This weeks "Featured Artist" PRETTY LIGHTS

Program: 
The Melting Pot
Air date: 
Tue, 11/19/2013 - 8:00pm - 10:00pm
Short Description: 
This weeks "Featured Artist" PRETTY LIGHTS
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This weeks "Featured Artist" PRETTY LIGHTS

Pretty Lights is the musical vision of the ultra-versatile Colorado based producer Derek Vincent Smith. At a time when music lovers from almost all subcultures and genres are finding common ground in the basic form of bangin' beats, Pretty Lights is giving the people what they want: electro organic cutting-edge party rocking beats that fill venues with energy and emotion and send dance floors into frenzies. And the people are responding. Pretty Lights has given away more than three million free album downloads to date.

“The Illumination Tour,” Pretty Lights’ 2012 U.S. run, kicked off with a sold-out, two-night stand at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO. Reviews for the 55-date tour were stellar: “Smith wowed the crowd with his Crayola-colored set of lasers and his ever-present grin of pure joy as he danced along to his own tunes,” said SPIN while Rolling Stone called him “wildly unique and talented.” In addition to the headline dates, Pretty Lights played the Electric Zoo, North Coast and CounterPoint festivals and partnered with Skrillex to spearhead the two-day “With Your Friends Festival” in downtown Nashville.

In another innovative partnership, Pretty Lights teamed up with Bassnectar to put on a two-day “BassLights” event in December 2012, marking the first-ever electronic music shows at historic Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA. Pretty Lights closed out 2012 with two intimate shows at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom.

A brand new Pretty Lights album is due out in 2013. “I've completely switched up my process of producing and composing. It is being created from all originally composed samples off of self made vinyl and all analog modular synthesis,” says Smith. “It’s prolific, conceptual, consistent, yet extremely diverse, and a real substantial piece of music you can sink your teeth into.”
 

On July 2, 2013, not one but two new Pretty Lights albums were released: A Color Map of the Sun and its essential companion, Live Studio Sessions From A Color Map of the Sun. The first PL efforts to be sold commercially after a series of acclaimed free-download albums and EPs, the Color Map project represents a turning point in Pretty Lights mastermind Derek Vincent Smith’s artistic growth. A self-professed “sample collage” artist, Smith decided it was time to create his own. “Before, I’d combine 25 samples into one song,” he explains. “This time, I was going to create my own original sources, retaining the timbre that spans the great musical era of the last century – from modern classical and jazz, to ‘60s soul and beyond.”

This idea sent Smith into an intensely laborious, obsessive, ambitious creative process. Where so much of today’s music is created entirely “in the box” using digital plug-ins, Smith went totally analog – recording musicians direct to tape (including himself on bass, keys, and modular synths), using authentic vintage instruments, pressing the results onto vinyl. He then fashioned those sounds into two visionary works. A Color Map… finds Smith taking Pretty Lights’ trademark combo of gritty, crate-digging hip-hop, speaker-shredding digital thump, and instrumentally-based psychedelia to new heights over 13 songs – from the dancefloor-ready yet kaleidoscopically abstract “Prophet” to the syncopated funk of the Talib Kweli-driven single “Around The Block.” Live Studio Sessions…, meanwhile, boils down the raw material used to create the tracks on A Color Map…, reducing 30 minute jams into 4 minute breaks. It’s all part of the multifaceted creativity that the albums’ titles suggest – a reference to a 1670s-era essay by Isaac Newton describing the experiments that led to his discovery of visible light’s color spectrum. “What Newton evoked I found especially poetic and beautiful,” Smith explains. “It fit what the name ‘Pretty Lights’ is supposed to embody – the idea of an artistic eye always looking at the world, searching for beauty and new inspiration.”

 

 

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