Always On: Don’t Miss This 50-Hour Progressive Electronic Music Show
Do you think you can sustain the funk for two whole days? Here’s your chance to find out.
Starting today at 12 pm Eastern (9 am Pacific) right here at the top of this story, you can watch Always On, a continuous, 50-hour livestream of progressive electronic music performed entirely by a roster of women, transgender, and non-binary artists. The musicians will be broadcasting from around the world—some of them in home studios, some in music venues in front of crowds.
The lineup is stacked, and each artist gets one hour. Performers include synth pioneer Suzanne Ciani, Madame Gandhi and Pulpy Shilpy from India, Iran’s Nesa Azadikhah, LA’s “psychedelic soul” purveyor Sassy Black, Nonku Phiri from South Africa, Ela Minus from Bogota, Colombia, and Ana Paula Santana from Guadalajara, Mexico.
This multi-day digital be-in, which ends at 2 pm Eastern on Friday, is being produced by the folks at Moogfest, the electronic music and futurism festival held each May in Durham, North Carolina. The festival—which, as implied by the name, is hosted by the synthesizer manufacturer Moog Music—is using Always On as a promotional push for the 2018 Moogfest gathering, and as a way to highlight the depth and adventurousness of the show’s offerings. (Several of the Always On artists are also performing at the next Moogfest.)
When you think about Moog and synth-based music in general, you probably think of bearded white dudes twiddling knobs. That’s a big part of it, yes, but far from the whole picture. I attended Moogfest this year, and I was pleasantly surprised to find it the most diverse music and culture festival I’d ever been to. In the same 24-hour block, I attended a two-hour synth performance by Ciani (a woman in her 70s), a set by multi-gender hip-hop artist Mykki Blanco, an on-stage conversation between comedian Hannibal Buress and producer Flying Lotus, and a lecture about extending the African diaspora to other galaxies. The whole schedule is equally heady, and hardly as dominated by Euro-centric techno and dance music as you might expect (though plenty of glitchy house beats were on offer as well).
Suzi Analogue, an electronic producer and mixtape DJ who’s performing on the livestream, says music events championing women and non-binary artists are critical to sustaining the vibrancy of the culture. “It is of the utmost importance that female, trans, and non-gender conforming people have space to perform their music on a larger level,” Analogue says, “not only because we have been long-since ignored and not given platforms to do so, but because our songs and art echo messages of survival and hope that can inspire the hearts of people to live and continue to push forward.”
Suzi says women and non-binary people have historically been pushed into “the margins and crevices” of society, and that they’re eager to reinvent themselves in their own image instead of trying to conform to everyone else’s. “We are moving out of marginal expectations and further defining what it means to be powerful, united, and inspired in our work and in our world.”
See the full lineup at AlwaysOn.live. Then tune in and get down.