“Ravesploitation, that’s what they’re calling it out here,” says MC MAC SWELL over the phone from Los Angeles. “I like it, TD doesn’t like it so much.” On the road as BIG DIGITS, the Boston duo are in the middle of a West Coast tour that includes shows in San Diego and Los Angeles and five shows in the Northwest corridor. And “Ravesploitation” is being defined as live dance acts that can be confrontational and edgy. After playing with the likes of CAPTAIN AHAB and SAN SERAC, Mac and TD have been asked to contribute to a compilation on — wait for it — Ravesploitation Records, an offshoot of LA’s Death Bomb Arc. “It combines rave culture and live dancy bands,” says Swell, “lots of vocoder singing.” DBA, a monthly tape-club label, has already issued a Big Digits single. “We’ve got a tape with two songs on it, and a lot of noise and feedback,” explains Swell with a laugh. “We’d like to get signed to a label, so we have distribution and money for production, but right now I’m fine producing on my laptop.”
So far, the Ravesploitation tag has caught on only in Los Angeles. “LA is really really a lot of fun, they get buck-wild out here,” says Swell. “They were dancing on our first song, and by the second song there was a mosh pit.” Big Digits played the Smell, an all-volunteer, all-ages, vegan-friendly art club in a depressed area of downtown LA. “It’s a former auto garage and a totally DIY independent space. We’ve played there before, but this time there were three times as many people and everyone was rocking out from the time the first beat was laid down. On the last song TD and I jumped into the crowd and someone came up behind me and lifted me up and dragged me around by my feet! I’ve done that in Boston and gotten high fives, but no one’s aggressively come after me and pushed me around!”
You might say the night was a success. “We sold a lot of merch and T-shirts. Some guy came up to me, gave me his card, and was like, ‘I direct music videos and you guys have a fresh new sound,’ very LA kind of guy. I said, ‘We’re from Boston,’ and he says, ‘You’ve got to be kidding!’ He was kind of upset.” Check the Big Digits download page at www.compound440r.com for their latest track, “Why Did You Reject My Steve Perry Fan Fiction?” Their next gig is February 17 at Bill’s Bar, with We Are Wolves, Mules, and Mahi Mahi.