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Your Fall Chicagoland Electronic Dance Music Preview

By Robert Martin in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 12, 2014 7:00PM

Baauer photo via his Facebook page

With Lollapalooza in the books and North Coast on the horizon, Chicago has offered EDM enthusiasts little time for a disco nap this month. That trend will only continue as the festival season draws to a close and the party moves indoors for the rest of the year. Temperatures won’t be the only thing dropping as a barrage of artists we didn’t see on any festival line-up posters head to town. Mark your calendars and get your wallets ready as we break down some of the best dance acts heading to Chicago this fall.

Porter Robinson at the Aragon Ballroom on Sept. 26
It’s Porter Robinson’s biggest year yet. The 22-year-old who broke out of the rising moombahton scene in 2011 traded his air horns for a synthesizer and the result is a stunning shift to a matured sound. This isn’t dance music in the traditional sense. Porter’s arrangements are carefully calculated with no room for low-end buffoonery. It’s a daring creative move, and one that is fully realized in his debut album Worlds. After playing a ravey New Years Eve run at the Congress Theater in 2012 and pounding Spring Awakening set in 2013, this will be Chicago’s first chance to experience Porter’s new material live.

Rusko with Gent and Jawnz at The Mid on Oct. 10
A forefather of the dubstep movement that’s been blowing speakers for nearly a decade, Rusko made a move to distance himself from his bass music roots in 2014. The UK producer released his ! EP in July featuring five of the cheeriest tracks he’s ever written. Hearing the pleasant synths of “Sunshower,” it’s hard to believe this is the same mind behind something as sinister as 2007’s "Woo Boost." Having canceled his appearance at the lackluster Riverwest Music Festival due to last minute illness, Rusko’s appearance at the Mid is more than welcome. Openers Gent and Jawnz from Diplo’s Mad Decent label should bring just enough hype for the UK mastermind the bring the house down.

Baauer, Boys Noize, and Lido at Concord Music Hall on Oct. 17
It’s almost impossible to discuss Brooklyn trap artist Baauer without mentioning the "Harlem Shake." The infectious track took the web by storm last year and landed the no-name producer overnight fame, a number one single, and a legacy no one could have predicted. Fortunately for Harry Rodrigues, there’s more to the man than the meme. Baauer’s sample happy antics reach to the furthest depths of hip-hop to conjure some incredible and bizarre dance numbers. Electro House DJ Boys Noize is an unlikely partner for a co-headlining tour, but with any luck we’ll hear a collaboration from the two when its all said and done. Norwegian opener Lido is also a definite reason to get to the show on time.

SBTRKT photo via his Facebook page
SBTRKT at the Riviera Theatre on Oct. 23
Aaron Jerome values anonymity. Performing as SBTRKT, the London based producer and multi instrumentalist hides his face behind a tribal mask and rarely gives an interview. What he lacks in personality he makes up for in vision. An integral part of the post-dubstep movement alongside James Blake, SBTRKT’s ambient work takes bass music into another realm. It’s a place where a vocalist like Sampha can croon forever. Considering the recent breakout success of Sam Smith and Disclosure, it’s a wonder that Jerome hasn’t penetrated the mainstream. Recruiting Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig for the mind bending new single "NEW DORP. NEW YORK," he may be able to do just that. In the off-kilter ode to NYC, SBTRKT dishes up a beat that’s more the musical STOMP than festival anthem. Just a week before Halloween, the Riviera should be the perfect spot for the man in the mask.

RL Grime at Concord Music Hall on Nov. 14
A split personality, RL Grime is a saving grace in a sea of generic trap music. Chalk it up to Los Angeles native Henry Steinway. When he isn’t touring as the progressive house act Clockwork, the WEDIDIT collaborator can be found on the other end of the spectrum, twisting hip-hop beats and pop anthems into 808 wrecking balls. Beyond his crate’s worth of remixes and original tracks, RL Grime has an ear for song selection and puts on an equally impressive live show. Steinway is perhaps at his best on a series of annual Halloween mixes that most recently included a cameo from the real R.L. Stine who apparently is a cool guy.