Synergy at the Frontier

On Wed 9th March 2011, Thom Yorke took to the decks at the (bass) vibrant club that is Low End Theory Los Angeles. His surprise cameo continues to show us how on the button he really is. Although it isn’t all that surprising if you have been following his weekly office charts. After all he is also responsible for first introducing me to the alternative side of dubstep via a guy called Burial, during Radiohead’s Radio 1 Takeover in 2007.

Spinning the decks in LA he once again demonstrated his understanding of some of the most innovative music around and how he imagines it all mixing together.

thom at low end theory LA

“Yorke soon got down and dirty, unleashing a sweaty funk that spanned house, minimal techno, dubstep, Afro-beat, and hip-hop. Jaylib bled into Burial. Major Lazer slurred into smooth house. Modeselektor merged with Fela Kuti’s “Zombie,” into krautrock. The lights dimmed and the crowd kept bouncing. A robot remix of M.O.P. and Busta Rhymes’ “Ante Up,” passed the pipe to Madvillain’s “America’s Most Blunted” — Yorke’s notoriously eclectic tastes distilled into an hourlong dance party.”

Please read the whole article here LA Times – Thom Yorke does a surprise dj set at low end theory via greenplastic
and another article with Low End Theory organisers Daddy Kev & DJ Nobody

The Low End Theory, for those who might not know, have been pioneers in what can only be described as futuristic bassy beats. Creating a new twisted and manipulated form of “dubstep” that feels like it has been spliced into sporadic pieces, submerged underwater and hurled into space. (example Nosaj Thing -Fog)

These insanely creative subtle bass/off-beat rockstars – Flying Lotus, Nosaj Thing, Daedelus, Tokimonsta and the crazed Gaslamp Killer – play amazing seemless dynamic sets full of untraceable underground tracks on a weekly basis.

These guys have created an incredibly innovative scene that is propelling forward the sophistication of electronic music into unbreakdownable layers of sound. (not far from what Amon Tobin is doing). It is because of this amazing work, Thom Yorke playing in the club is such a big deal to me. It also solidifies the claim that Flying Lotus’s cut up drums has found its way into the King of Limbs.

The relationship of mutual respect and appreciation between Yorke and the Low End Theory goes both ways as you can see in the video below. I hope they continue to excite and inspire us all.

The best place to understand what I am attempting to talk about and to explore the Low End Theory scene is to listen to their mind expanding Low End Theory Podcast series. The club packs out wednesdays in LA and Fridays in SF. It is easily the coolest place to be on earth.

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