waves Audio and Trash_Audio, a craft beer sampling, and a number of DJs and regional acts performing at other venues throughout town.

Electronic music and the mountain mecca of Asheville may seem mutually exclusive - us city folk usually think of banjos and drum circles when we think of the mountains - but our Northwestern neighbor was home to Moog synthesizer inventor Bob Moog and began hosting Moogfest in his honor in 2010. Moogfest split with the organizers of what's now Mountain Oasis earlier this year giving Asheville two electronic music festivals - the annual Halloween weekend festival now known as Mountain Oasis and Moogfest, which retained the name. Moogfest will take place in the Spring.

Mountain Oasis still pays tribute to Moog though with Dr. Bob's Interactive Sonic Experience, which lets patrons of all ages get their hands on theremins, synthesizers, oscilloscopes, and other Moog creations.

Weekend passes are $199.50 here. Single day tickets are $74.50 (Sunday) to $84.50 (Friday and Saturday). For more information go to