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Young Montana comes to California, Low End Theory tonight

June 1, 2011 |  4:13 pm

241264_10150252676516908_214859416907_8998203_518180_o Young Montana isn't from Montana. He's not a rapper either, which sets him apart from Yung Texas, Yung Mississippi and Yung Florida (who I now know is getting money).

Instead, Jon Pritchard hails from Coventry, England, where he was just another anonymous teenage bedroom producer until the influential BBC1 radio host Mary Anne Hobbs declared him the best unsigned artist of 2010. Almost immediately, Alpha Pup boss Daddy Kev swooped in and offered the precocious Montana a deal, thus annointing him with cosigns from two of bass music's most influential names.

Not bad for a 20-year-old who blazes his own sampledelic vernacular, with the shorthand embedded in his source material. Examine his mix for BTS Radio to see the constitution: rap group Diggin' in the Crates and other '90s boom-bap, Low End Theorists such as Shlohmo, plus Busta Rhymes and Scottish beat producer Hudson Mohawke.

There is the usual worship of the 8-bit world and J Dilla's three-track soul. Montana builds a baroque architecture of stray chords, chopped vocals and vaguely familiar groove. Underneath the dance party of "Sacre Cool” looms the graveyard moan of Skip James’ “Devil Got My Woman.” His “F.F.F.F” splinters the Fleet Foxes’ “Mykonos,” taking the most well-formed elements (a gorgeous guitar lick and the Foxes’ forest monk vocals) and transplanting them into a entirely new climate.

Last month's "Limerence" marks one of the strongest beat music debuts this year, and Montana makes his first American appearance tonight at the Low End Theory; he plays alongside Kode9, who is to dubstep what Puff Daddy is to the remix (except, uh, totally different). Get there early.

--Jeff Weiss

Photo: Young Montana. Credit: Young Montana Facebook page

MP3: Young Montana -- "Sacre Cool"
MP3: Solar Bears -- "Dream Valley" (Young Montana Rework)