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Antenes, David Last, DJ Speedsick

  • Robinia Courtyard 829 East Washington Avenue Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

NYC techno producer, DJ, and synth builder Antenes joins two standout Madison-based electronic artists at this show. Info

Photo by Erez Avissar.

Photo by Erez Avissar.

New York City-based techno artist Lori Napoleon builds her own modular synthesizers, often using components of old phones and switchboards and other cast-off circuitry. And the music she makes under the name Antenes has the focus and fine-grained texture of an artist getting her hands dirty up to the elbows in the raw stuff of electronic sound. "Fire Rises," from Antenes' 2015 EP The Track Of A Storm (released on the always intriguing L.I.E.S. label), is almost unnervingly austere, weaving eerie atmosphere around percussion patterns that stutter and fold in on themselves. Even with all the possibilities that come from creating one's own gear, Napoleon excels at paring it down to a few very specific, intricately sculpted elements and giving them plenty of room to shine. She visits here for a DJ set.

Two artists based in Madison also help make this a pretty compelling electronic show. Madison native David Last has spent a few decades working as a broad-eared DJ and producer in New York, Colorado, and the Bay Area, and has been back in town for the past year or so. Last's 2018 release, Constructions Vol. 1, pulls together a wide range of collaborators—including Robyn Hitchcock, who contributes a wonderfully surreal spoken-word piece—into immaculately crafted, contemplative pieces. Last created the release as a tribute to his partner Cherushii, who died in the horrific Ghost Ship fire in Oakland in 2016. He hasn't performed much since moving back to Madison, but has been working on new original music, some of which he'll weave into a DJ set here. DJ Speedsick, meanwhile, is a refreshing outlier in Madison's music community, slamming together elements of driving techno and blistering avant-garde noise. —Scott Gordon