International downtempo darling Bonobo brings his traveling Outlier festival to the lakefront | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Music » Concert Preview

International downtempo darling Bonobo brings his traveling Outlier festival to the lakefront



Since 1999, British producer Bonobo (aka Simon Green) has been perfecting a serene downtempo electronic sound with porous borders. His most recent album, 2017’s Migration (Ninja Tune), features contributions from precious R&B band Rhye, Nicole Miglis of moody art-rockers Hundred Waters, and New York-based group Innov Gnawa, Moroccan natives whose hypnotic music is rooted in centuries-old Gnawa traditions. Migration features a track titled “Outlier,” and Bonobo has also adopted that name for his occasional program on Internet radio station NTS, for his Spotify playlist, and for his concert series. In North America, Bonobo has so far hosted Outlier events only in NYC, but this summer he’s bringing the series to four other cities, including Chicago—specifically Lincoln Park’s Lakefront Green. The only local act on the Chicago date is house legend Derrick Carter, a wise choice that adds extra credibility to an already interesting lineup: it includes Bonobo’s headlining DJ set, of course, as well as crucial DFA artist Juan Maclean, lo-fi house darling DJ Boring, globally minded dance producer Quantic, and energetic, genre-splicing beat maker Machinedrum (who’s collaborated with Chicago crew Teklife). Outlier should do well here given Chicago’s rich dance-music history—though I wish the organizers hadn’t booked it for the same day as the Chosen Few’s 29th annual picnic in Jackson Park. Festival season includes so few dance-centric events that it’s a shame to make fans pick between two superstrong bills.   v

Get our free weekly Early Warnings newsletter 💌

It’s Chicago’s essential months-ahead music calendar straight to your inbox.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →