In the germinal stages of a musical movement, it's hard to know whether a particular sound will live for a month, a year or a decade. Whether a new scene will influence a neighborhood, a city or the world, whether the ideas morph into something bigger than the founders could have possibly imagined — all that stuff starts with a handful of kindred spirits converging at the right place at the right time and drawing the ears of music lovers in search of new ideas. It's a magical thing.
The Low End Theory, a weekly beat music club that helped propel the careers of Flying Lotus, the Gaslamp Killer, Daddy Kev, Nosaj Thing and a few dozen others, has announced the lineup for its second annual festival, to take place at Shrine Expo Hall on Aug. 8. The roster, heavily focused on Los Angeles artists, confirms the creative magic at the center of the Low End Theory sound, as well as its evolution.
For its sophomore installment, the festival will include beat producer Flying Lotus, the dexterous rapper Earl Sweatshirt, jazz-funk bassist Thundercat, abstract producer Daedelus, the quartet of residents who move the crowd Wednesdays at the Airliner in Lincoln Heights (Nocando, Daddy Kev, the Gaslamp Killer and D-Styles) and more.
For the record, 10:25 a.m. June 1. An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the location of the Low End Theory Festival as Exposition Park. It will occur at Shrine Expo Hall.
It's been a remarkable year for the above artists. In addition to their own stellar work, Thundercat and Flying Lotus helped ferry Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly" to the top. Thundercat teamed with jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington and dozens of others for Washington's defining three-volume work "The Epic," released through Lotus' Brainfeeder imprint. Earl Sweatshirt released his grim new album, "I Don't Like ... I Don't Go Outside" and the Gaslamp Killer stunned Coachella with his new orchestra.
This will be the first time Low End Theory has partnered with Goldenvoice, the Southern California promoter responsible for festivals including Coachella and Stagecoach. In recent years, Goldenvoice has helped enable mid-sized events such as FYF and Supersonico take it to the next level. Given the Low End Theory's quest for perfect sound — and heavy-duty bass — expect planners to take full advantage of the opportunity.
In addition to the headliners, additional artists include Teebs, Diabiase, Nosaj Thing, Jonwayne, Ras G, Daedelus, Astronautica, Sister Crayon and more.
Tickets for Low End Theory Festival go on sale on Tuesday. For more information, hit the Low End Theory's site.
Follow Randall Roberts on Twitter: @liledit