Ten Artists Glitch Mob Fans Will Love
In this week's main music feature, New Times caught up with Justin Boreta, or just Boreta, of the Los Angeles trio the Glitch Mob. The kind-of-post-hip-hop, kind-of-downtempo, all-electronic, all-awesome group plays Revolution next Tuesday with opening sets from similarly synth-loving but similarly warm acts Phantogram and Com Truise.
But while those acts will nicely complement the show for Glitch Mob's fans, a famously diverse and open-minded bunch, they come from outside the scene in which the headliners came up. Glitch Mob is known to be part of the extended universe of the L.A. circle centered loosely around the Low End Theory weekly club and underground labels like Alpha Pup and Brainfeeder.
And it's an allegiance with which Boreta proudly aligned himself in our article. "At one point, we were this funky little club. But we are just fortunate to be at a point in time in the U.S. where there's been a wave of interest in electronic music as a legitimate form of music," he said.
So who are their musical peers? If you're a hard-core Glitch Mob addict, you may already know. But if you're just digging into their oh-so po-mo sound, here are ten other artists you'll love, in absolutely random order.
Origin: Los Angeles
Label: Alpha Pup
All right, so this is kind of cheating, because edIT is the solo moniker of Ed Ma, i.e., one-third of Glitch Mob. But it's one of the most influential solo/side projects of the group members and preexisted the group, anyways. Ma was a resident DJ at the hugely influential weekly L.A. party Konkrete Jungle -- a bridge party between the jungle and hip-hop scenes -- before going on to help cofound the Low End Theory. Unsurprisingly, his own material crosses crackling, beat- and soul-driven electronic genres.
Top Tracks: "Ants" (below), "Ashtray," "LTLP"
Origin: Los Angeles
Label: Alpha Pup
The artist born Jason Chung started self-releasing his own glitchy, left-field material as a teenager before finally landing on Alpha Pup for his proper 2009 debut album, Drift. A former drumline geek, percussive preciseness features heavily in his tracks, which also slide along on moody, murky synths.
Top Tracks: "Aquarium" (below), "Fog," "IOIO"
Origin: Los Angeles
Labels: Plus Research, Warp, Hyperdub, and of course Brainfeeder (his own!)
At just 27 years old, Flying Lotus is already sort of one of the granddaddies of the underground L.A. post-hip-hop scene. By his early 20s, he was already releasing left-field tracks for killer U.K. labels like Hyperdub and Warp but eventually founded his own imprint, Brainfeeder, to continue to curate a particular musical aesthetic. Much of his tracks sound more firmly hip-hop-derived, though that doesn't make them any less multilayered or weird than some of the other artists on this list.
Top Tracks: "Zodiac Shit" (below), "Do the Astral Plane," "Massage Situation"
The Gaslamp Killer
Origin: Los Angeles via San Diego
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this artist, born William Benjamin Bensussen, cribbed his name from the Gaslamp district of his native San Diego. After cutting his teeth there as a scratch-driven downtempo kind of guy, he decamped to Los Angeles and eventually also helped cofound the Low End Theory. These days, he's known as one of its most unpredictable and creative performers; his mixes and original material can crisscross from hip-hop to straight-up turntablist stuff, to dubstep to psychedelia and beyond. He's signed to Brainfeeder, which is Flying Lotus' label.
Top Tracks: "Anything Worse" (below), "Turk Mex," "Fun Over 100"
Origin: San Francisco
Labels: Ninja Tune, Warp, Planet Mu, Ancestor
It can take a few minutes to unpack songs by San Francisco-based Eskmo, who specializes in superglitchy, cinematic tracks that sometimes threaten to sputter to a stop altogether. Approach each track as a journey with an almost narrative payoff rather than as a dance tune and you'll be rewarded with a cosmic mood journey.
Top Tracks: "Cloudlight" (below), "We Got More," "Lands and Bones"
At 33 years old, Daedalus has been at it since the turn of the millennium and thus predates a lot of the Alpha Pup/Brainfeeder crew by several years. Still, his own experimental work fits in nicely with the new breed, and it crosses everything from acid jazz to hip-hop to lo-fi dance beats. His warm, fuzzy "L.A. Nocturne" even managed to sample Smashing Pumpkins.
Top Tracks: "L.A. Nocturne" (below), "Order of the Golden Dawn," "Drops"
Origin: Greater London, U.K.
Labels: Mau5trap, Renegade Hardware, Ninja Tune, and Planet Mu, among others
The artist, born Jon Gooch, is one of the more random outliers on this list but, if you dig the bass, you might like some of his less-thumping work. As Feed Me, he's popular with the whole Mau5trap crowd for thumping, peak-hour electro-house. But as Spor, he specializes in drum 'n' bass, dubstep, and, for lack of a better term, IDM (yes, we hate that term too). His DJ sets might draw from any of this.
Top Tracks: "Pacifica" (as Spor, below), "Electro Funeral" (as Spor), "Mordez-Moi" (as Feed Me)
Origin: San Francisco
Labels: Amorphous Records, Om Music
For several years, Bassnectar was a lone wolf wandering around the hippie fringes of the San Francisco Burning Man scene. He was the messiah DJ for desert wanderers who didn't mind when he yelled over tracks constantly (a previous huge dance culture no-no!) or did heretical things like jump between dramatically different genres. Luckily, with barriers between scenes shattering, new crowds are embracing Bassnectar and his new bass-heavy approach with open arms. He's become the bridge between hippies and hard-core underground electronic heads.
Top Tracks: "Upside Down" (below), "Cozza Frenzy," "Bass Head"
Origin: San Diego/Las Vegas
Gonjasufi is one of the most deliciously strange artists to emerge out of the West Coast post-hip-hop world. Part-rapper, part-high-pitched singer, part-mystic, he is all inscrutable. Legend has it he was discovered by Flying Lotus on the street, literally, when Gonjasufi was homeless and unshackled by any worldly possessions other than a bag of records. His best tracks are produced by FlyLo and the Gaslamp Killer, and their haunting qualities will stay with you for days. To add to everything else, he's also a yoga teacher. Click here to check out some video of Gonjasufi's performance at the Vagabond in Miami this past spring.
Top Tracks: "Ancestors" (below), "Kobwebs," "Testament" (technically a Flying Lotus track with Gonjasufi as featured artist)
Origin: Fort Collins, Colorado
Label: Pretty Lights Music - his own!
Born Derek Vincent Smith, this native doesn't shy away from his vaguely crunchy roots -- the hippie vibes are inescapable in Colorado, after all, and he cribs his name from an old Pink Floyd poster design. He's managed to win huge audiences by transmuting this, however, into an entirely fresh sound. Yes, much of Pretty Lights' live shows are improvised, but it's done in a hip-hop/downtempo/electronic framework that usually builds to emotionally charged, epic crescendoes. Even more amazingly, he gives away all his music for free, so visit prettylightsmusic.com to get download-happy.
Top Tracks: "I Can See It in Your Face" (below), "Finally Moving," "Hot Like Sauce"
Lorn was the first non-West Coast artist to be officially grandfathered into the scene with his signing to Brainfeeder. That's where he released his official debut album, Nothing Else. Though he flirts with more recognizable genre forms, Lorn is also one of the most unapologetically experimental of his labelmates. There's a lot of playing with grunting, groaning sounds and textures and not a lot of straightforward dance material. It's more earbud, head-nodding stuff, though it sounds pretty epic over a loud soundsystem. Here's some video of Lorn performing at the Vagabond earlier this year.
Top Tracks: "Greatest Silence" (below), "Suicide Note," "Cherry Moon"
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