Is the rave spotlight shifting back to the alternative Los Angeles scene?

For a brief period in the early-Nineties, Los Angeles was the epicentre of rave culture in America, thanks to a series of epic, hedonistic parties and the presence of Mars FM, the country’s first radio station dedicated to dance music. Yet unlike, say, San Francisco, the city never developed a reputation as a nexus for electronic music makers.

Finally, it seems things are changing, with two fresh creatives surfacing on the alternative Los Angeles scene: Daedelus and Flying Lotus. Daedelus is the alias of Alfred Darlington. His new album
Love To Make Music To (Ninja Tune), channels electronica, hiphop and R&B through an array of unusual guest vocalists, including Michael Johnson of Sub Pop band Holopaw and Brooklyn soul diva Erika Rose.

The album includes the startling “If We Should”, which blends rave urgency into a miasmic vocal from Darlington’s wife Laura. The duo also record as a more conventional-sounding“ electroacoustic” duo called The Long Lost, but her voice seems more suited to electronics. A view perhaps shared by Flying Lotus, on whose debut Los Angeles (Warp), her Cocteau Twins-style harmonies entwine with thepulsing bass and ticking percussion of “Auntie’s Lock/Infinitum”.

Simpler pleasures await on the latest from Swiss maverick Beat Soler, aka Seelenluft. Birds And Plants And Rocks And Things (International Deejay Gigolo) is a blithe mix of skewed Euro-house and pop electro, topped off with a sunny cover of America’s 1972 folk-rock perennial “A Horse With No Name”.

No such frivolity contaminates the work of Johannes Enders, saxophonist and sometime collaborator with German “indietronica” group The Notwist. In his more reflective moments he apparently records church music, but discovers little inspiration in the jazz-inflected electronics which fill much of his Enders Room album Random Guru (Tuition). Only the quirky “Sister Peace” comes alive, his wheezing sax juxtaposed with tinkling vibraphone and abruptly programmed vocal loops.

After encountering such a composed musical experiment, it comes as a relief to hear the raucous “Motor” (Ed Banger), a Pimp My Ride take on techno-rave by prolific remixer Sebastian, all hard-revving riffs and nitrous beats. As a French DJ with the right connections (he’s supported Daft Punk on tour), Sebastian also features on Ed Rec Vol 3 (Ed Banger), the latest snapshot from the cooler-than-thou Parisian label which gave the world Justice.

His track, “Dog”, is a pounding but somewhat disposable hard rock pastiche. More intriguingly, the compilation also offers a chance to sample the latest from Uffie, a 20-yearold American expat whose unconventional rapping and fashion magazine looks have made her a VIP on the French club scene. But no amount of hip styling can disguise the fact that “Robot Oeuf” is a dud which falls far short of replicating her brilliant electro-rap debut “Pop The Glock”.

It’s intriguing to contrast the Parisians’ exuberant approach with the studied introversion of the UK dubstep scene – much of whose music now seems to exist in a digital dimension cut off from the world outside. Ital Tek’s coldly fascinating debut album Cyclical (Planet Mu) might have been made in Brighton by a man called Alan Myson, but his cyber-sounds bear only traces of pre-existing musical forms.

So, while two-disc dubstep round-up Steppas’ Delight (Soul Jazz) makes a convincing case for a more diverse scene than many outsiders might expect, it’s one of the newly commissioned exclusives which stands out – Japanese producer Goth-Trad’s sci-fi dub “Genesis”, whose liquid bass and slamming percussion brilliantly distills the genre’s uncanny evocation of the alien and familiar.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump


Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas