By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
In addition to Nocando, fellow Low End Theory residents the Gaslamp Killer, Nobody, D-Styles and Daddy Kev, and breakout acts the Glitch Mob, Daedelus, Flying Lotus and Nosaj Thing, a deep constellation of stars has cropped up around the Low End Theory. Here are a few.
Bakersfield-bred, Brainfeeder-signed Mono/Poly figures to own Boardwalk and Broadway Avenue with his bent and baleful break-beats full of stuttering glitches, raw power and acid-addled paranoia. Essential releases: The George Machine (EP, Faces, 2009), "Distant From," from Beat Dimensions Vol. 2 (Rush Hour, 2009).
Migrating from Ann Arbor to Los Angeles after hearing the sounds emanating from the Low End Theory, the frequent Flying Lotus collaborator born Sam Baker has the co-sign of dubstep's most influential figure, Kode 9, plus the fuzzy boom-bap to back it up. Essential releases: Return (EP, Hyperdub, 2009), "Man vs. Machine" (10-inch, Poo-Bah, 2009).
The scene's resident Afro-futurist, the inscrutable Sun Ra disciple is prone to dashikis, clavicle-length black beards and beats that are both extraterrestrial and earthly. Ras G creates music full of static and cold space, candent light and stratospheric vocal samples, and amiable weirdness. Essential release: Brother From Another Planet (Brainfeeder, 2009).
Dubbed the first lady of Brainfeeder by Flying Lotus, adored by tastemaking BBC 1Xtra DJ Mary Anne Hobbs, and recently admitted to the prestigious Red Bull Music Academy, Tokimonsta has a skill that puts her on a level closer to Godzilla than Mothra. Essential release: "You Don't Need Pepto, You Need Beats" (mixtape).
A staple in beat circles for well over a decade, Watts-raised Dibia$e boasts the most salient 8-bit influence of the pack, flipping Nintendo staples like "Castlevania" and "RC Pro-Am" into head-bobbing bangers. Also known for his production work with Inglewood rap duo U-N-I. Dibia$e's forthcoming Alpha Pup debut is highly anticipated. Essential releases: Low Limit/Dibia$e, "Inspiration Jumpsuit/May the Force" (7-inch), Low End Theory Podcast IX.
Low-key but far from limited, matthewdavid's influence stretches far — from Dublab and his own Leaving Records imprint, to his Calling All Kids night at the Hyperion Tavern, to his own beats, which skew toward the ambient and experimental. Understated and underrated, matthewdavid is one of the scene's unsung heroes. Essential releases: DISK Collection Vol. 1 (Leaving, 2009), Flying Lotus, "Comet (matthewdavid)" (matthewdavid remix, Warp, 2009).
A gifted artist, Brainfeeder-signed Teebs has an approach to beat-making that's highly synesthetic, splashing electric colors against a backdrop of dusky, blurry beats. Essential releases: Teebs 09 Mix (self-released), "2 A.M. Wine" mix.
Just 20 years old, Friends of Friends–signed Shlohmo has already dropped the year's first great beat record with "Shlohmoshun Deluxe," a triumph of found sound and adamantine beats that earned him an invite on Mary Anne Hobbs' program. Essential release: Shlohmoshun Deluxe (Friends of Friends, 2010).
Compared to everyone from Daedelus and Stereolab to Philip Glass, Dak's bricolage beats boast a gorgeous psychedelic sheen and hint at limitless potential. Essential release: Standthis (Leaving Records, 2009).
Take's bio bills him as a cross between Brian Eno and J Dilla, and while that's a purposely reductive description, it's a good starting point. Hailed by influential DJs worldwide, the man with the Sweatson Klank alias figures to emerge as a breakout figure in 2010. Essential release: Architeq, "Sleeping Bear Lament (TAKE Remix)."
English-raised, L.A.-based Kutmah splits his time between making highly stylized wood burns and sketches of nude women and making some of the city's grimiest beats — which makes more sense than it should. Essential release: Low End Theory Podcast 11.