Particle is a jam band formed in Los Angeles in 2000. The original members were Steve Molitz (keyboard), Eric Gould (bass), and Darren Pujalet (drums). Guitarist Charlie Hitchcock joined shortly thereafter. Along with The Disco Biscuits and Sound Tribe Sector 9, the group was among the first to blend rock, jazz, funk, and electronica into the mileau of what has been dubbed "livetronica" (a subgenre of the jam band movement where live bands blend the structures of DJ-produced sequenced electronic music into a more traditional live band setting). Prior to 2006, the band's repertoire consisted entirely of instrumental material.
The group made a name for itself and built an enthusiastic fan base, known as Particle People, by performing energetic late-night sets at festivals such as Bonnaroo. Reliance on word of mouth from fans, rather than advertising, allowed this group to sell out venues such as the Bowery Ballroom in New York City before they finally released their much anticipated first album, Launchpad, in early 2004.