Pop & Hiss

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Getting to know Alex B: Colorado producer plays Low End Theory, debuts exclusive MP3

April 28, 2010 |  9:46 am
3096_71439604756_71437544756_1484355_4047289_n The bunker of Boulder, Colo.-based Alex B is (presumably) stashed somewhere in the pine-shrouded shadows of the Rocky Mountains, but Los Angeles operates as an alternative laboratory for his smoke-stained, broken beats. A fixture at Lincoln Heights’ Low End Theory, Alex Botwin dropped “Moments” on his own Elm & Oak imprint but turned to local imprint Alpha Pup for distribution -- a wise move considering his fractured but funky sonics put him in line with peers like Nosaj Thing, Take, and Free the Robots.

Of course, Los Angeles’ emergence as a beat import and export hub is no longer a secret, with a recent Top 10 list from Thom Yorke dominated by Low End Theory-affiliated artists. And British dance music maven Mary Anne Hobbs just announced a monthlong “Volcano Refugee Party” in the city, hosting the next two weeks of her BBC1Xtra show with ministrations from the near-entirety of the Alpha Pup and Brainfeeder rosters.

Headlining Wednesday's Low End Theory along with Ninja Tune-signed King Cannibal, Alex B might not sport a ZIP code that starts with “9-0,” but the West Coast sound is ingrained in his interstellar inclinations and ruthlessly blunted beats. In advance of the performance, Pop & Hiss is premiering “Getting to Know You,” a song that encompasses the breadth of “Moments" -- a stunning collection of discrete sequences that lives up to its ambitious nomenclature.

Bookended by Lilla D’mone’s buoyant coo, “Getting to Know You” is partly trip-hop reinvented for the medical marijuana set, partly a phosphorous ball of energy, compacted with gently curving synths and giddy drum patterns. Like the album itself, it’s a wonderful contradiction: simultaneously despondent and danceable, brooding and brightly lit, the sort of record best listened to in the occult hours, buried underneath an avalanche of elements -- whether chemical or climatic.

-- Jeff Weiss

Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Katzenberg


MP3: Alex B - "Getting to Know You" (Pop & Hiss Premiere) 
MP3: Alex B - Brain Food Mix