As he hits the five-year mark under the name Pretty Lights, Derek Smith is making a few changes.
The new single “I Know the Truth” marks a new working order for the electronic music artist and producer from Colorado. Rather than building the song by collaging samples of other musicians’ material, this is “the first record where I’ve embraced my new ethos where I’m creating all the samples myself and them putting them together. ... I’m keeping it very old school and creating new school sounds with old school equipment — analog modular synthesizers and stuff like that. It sounds analog and old school and cutting edge and futuristic at the same time.”
It’s “the first of many, many songs” in that vein Smith, 29, is working on, and he expects to release a full-length Pretty Lights album using that process during the first half of 2012. He’s recording while on tour, in fact, using a mobile studio on his bus, but he’s also busy honing the concerts and perfecting some innovative mechanisms that allow him to communicate with his lighting director during the show, triggering specific visuals and effects while not losing the ability to improvise on stage.
“I wanted something more impressive, something more cutting edge, something more involved as far as how I, as a composer and producer, can interface and improvise the music that I wrote and also take the production of the show and really push how cohesive it is,” Smith explains.
“This show musically is much more interesting. A lot of people, when they go to these big shows and huge productions, they have to do the same thing every night. But my show, I’m able to change it up not only song by song but on a night-by-night basis. So if someone wants to go to five shows in a row, they’re going to see a different show every night, which is pretty cool.”
Pretty Lights, Nit Grit and DJ Matt Clarke perform Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35-$89.75. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.
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