Pretty Lights at Bank of NH Pavilion | Gilford, NH | September 15th, 2017 – September 16th, 2017
Sep
2017
15

PRETTY LIGHTS LIVE



  • Date:Friday, September 15, 2017 - Saturday, September 16, 2017
  • Venue:Bank of NH Pavilion
  • Address:72 Meadowbrook Ln, Gilford, NH 03249
  • Artists:Pretty Lights, Ganja White Night, Opiuo, Twiddle, Exmag, Jade Cicada, Maddy O'Neal
  • Time:04:00 PM

PRETTY LIGHTS

A sold-out show playing to thousands of people is typically a reason to celebrate. But for Derek Vincent Smith – better known under his moniker as the innovative electronic-music producer Pretty Lights – it led to a creative crisis of conscience. As he headed offstage during one of the final shows of Pretty Lights’ 2010 fall tour, Smith found himself caught in a moment of introspection that would prove life changing. “I’d been spending a lot of time thinking about the state of the music scene I’m part of,” Smith explains. “Right then, I decided to step it up in all aspects. I needed to make an album that showed that it’s not all about making everything in the computer – a history lesson, but still utterly contemporary.” That initial concept would lead to not one but two new Pretty Lights albums – A Color Map of the Sun and its essential companion, Live Studio Sessions From A Color Map of the Sun – to be released on July 2, 2013. The creation of these two symbiotic works would ultimately find Pretty Lights rewriting the rules for making electronic music – and indeed embarking on one of the most ambitious, labor-intensive musical projects in recent memory.

On previous releases – from Pretty Lights’ 2006 debut album Taking Up Your Precious Time to its far-reaching 2008 double-disc follow-up Filling Up The City Skies and 2010’s extraordinary three-EP run (Making Up A Changing Mind, Spilling Over Every Side, and Glowing In The Darkest Night) – Smith established a distinctive aesthetic; his music has always shown an iconoclastic drive to blur and defy genres and ultimately avoid pigeonholing. From the earliest productions under the Pretty Lights name, Smith combined the gritty, crate-digging boom bap of hip-hop heroes like DJ Premier and RZA with the speaker-shredding digital thump of current bass music and club/rave culture – all infused with an expansive sensibility demonstrating Smith’s roots in live, instrumentally-based psychedelic rock. For A Color Map of the Sun – Pretty Lights’ first album to be offered for commercial sale, as opposed to just a free download – Smith wanted to stay true to the sound that’s made him one of today’s most beloved current electronic-music icons, while at the same time challenging himself to reach new stylistic and technical realms. A self-professed “sample collage” artist, he decided it was time to create his own samples. “Before, I’d combine 25 samples into one song; this time, I was going to create my own original sources, retaining the timbre and quality that spans the great musical periods of the last century – from modern classical and jazz, to ‘60s soul and beyond. I wanted to have as big a collection of vinyl to sample as I always did – but I was going to make all the music in it, exactly as it would’ve been in all those different eras.”

This idea sent Smith into an intensely laborious, obsessive process that would test and expand all of his abilities. Where so much of today’s music is created entirely “in the box” using digital plug-ins, Smith wanted to do exactly the opposite. If he wanted to use a sound or groove from a different era, Smith was going to recreate it using exact period instruments, recorded only via the gear that was available during that time in history. He also refused to use software keyboards after becoming obsessed with the buttery warmth of modular analog synthesizers, which are famously complex to play and program. “I ripped out the bunks in my bus, installed a module system, and taught myself modular synthesis,” Smith says.

Smith ventured out of his Denver, Colorado base to begin working in February 2011 at Brooklyn’s Studio G, where recording engineer Joel Hamilton had amassed an unparalleled collection of vintage equipment. “When I got to the studio, I saw they had a 24 track, 2” tape machine ready to go, and I was like ‘No, no, no, we are recording to stereo tape because that’s how it was done pre-1970,’” Smith notes. With himself often on bass and keys, Smith found himself directing a stellar team of anywhere from 5 to 15 musicians, including drummer Adam Deitch and Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno alongside string players, horn sections, keys players and everything in between. Vocalists, meanwhile, spanned soulful singers Smith discovered in his travels to elite MCs like Eligh, The Grouch, and Talib Kweli (who raps over the infectious syncopated funk of the album’s first single “Around The Block”). Throughout the entire process, he’d intentionally challenge both his players and himself. “I learned to be an on-the-fly conductor/composer,” he says. “These were virtuosos used to working off charts, and we didn’t have charts of any kind.”

Two extended sessions at Studio G – along with another two sessions at New Orleans’ legendary Piety Street Recording – left Smith with over 20 hours of free-flowing, spontaneous compositions. He took the analog tape reels to an old-school album cutter in Brooklyn, who pressed every recorded minute onto over 50 full-length vinyl LPs. As he notes in the album’s credits, Smith then took those sources and “sampled, reconstructed, flipped, and chopped” them into A Color Map of the Sun’s 13 songs. The final results definitely prove the most richly dimensional music of Pretty Lights’ entire discography. “Press Pause” places a mournful guitar that evokes an old R&B 7” b-side against atmospheric breakbeats and passionate soulful vocals. “Done Wrong” extends a lush, haunting ambient intro into a bottom-heavy groove that can’t be classified into any obvious genre. “Prophet,” meanwhile, rocks a classic old-school techno vibe that’s almost a sequel to Pretty Lights’ signature track “Look Both Ways” off Spilling Over Every Side; while clearly aimed at the dancefloor, its creation was decidedly abstract. “The sound design on ‘Prophet’ is really unique,” Smith says. “I created the melodies and chords by manipulating scores from a music box. And what sounds like a synth is actually me brushing miniature reeds from a Thai accordion – when you amplify it, it’s the most beautiful sound.” He also boiled down the best original performances into the Live Studio Sessions… companion volume. “I edited my favorite individual takes down from 10 to 30 minutes into three and a half to four minute tracks,” Smith says. “Taken together, they create an album of all-original breaks. I wanted to respect the spirit of the live performances, so giving them their own album seemed like the best way to do it.”

The visionary aspiration Smith displays on his new album also extends to Pretty Lights’ kinetic concert experience, which has seen him rock stages from Bonnaroo to Coachella and co-headline shows with the likes of Skrillex and Bassnectar: in the process, Pretty Lights has become one of the most successful touring acts today. That’s thanks to a live show that represents the imaginative apex of state-of-the-art lighting, production design, and video technology, combined with the most vivid audio fidelity possible and Smith’s dynamically charismatic onstage persona. As such, expect Pretty Lights’ next live iteration to be in line with the same zeal Smith displayed in using all resources to make A Color Map of the Sun as unique and transcendent as possible (a documentary capturing the album’s distinctive creation is also in the works). “What I do next with Pretty Lights’ show will definitely reflect my evolving thoughts on being a producer-as-performer,” he says.

It’s all part of Smith’s ongoing artistic approach that’s embodied in the symbolism behind A Color Map of the Sun’s title. To name the inventive work he’d created, Smith sampled an actual inventor, paraphrasing the title of an essay by Isaac Newton from the 1670s describing his experiments that revealed that all color exists within white light. “All my album titles have seven syllables, and together, they build a type of poem,” Smith says of his inspiration. “But this title starts a new poem. What Newton evoked I found especially poetic and beautiful. 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.”

GANJA WHITE NIGHT

After composing different electronic styles like Hip Hop, Breaks and Drum&Bass, the two group members have been extremely influenced by a musical style in a fully emergence at the time : dubstep, music centre on ‘Bass Wobbling’ while trying to stay away as much as possible from clichés that this style may impose.

For their live performance the group decided to plan live arrangements allowing them to be creative and efficient combining machines, laptops, midi master keybords, all kinds of regulators, samplers, sequencers, processing effects and recently IPads.

Yet the ground is bound to develop their skills as DJ’s in order to diversify and be more flexible. Thanks to this the group is now more approachable for all types of scenes throughout the world.

All two members are self-taught, and they’ve studied electro-acoustic with Annette Vande Gorne at Le Conservatoire Royal of Mons (Belgium). Learning about Musique Concrète and sound design completely shaped Ganja White Night’s music in a totally unique way.

Their first album; which digitally came out in february of 2010 is a compilation of all the LP’s they had previously released, along with a couple exclusive new songs. They’ve self released everything they’ve ever recorder, label that goes under the name of Subcarbon Records. LeBelgeElectrod was in the band until he left in january 2012. The album is featured in many online stores around the world such as iTunes (US, EUR, CAN, AU, UK, JAP), Amazon, Juno Download, Napster or Rhapsody; with the US being the country where it’s been the most successful. The songs Peace By Fear and Blueberry are the best selling tracks.

The band is also member of one of the biggest Belgian artist agency called ‘ThemApples’, along side Aphrodite, Eptic, Dubba Jonny, Inspector Dubplate, Quest One Mc, Jenna G, Point Blank, Syndaesia, Total Science and many more.

OPIUO

Ever wanted some extra funk in your life? What about some warm syrupy bass sauce to compliment your daily adventure? Well now you can have all that and more within the perfectly crafted sonic soundscape that is Opiuo. A Kiwi who now calls Australia home, Opiuo is a chief sufferer of intense musical addiction, spending every spare second creating audible treats and selling out venues throughout the entire world.

He’s performed alongside the likes of MC Hammer and Bassnectar, reached #1 chart positions on Beatport, Addictech, and iTunes. In turn, inspiring and captivating people all over with his highly original and uncontrollably addictive take on fun fuelled electronic music.

His remix credits span world renown artistic icons like Infected Mushroom, KOAN Sound and Warner Brother’s artist, Kimbra. Music from the Opiuo Lab can be found on television, in documentaries, on radio (BBC Radio One + JJJ) and specifically selected for compilations by artists such as legendary broken beat pioneer BT (Black Hole Recordings).

Live, Opiuo is an ever evolving feast for the ears. From a one man show equipped with drum machines and synths, all the way to The Opiuo Band, amassing a collection of the world’s best musician’s to perform his music 100% live. The last Live National Australian tour showcased his ability to translate these electronic manipulations into a live form, showing the true musicality of Opiuo and his creative endeavors.

TWIDDLE

Twiddle, a Vermont based quartet, spins tall tales over an intricate soundscape of hi-def shred. Their fresh multi-genre approach conjures up jazz, classical, and bluegrass, but above all, masterfully blends reggae and funk. Obliterating laws of improvisation, their complex arrangements never fail to leave crowds lusting for more. With sage songwriting and unmatched variety, Twiddle’s thrilling infancy continues to exceed all expectation. After whimsically jamming in the fall of 2004, the founding members of Twiddle immediately recognized chemistry and a common seriousness. By the second semester at Castleton State, Mihali Savoulidis and Ryan Dempsey were already intertwining harmony and fantasy, birthing Twiddle staples like ‘Frankenfoote’ and ‘Gatsby the Great’. Brook Jordan, and Billy Comstock, Twiddle’s original bassist, complemented these melodies with a densely layered, and exciting funk rhythm This young foursome had taken Castleton by storm, toured the northeast, and composed an impressive catalog of original tunes before becoming upper-classmen.

2007 manifested Twiddle’s debut release, ‘The Natural Evolution of Consciousness’. This breakout album immediately showcased the band’s eclectic inspirations, imaginative lyrical abilities, and superb instrumentation. Twiddle’s sophomore production, 2011’s ‘Somewhere on the Mountain,’ is a reflection of more introspective moods, offering message oriented, uplifting songs. Anchored by the group’s new bass virtuoso Zdenek Gubb, this album delves into the human spirit, speaking to our ambition, grief, and love.Currently Twiddle is climbing the rows on festival billings, inspiring each other, and often dismantling preconceived notions of the jam band culture. Their live experience genuinely segues from bluegrass to electronica, melts jazz-fusion into rockabilly, and enhances reggae with funk. New fans should expect an immensely fun, and highly dynamic show. Tenured fans know to expect the unexpected. Put simply, Twiddle’s hi-def shred is going to melt faces.

EXMAG

In an effort to save the universe from imminent doom, five Brooklyn-based producers were summoned by seven mysterious babes from outer space.

Sent by powers unknown, the babes projected visions in the minds of the producers.

They must now join forces to interpret these visions through sound as Exmag.

JADE CICADA

Jade is a material thought by the ancient Chinese to be crystallized moonlight that has fallen to earth to spread wisdom and peace. Cicadas symbolize rebirth, metamorphosis, and illumination, and with their dying breath sing with such power that their chorus of song is among the loudest in nature. Jade Cicada’s music is a reflection of these ideas, and a constant homage to those who have inspired him.