Low End Theory

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This article is about a club. For the A Tribe Called Quest album, see The Low End Theory.
Low End Theory
Address 2419 North Broadway
Location Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, California
Type Music venue
Genre(s) Alternative hip hop,[1] electronic

Low End Theory is a weekly experimental hip hop and electronic music club night that takes place every Wednesday at The Airliner in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, California.


Low End Theory was founded in 2006 by producer and Alpha Pup Records label head Daddy Kev. Low End Theory can trace its roots back to Sketchbook, a weekly gathering of producers in nightclub parking lots that started in 2003. According to L.A. producer Take, Low End Theory "literally picked up where Sketchbook left off—with much better promotion, much better sound".[2] As the "epicenter"[3] of L.A.'s instrumental hip hop scene, Low End Theory has become one of the most influential venues for the 'beat music' genre.[citation needed] Long-time residents have included Daddy Kev, The Gaslamp Killer, Nobody, D-Styles and MC Nocando.[4] Since late 2013, visuals at Low End Theory have been handled by resident VJs Dave Wexler (Strangeloop), Ian Simon (Earnest Blount), and John King (Timeboy)

"L.A.'s monolithic weekly showcase for uncut beat-driven tracks"[5] has been a launchpad for the success of prolific electronic artists such as The Glitch Mob, Daedelus, Nosaj Thing and Flying Lotus, who describes the club's humble beginnings as a sort of "producer's lounge".[6] The club night "showcases the links between classic Los Angeles rap and the fractured jazz of Eric Dolphy but also demonstrates how artists are using dazzling instrument technologies to upend both of those traditions".[7] Low End Theory has garnered much attention after multiple performances by Thom Yorke, who played for the normal price of ten dollars. "If tickets were left to auction online, they'd bring in enough to fund a state Senate campaign".[8]

The monthly Low End Theory Podcast began in 2009 and features mixes from a resident DJ and one guest DJ. Since its inception, Low End Theory has expanded to Japan, San Francisco, New York City, and Europe, performing quarterly in Japan and every now and again in the latter three.[9] [10]


  1. ^ Bassford, Clay (August 31, 2014). "On the Rise: What's Up in the Los Angeles Music Scene > Low End Theory". Complex. Retrieved July 10, 2015. 
  2. ^ Hermann, Andy (14 July 2010). "Beat Happening: From the Seeds Planted by Flying Lotus and Low End Theory, LA's Abstract Instrumental Scene Branches Outward.". XLR8R. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Abdullah. "The Next Best Thing to Being At Low End Theory, Los Angeles". MTV Iggy. 
  4. ^ "SCV visits the infamous Low End Theory". Sound Colour Vibration. August 5, 2011. 
  5. ^ Krimper, Michael (12 August 2009). "Sound of vertigo". San Francisco Bay Guardian. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Tewksbury, Drew (10 May 2010). "Flying Lotus: 'Beat Music' And The Coltrane Family Tradition". NPR. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Brown, August (9 October 2009). "Low End Theory: High-concept music". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  8. ^ Weiss, Jeff (5 May 2011). "Live: Thom Yorke and Flying Lotus perform surprise DJ set at Low End Theory Tradition". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 Aug 2011. 
  9. ^ Jackson, Glenn (17 October 2010). "Low End Theory Expands to San Francisco". XLR8R. Retrieved 2 August 2011. 
  10. ^ Low End Theory Website

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