There's been no shortage of press for EDM staple Pretty Lights over the last few months- he released a new album just days ago - A Colour Map of the Sun- and has been hitting the festival circuit and press circuit hard over the last few months. In addition, he's been playing major festivals since 2009 and has amassed a rather large, if not ardent fan following which has helped catapult him to the level of success and recognition we see today.
Derek Smith better known as Pretty Lights is the mad scientist of electronic music, breaking down barriers and opening up the EDM scene to a new audience thanks to his relatable and somewhat relaxed take on the modern day hip-hop/soul/electronica game. He's a pioneer of the genre, combining elements of folk into electronica long before Avicii delved into the realm himself- Smith's remix of John Denver's "Take me Home Country Road" is a once in a lifetime track that many producers only dream of. Whether it be his older releases or his newer mixes on Colour Map of the Sun, Smith's use of digital sampling and synthesis destroyed genre barriers long before everyone else was doing it by pushing the envelope of electronic music and challenging the dance music mainstream.
Taking its title from the writings of Isaac Newton, A Color Map of the Sun builds on Smith's signature sound and style, emulating genres and time periods spanning across centuries. The album that is both poetic and ambiguous, combines (amoung many things) elements of 1940's French Soundtrack music and 1970's disco while also being completely sample free. This doesn't mean that there aren't familiar auditory elements in the album, it just means that Smith produced and mixed all the "samples" he used in the album completely on his own. Meaning that he doesn't have the need for a sample or copyright lawyer which significantly reduces the cost pf production of the album and drives the profit more directly to those who deserve it- the creators of original content. The album, much like most of Pretty Lights' work pays respect to music's immense power and is sure to touch listeners on many different and varied levels.
Pretty Lights headlines Saturday night at Badlands, preceded by Excision and Adventure Club- a totally stacked lineup for the inaugural festival. Come check him out and all the other outstanding musicians that are gracing our city with their presence this weekend at Badlands Music Festival.
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