Omar-S and Umfang are among the highlights in the standout electronic music event's two-day lineup. Info/tix
The annual Musique Electronique event is both an integral, essential part of La Fete De Marquette and very much its own entity. And especially outside of Madison's larger conglomerate of music promoters, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more ambitiously booked lineup of producers and DJs. The Musique Electronique team has tended to focus the hardest on bringing in artists with deep historical roots in house and techno, and younger artists pushing dance music into new territory. This year's Musique spans two days on the Fete grounds in McPike Park (like the rest of the Fete, this part of it is free) and two ticketed late-night shows at the High Noon. It also features one of the event's biggest gets yet in Detroit artist Omar-S, who headlines both the Fete tent and the High Noon stage on Friday. Omar-S' work s a producer is both austere and immersive, and as a DJ he brilliantly balances a wild variety of textures with dance-floor momentum.
Saturday's headliner, Stacey Pullen, has visited Musique Electronique before. His 2016 headlining DJ set at the Fete attested to his own long history in Detroit techno, starting off with a shimmery, ecstatic feel that reminded the crowd that even the most driving techno can still create rich atmosphere. Other highlights in this year's lineup include Chicago DJ Sassmouth and NYC-based DJ/producer Umfang. The latter's 2017 album, Symbolic Use Of Light, suggests Umfang will contribute a complex, rhythmically adventurous approach to techno here, in a lineup that offers a wealth of windows into that music's past and future. —Scott Gordon