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Willy Street Beats 2018

Berlin's Jon Hester and LA's Sage Caswell head up an ambitious evening of dance music. Info/tix

Jon Hester

Jon Hester

The booking team behind the annual Musique Electronique event at the High Noon Saloon and La Fete De Marquette—probably the most ambitious effort anyone in Madison makes all year to book deep-reaching house and techno DJs and producers from around the world—offer an encore of sorts in Willy Street Beats, which consists of an early-evening lineup at the Willy Street Fair's Brearly Street stage and a late-night, ticketed after-party at the High Noon. This year's headliner, Berlin-based Jon Hester (Willy Street Fair, 8 p.m. and High Noon, midnight), excels at blending dark, austere beats with eerie wisps of synth chords on his latest release, a split EP. But as a DJ, he reaches past the sparse, almost industrial feel of his original productions, reaching a nice balance of warm atmosphere and relentless propulsion.

The Willy Street Fair portion of the day will also feature Twin Cities DJ Berndt (4 p.m.) and San Francisco's Byron The Aquarius (6 p.m.). The High Noon party kicks off at 10 p.m. with a rare Madison set from DJ and producer Sage Caswell. A Los Angeles resident who's also been spending time in Madison lately, Caswell brings a gorgeous, effervescent touch to house music on releases like the 2016 album Hoop Earring. For all that subtlety, Caswell can also throw down fiercely fun and sweaty DJ sets. —Scott Gordon

Earlier Event: September 14
Noxroy, Louise Bock, Sleep Now Forever
Later Event: September 15
Tone Madison Open House (free)