For all the bogus new-media cliches spouted about the 21st century music business, certain realities are immutable. Witness Alpha Pup, who along with Brainfeeder operate as the premier in-house labels of the Low End Theory (respect also due to Leaving Records, Friends of Friends, and Non Projects.) For an era ostensibly not beholden to regionalism, the community that’s sprouted up has an uncanny resemblance to the old models. From Daedelus to Daddy Kev to Flying Lotus and Nosaj Thing, the majority of Low Enders are Angelenos born and bred. For all the media and Internet love they now receive, the ascent occurred largely in the shadows, fueled by heavy bass and Cornerstone Collective chronic.
It’s gotten to the point where the problems are largely positive — what do you do when there’s not enough space to handle the crowds that queue starting at 8 p.m. every Wednesday night? How do you market and retain the influx of young talents that emerge seemingly every other week? Virtual Boy are the latest (until next week when we talk Austin Peralta) ones to watch — two guys barely out of their teenage years who went from Chapman University to the Mary Anne Hobbs show in a month. In the words of Puff Daddy, you can hate them now. But their music is good and so is the Strangeloop-directed video for “Mass,” which we’re premiering on Passion of the Weiss. If Windows Media Player had screensavers like this, it would’ve slowed down the rate of attrition to Macbooks.
Head to Pop & Hiss for the full Virtual Boy back story and an MP3 of “Thrust.” The debut, Symphony No. None, is out today on Alpha Pup.