Like a lot of KCRW listeners, I first stumbled across Travis Holcombe while driving home from a Tuesday night concert. It was sometime in 2012, after midnight, and a then-unknown Holcombe was laying down a set that was, by KCRW's increasingly conservative standards, almost mind-blowing: Brainfeeder and Ninja Tune left-field beats mixed with ATLien hip-hop, deep house, even some catchy millennial electro-pop I didn't hate. Fortunately, someone at the station has been paying attention to Holcombe's talents as a selector and tastemaker; his rise through KCRW's ranks has been relatively swift, and he now occupies the high-profile 10 p.m.–to-midnight weeknights slot, where he continues to surprise. A typical Holcombe set, if there is such a thing, might move from British rapper Kate Tempest to TDE upstart Isaiah Rashad to Sylvan Esso to Young Thug to Thundercat. He's the still-influential NPR affiliate's brightest rising star, which bodes well for the future of KCRW and L.A. radio in general.

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