Pretty Lights Music Afterparty | The Gothic | August 18th

As if getting to see the whole Pretty Lights Music lineup at Red Rocks wasn't enough, word comes in that the PLM crew will be throwing down at The Gothic next Saturday for an after party. The lineup includes some of the finest in the biz; be sure to get your tickets here. Scheduled to perform are Michal Menert, Gramatik, Break Science, Paul Basic, Supervision and Eliot Lipp

Porter Robinson | The Ogden Theatre | July 7th

Photo Credit: Justin Schoenborn

Photo Credit: Justin Schoenborn

Webster defines ethereal as heavenly, celestial, of or relating to the regions beyond the earth.  The sounds that feel upon my ears this past Saturday at The Ogden were nothing but; it was the closest I’ve ever felt to a religious experience at a live show. Porter Robinson was holding mass, and though not holy, the spirit was definitely moving people.
Porter wasn’t alone in delivering his electric gospel. The M Machine set the stage and got the crowd on their feet. A giant LED M hung behind the trio, lighting up the stage in sync with the smooth sounds and silky synth vocals. If Porter Robinson was the savior, than Mat Zo was his disciple, coming before to preach the good news. Hailing from jolly old England, Matan Zohar brought big noise and even bigger drops.  The faithful in attendance raised their hands to the sky in praise as the bass shook the floor and shot through their chests.
Shortly after 11 p.m. Porter took control of his house. Beats were dropped, sweat was shared, and as Mr.Robinson’s heavens opened, the ground shook beneath our feet. Souls cleansed, made pure, 100% in the Bitch.


Eliot Lipp joining the Pretty Lights Music Label!!


Just announced Eliot Lipp will be joining the Pretty Lights Music Label, for those of you unfamiliar:

Eliot Lipp's status as an electronic music pioneer is known to scene connoisseurs and weekend warriors alike. Lipp's omnivorous tastes are apparent, from the obvious funk and myriad manifestations of hip-hop though less explicit reference points as jazz fusion, folk and techno. His well-earned reputation as a producer's producer stems in part from his craftsmanship. Never content with well-worn breaks and effects, his work incorporates a love of analog gear with sampledelic flourishes, intricate rhythmic patterns and more than a few leftfield surprises. But his melodic instincts and tunefulness are what have earned him such wide appeal, as well as his connection to music's storytelling possibilities, even without words. 

Since his arrival on the scene, Lipp has displayed an intuitive knack for teasing melodies out of rhythmic bangers, and he draws from a remarkably mature sonic palette. These two qualities immediately set the young instrumental producer apart. Since his promising debut, Lipp has played to his strengths while creating an imposing body of work with a style uniquely his own.

Pretty Lights at The First Bank Center: December 30, 2011: Review

Derek Vincent Smith aka Pretty Lights does his thing.

 Friday night at The First Bank Center in Broomfield, Colorado was the first of two nights which welcomed Colorado's own Derek Vincent Smith, known by most as Pretty Lights.  The 9,500 plus in attendance came to dance and the lineup for the party did not dissappoint.  It is pretty amazing to think how far Pretty Lights has come a long in such a short period of time, I still recall seeing him a few years ago when I lived in Fort Collins.  Back then his setup was simple, with only a few strobes thrown in for good measure. Nowadays, he brings a light show unparalled in the industry.


Opening the night's festivities was labelmate SuperVision whose unique style and old school approach set him apart from the rest of the Pretty Lights roster.  He kept the early crowd energized with danceable tracks and skillful scratching often associated with the hip hop genre, all while keeping it in the realm of electro.  Flanked with his customary Texas Rangers baseball cap, Richard Blake Hansen gives hip hop a unique element of electro unheard of anywhere else.

Next up was heavy hitter Porter Robinson. Rumor has it that Porter was upset about the lighting, which prompted his reaction to bring it hard.  Yup, he abosutely did.  With a performance and crowd reaction often associated with a headliner, Porter Robinson unleashed his barrage of bass with no avail.  Sampling an array of tracks, it was his version of Avicii's "Level"  that set the crowd into a frenzy.  He also managed to subtly incorporate his version of the Skrillex dance track "A Little Bit More", that wowed the crowd sending them into an all out synchronized bounce once the bass line dropped.  Porter was having a great time motivating the crowd to dance, a participation that is dissolving among artists that play the same set time after time.  It seems that only the passionate artists appreciate the crowd as much as the crowd appreciates them. 

Porter Robinson giving the sold out crowd the thumbs up

The crowd was in a full frenzy once Pretty Lights stage was being set-up, flanked with the house music which blarred out Dead Prez's "Hip Hop" a perfect primer for what was about to go down.  The house lights dimmed and Pretty Lights took the stage for what ended up becoming a full, 3-hour set that left the sold out crowd in a euphoric stage (literally). One great thing about a Pretty Lights show is that you will never see a show as same any other.  This night he incorporated a mix of old and hit us with a few new tracks that will only escalate the level of anticipation for his next album.  He maintained a downtempo feel all night while reaching back into his old hip hop roots with a set that left the often rowdy Pretty Lights crowd to soak in every ounce of musical bliss.  It was a couple of notable favorites that stood out the most including a full crowd sing along of "Finally Moving", and his version of Kanye West's "All of The Lights".  He managed to drop some of his well know remixes including his Steve Miller Band's "Fly Like an Eagle" which was a major hit during his performance earlier this year at Red Rocks.  Other notable tracks were "Aimin' at Your Head", and "Gazing at The Glare" which went perfect with his hip hop inspiration for the night.  All in all, the crowd was left with a notion that Pretty Lights' set can evoke different states of emotion throughout a show.




Pretty Lights performs his version of Kanye West's "All of The Lights"

Pretty Lights to ring in the New Year

 While you are all still recovering from a Christmas food baby and possible hang over, it is time to start getting amped up for a two-night New Year celebration with Pretty Lights and company.  The 30th will open with Porter Robinson and Supervision alongside Derek Smith while the 31st will include Zedd and Paul Basic.  A sold out 1st Bank Center, packed with 5,000 plus people, could possibly explode due to high energy and some serious bass.  When the countdown begins and the clock strikes midnight, Pretty Lights will definitately bring it harder than the party happening in Times Square.  The expectation has been set!




Pretty Lights Music at Cervantes

This post is long overdue. A special thanks to Andrew "AC" Lao for his support of Ultra5280 and local music.  You are a great friend a talented musician and performer.  YOU CRAY!

With multiple DJ sets, a typical Wednesday at Cervantes was a far cry from normal and boring.  Four talented DJ’s from the Pretty Lights Music label played well through the night, displaying different strengths and talents that had a little something for each person.  Paul Basic, SuperVision, Michal Menert with guest AC Lao, and Gramatik each played at least a 40-minute set, if not longer. Even as talented artists tying to make a living, their albums are free for download HERE.  To show your support, donations are accepted and attending a show is encouraged.
Colorado native Paul Basic didn’t let the theft of his Macbook Pro Tuesday night slow him down, with borrowed machines he brought his unique talent while still keeping in good spirits.  With a few hiccups and pauses in between songs, Paul Basic (Paul Brandt) brought the beats that laid the foundation for the DJ’s to follow.  Donations were taken up in contribution to his new laptop.  Check out his album “The Mirror” that dropped late September and show your love for a Colorado native.
Next on the lineup was Supervision, a guy that showed his support for others on the label, mixing their music as well as other familiar songs.  You could hear the excitement in the beginning of the set as as it seemed like there was a lot going on, but as the set went on so did the editing and it cleaned up very well.  Familiar songs like Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” gave the crowd something to sing along to all while making it his own.  He wrapped things up with a Michal Menert song, giving the crowd a taste of what was to follow.  Richard Blake Hanson, or Supervision, has shared the stage with some talented artists like Ghostland Observatory, Pretty Lights, Public Enemy, Classixx, and RJD2 only to name a few. Download his album “Telescopic” and you can hear where Supervision draws inspiration from.

Michal Menert tore it up.  His attention to detail and his production skills were the best of the night.  He understands the concept that “less is more” and knows when to edit; his music is clean and he knows what sounds good, plain and simple.  On stage with him Wednesday night was drummer, AC Lao, keeping the rhythm for his set.  AC brought something to Menert’s set, he brought life.  The drums were real, not mixed, and the crowd was very responsive to it.  Menert, with his sweat-soaked hair under his flat-brimmed hat, was nothing less than thankful for his time on stage.  With the recent loss of his father, his song “Memories” spoke loudly to anyone that had ever felt the weight of losing someone special. 

A Led Zeppelin favorite, “Stairway to Heaven” was used as a segway from Menert’s set to Gramatik’s.  Gramatik took the stage and raged it, and the energy never seemed to fizzle as the crowd anticipated the final set.  Menert and Gramatik piggy-backed off each other, hopping from one set back to the other.  The lights were flashing and the bass was bumping, Gramatik delivered a high-energy set packed with favorites.  The DJ’s raged on until 2 am and while the streets were quiet and the weather was chilled throughout the night, within the walls of Cervantes was a loud, sweaty party that lasted for hours.