Pretty Lights transforms the electronic music genre

By Tim Klepp

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Photo courtesy of beyondrace.com.

Photo courtesy of beyondrace.com.

Recently, a monsoon of electronic music has taken the industry by storm, and Pretty Lights is riding the wave.  Colorado-based producer Derek Smith and drummer Cory Eberhard are redefining and revolutionizing the electronic music genre.

The intense synthesis of fresh sounds and broken beats makes their style something truly special.  And here’s the best part: their music can be downloaded online for free.  Legally.

Pretty Lights released their debut album three years ago, and since then, their popularity has soared.  The duo’s performance last summer at Bonnaroo and Camp Bisco received glowing reviews, while their tour with STS9 sold out every show.  Their success isn’t going to end any time soon.  In the past nine months, fans downloaded the 17 tracks featured on the album “Filling Up the City Skies” 6.15 million times.

In a stagnant record industry, Pretty Lights’ free releases could set the mark for groups to come, as they’ll create revenue through such means as ticket sales and merchandise.  The band also utilizes social networks like Facebook to reach fans.

Their latest release, “Passing by Behind Your Eyes,” develops their gritty sound with an array of samples.  The duo’s genius lies in their ability to blend seemingly disparate samples.  In “Who Loves Me,” they place Busta Rhymes’ “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” alongside thumping industrial synthesizer.  The distinct sound strays away from both haphazard “mashup” artists such as Girltalk and overly-intense jam band music, but draws strong influences from both.  The result is a light yet powerful product that remains fresh play after play.

Pretty Lights kicked off a tour across the nation in Nashville Aug. 28 to showcase their new album.  Their growing fan base should look forward to headlining sets at Symbiosis Gathering and the Trinumeral Festival.  I highly recommend that any fan of electronic music check out Pretty Lights.  If you don’t like them, I will refund you 100 percent.

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