LOW B with ANDREW ALLSGOOD , DEE JAY NAV and DOUGIE BOOM as part of Killer Dope at Footwork (425 Adelaide West), tonight (Thursday, April 6). $8. 416-703-4999. Rating: NNNNN
If there's a sign of when you've made it as a DJ, it's probably when you get to spin at an Ashton Kutcher-affiliated affair, no?
That notch was added to the name-plated belt of Low B (the other half of the team Hollertronix, with his Baile Funk-popularizin', MIA-producin' pal Diplo) a couple of years back at the Sundance release of Kelso's flick The Butterfly Effect. It must have been a night of hanging out with Demi's future babydaddy: cigars, fine champagne, limos, delicious candy bars and giggling like schoolgirls while Punking the elderly, right?
"Nah! Nah, nah," says Low B (aka Mike McGuire, whom I embarrassingly call Mark at least once ) emphatically over the mobile from his Philly pad. "It's rarely like that. Lots of times those people don't even show up. It's lots of middlemen and industry stuff going on."
Unlike the glitzy Sundance festival life, the rep Low B and the members of his circle (including the folks from shit-hot indie dance kids Spank Rock, Amanda Blank and Plastic Little) have developed for breaking underground acts to circuits of scenesters is no myth.
Hollertronix officially formed at McGuire's 25th birthday party in 04 to a crowd of fewer than 200. Since then, their renown has ballooned to nationwide proportions, and after two years of mixing tapes and getting booked in every big city, Low B and Diplo can be credited as pioneers of an eclectic, pomo-chic club movement.
But in a world where music has never seemed more plentiful or available, how does the near namesake of the home-run hitter remain right on that cutting edge?
Being a staff member at Philadelphia's famed Armand's Records didn't hurt.
"It is the one-stop record shop. Like, that's their slogan, but it really is," he plugs. "You can go there and get the crunkest new radio cut and the hottest new indie rock or electro cut. That was kinda like a headquarters for DJs in Philly and any DJs passing through the city.
"So I made a lot of connections there with out-of-town DJs and people in the music biz who I kept in contact with, so I have them telling me, 'Oh, this is what's hot down here.' That's a good way to stay up on it."
Case in point: one of Low B's latest mixtape adventures, Snap Or Die (available on his website, www.low-bee.com), done with his buddy DJ Deluxxx of their new crew the Trilladelphians. The joint explores Atlanta's bursting snap movement, the sound that, most famously, brung you D4L's head-scratcher Laffy Taffy.
Don't ever say Low B doesn't go deep like Janet when he wants to find that next, next shit.
"We started researching the snap stuff and found all this music that these high school kids are doing. It's unreleased, but it's this big thing in Atlanta, so we made that mixtape to expose it to the world."