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Pretty Lights | The Making of A Color Map of the Sun

time June 17th by John-Michael authorTags: , ,

Pretty Lights has not released a full album for two years now. The renown sampled based artist has been hard at work on this new upcoming album, A Color Map of the Sun. Derek Vincent Smith released his documentary that explains how the album was put together. I just finished watching it and completely blown away by the extensive process that went into this album. I would say going forward it would be wrong to call Pretty Lights a sample based producer. Pretty Lights has transformed into a music composer with this album. Contrary to his original process of sampling vinyl records he gathered an orchestra of musicians to record what he had in his head and then pressed it all to vinyl. The complete album was recorded and done in analogue. The synthesis elements of the album were all done with modulators and analogue sounds, NOT digital. The recordings were done on tape and then pressed to vinyl. The end result was a custom crate of vinyl that was created for Derek to use while arranging and piecing together all the recordings into what is the final album.

This past week-end I spent it in Colorado for Sonic Bloom. I had the opportunity to talk to many predominate musicians and producers while at the festival. One of the main questions I asked many of them was where music is going next… Every musician I spoke to mentioned the hybridization of live instruments mixed with the electronic sound. The main artist that was mentioned in every conversation was Pretty Lights and what he was doing with this new album, A Color Map of the Sun.

I believe that if anyone ever doubted Pretty Lights and his future should really think about saying those words… Derek has created a master piece and we haven’t even heard the completed work yet. This album will set the bar for the future. Everyone speaks of this new era of revitalizing the old sounds of soul, jazz, funk, etc… with electronic production. Pretty Lights has done just that and has recorded everything from scratch to the vocals, instruments, and synthesis. We are now in 2013 and Pretty Lights A Color Map of the Sun will become a staple of electronic music for our generation.

Be sure to Pre-order A Color Map of the Sun.
One of the things I’m most excited about this album is the fact that he will be releasing all the live recordings.

Now take a look inside the making of the album below…

Category: Music, Reviews, Videos, Vinyl | commie 1 Comment »

Michal Menert | Slivers of Light | Elements EP

time November 28th by John-Michael authorTags: , , ,

Michal Menert just put a brand new track called Silvers of Light. The track is the first of four tracks that will make up a new EP called Elements. Elements will focus around the four elements: Fire, Earth, Water, and Wind. Silvers of Light is the Fire track and was written during the summer fires in Colorado, his home state. The goal is to release the EP with the four tracks and possibly additional tracks on a 10″ Vinyl release.

I’m a huge supporter of Michal Menert and believe he’s one of the few pioneers of our time when it comes to chill out and sample based music. The way he combines and mixes classic music is unparalleled. We all know who Pretty Lights is but it’s sad to hear how few don’t know who Michal Menert is especially since the first Pretty Lights album “Taking Up Your Precious Time” was co-produced with Menert. I’ve had the luxury of spending some time with Michal this summer and the man is a true artist. Despite what you may think of sample based artist this guy has a work ethic and attitude that is quite rare. It’s not about making the biggest dance hit, it’s about creating something beautiful and long lasting.

The conversation came up online on if it’s too soon to start thinking best releases of 2012 and one of the first albums I mentioned was, Even If It’s Not Right, Michal’s most recent release. I recommend checking out his two full length LP as they are the perfect soundtrack to any mood in my opinion. There aren’t enough words for me to praise Michal on the direction he takes when it comes to music. He is one of those unique producers like Emancipator that doesn’t really focus on creating dance floor hits but creating emotions and stories with their music. It’s also always a treat seeing him play as he plays live with his MPC and APC40. There’s not easy play button in his live setup. Be sure to check him out if you have a chance as he’s on a tour with PLM label mates, Break Science.

Check out the track below:

DOWNLOAD @ Michal Menert – Elements EP

Category: Downloads, Downtempo, Music, Trip-Hop, Videos | commie No Comments »

Stephan Jacobs | Self Titled Album

time October 16th by John-Michael authorTags: , , , , , ,

Stephan Jacobs is one of those artist that I’ve been following for quite some time now. I’ve had the pleasure of spending a decent amount of time around the guy now. With all that said I can say that this is one of my favorite releases by him.

He recently just finished up IDfest tour which was a major accomplishment as he joined the likes of Nosia, Doctor P, Nero, Excision, etc… He also joined Pretty Lights on his tour for a few dates. All the hard work he has put in seems to be paying off playing large festivals and hanging with the big boys.

The summer is over and he’s ready to release all the tracks he has been holding on too. I’ll be honest I was a bit concerned about this release not aligning with my current taste due to the exposure and evolution of electronic music getting much large in scale with hardstyle, house, aggro bass, etc… Stephan even told me while playing IDfest on my birthday that in a way you have to make that sort of music to see the large numbers and fan base. It really disappointed me and concerned me but when I got a copy of this album a few weeks ago, it took me by surprise.

This album resembles and sounds a lot like the early Stephan Jacobs I’ve always known. Despite all the hype around heavy aggro hardstyle this album is quite melodic and groovy. You can really get that west coast bass vibe from it.

What’s next for Stephan? Well he’s about to join ill Gates on his massive Church of Bass tour. I don’t want to give too much away but I will have a bit more details about it in a future post for Dylan. I will say that tour is going to be incredible! Stephan also has a Grassroots California hat due out that you should all look into especially if you’ve never checked out GRC before.

Overall I’m really happy to push this release as there’s always that initial concern of am I going to like the new material or not but this album totally is a diverse collection of the quality solo production that we’ve come to love about Stephan Jacobs.

Category: Downloads, Dubstep, Glitch Hop, Music | commie No Comments »

Michal Menert | Even If It Isn’t Right

time April 24th by John-Michael authorTags: , , , , , , , ,

Michal Menert just released his new full length release, Even If It Isn’t Right, today on Pretty Lights Music for FREE. If you’re a fan of Michal Menert or the sound that Pretty Lights represents I highly recommend grabbing this right NOW!

I had the pleasure of meeting Michal over WMC this year and got to kick it with him and take a glimpse into what the future holds on his side of things. This album defies a lot of the norm for most releases and tells his story in this long composition. Spending a few days with him and his manager I knew that I had to help them out. It’s not very often you come across such a talented artist with the ideals and vision that Michal has.

He’s your regular guy who likes to play video games, chill, make music, and eat tons of sushi. His story is quite a unique one and he’s the only person who could say that early Pretty Lights music was composed of Derek and Michal. It’s something that I believe isn’t noted enough.

I had the pleasure of being in Denver for Menert’s debut of his new fancy projection mapped stage. The moment I walked into Cervantes I was totally blown away. The team that put together is the same team that has put together Pretty Lights past stages but this one has been taken to a whole new level. The dedication and effort put behind Michal Menert is second to none. It’s a honor to have been brought in to take part of it. There’s much ahead and can’t even describe to you how incredible the experience was that night except by showing you a video of how wild it all came out below. The video was done by the Swaager team/website and is only a small glimpse into this magical stage represented by mountain like structures with a sun/moon center where Michal performs in front of.  The lasers, video clips, and seamless combination of music and visuals are some of the best I’ve ever seen in my life.

Dear promoters of all locations. This show and stage will be touring in the Fall. I HIGHLY recommend picking this up. It’s one of the most amazing stages I’ve seen. The production levels is on par if not higher than Pretty Lights and other projection mapping stages out there. Cervantes was completely slammed and no one had any idea that the stage was being showcased for the most part.

Now go grab the album for FREE and download Dreaming of a Bigger Life if you haven’t already!
Michal Menert – Pretty Lights Profile

Also the new website has had a soft launch and ready to check out if you haven’t seen it. Check it out and watch it grow as I work my magic on it.

Michal Menert Official Website

Category: Art, Downloads, Dubstep, Glitch Hop, Music, Reviews, Videos | commie 1 Comment »

Grassroots California Hats

time May 20th by John-Michael authorTags: , , , , , ,

Grassroots California is a small indie company that sells custom hats. They have been gaining popularity in the underground bass community as they have a strong presence at music festivals. If you’re into festivals such as Wakarusa, Nocturnal, Emissions, SXSW, WMC, etc… you’ve probably seen quite a few of these hats.

I’m a huge supporter of the company as they help bring light to many artist and sports teams. They are well known for spoof hats for many popular teams. They have a special music line that features big names like Pretty Lights, Lotus, Big Gigantic, Fresh2Death, and many more. I personally sport the Miami Dubphins hat. I’ll be adding quite a few to my collection in the near future and have even been in talks with them for special Afro Monk hat for 2012.

Be sure to check out their website that features not only hats but accessories, t-shirts, pins, and more. Also if you’re out at any of the music festivals you’ll probably see a vending booth. Be sure to know your hat size before you head over there. I promise you that you’ll be wanting to buy at least a few and chances are they might be limited to a certain size since they’ve been gaining such popularity.

Also be on the look out for the possibility of a Grassroots record label…
Much respect and love goes out to the Grassroots California crew!

BUY: Grassroots California

Category: Art, Fashion, News | commie No Comments »

Fractal Sky / Artist Spotlight

time January 5th by Dj EA authorTags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The other day, I came across some tracks by Fractal Sky and was really impressed.  I couldn’t stop listening to his latest track “Not Quite December” which sort of has a “Pretty Lights” feel to it.  It’s def a nice tune to throw the headphones on for and chill but still wanna move.  He uses hip hop samples nicely in his tracks too.  I reached out to him to find out a little more about him so I could share it with you……

Fractal Sky is the latest project of producer/dj Aaron Spence out of Arkansas. In 2003, Aaron began experimenting with early 2000 breakbeat/trance production. He slowly started to grasp the raw low ends of analog synthesizers and super tight breaks and cuts. By 2006 He released his first track under the name “dj FL!P.”  By 2009 his sounds evolved into the slower(bpm), super groovey, tight, emotional, and uplifting sound that he calls “Fractal Sky”.

Beginning in 2010 Fractal Sky moved his production to the LIVE stage. His goal is to create an art that touches people’s hearts and souls. He tries to blend many genres w/ a hiphop base, which he says is reflective of his life, so.. it’s all from the heart! He plans to release another CD this year, but isn’t sure when just yet. He’s currently working on plenty of fresh original beats and is booking some shows in his hometown Ft. Smith, Arkansas and is planning big shows and festivals and will have them booked as confirmations roll through. A current bigger show in the works is Feb 4th, 2011 @ Georges Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville arkansas w/ Vibesquad and Eliot Lipp.

He plans to compete in this year’s “Wakarusa Winter DJ Classic” where djs turn in mixes and production to be voted on in hopes of gaining a spot @ Wakarusa 2011. A huge goal for him in 2011 is to open up his live production more and book shows out of the midwest.  Some of his musical influences include the many things going on in his life, friends, family, technology, festivals, art, and nature.

Make sure to follow him on facebook to stay in the loop about upcoming shows and releases: Fractal Sky

For booking, email:

Here’s a few of his hot tracks i pulled from  Grab the free downloads!

Fractal Sky – Not Quite December

Fractal Sky – Trash Talk

Fractal Sky – Laser99


Category: Artist Spotlight, Downloads, Glitch Hop, Music | commie 1 Comment »

The Glitch Mob – August 30th 2010 – Miami Fort Lauderdale

time June 29th by John-Michael authorTags: , , , , , , , , ,


The Glitch Mob are coming back to Miami! You have no idea how excited I am to announce that The Glitch Mob is coming back for a solo show!!!

I’ve spent months trying to bring the Glitch Hop sound to Miami and show people something different. The Mob is one of my main influences and loves. I got to see them live not long ago at Lightning in a Bottle. They clearly have a new sound. I wouldn’t say it’s a good or bad things but I do believe it will appeal to a broader audience.

Def Owl is behind this glorious event. It’s great to know that there are people out there who know about The Glitch Mob and invested in booking such a big act. It’s extremely risky to bring these guys in this hood. I hate to say it but people here need to go witness more live music.  Boreta, edIT, and Ooah are truly talented musicians who pour their soul into the music and rock out hard. They’ve recently incorporated drums, keyboards, and guitars into their shows along with their Lemurs.

I promise you Miami/Fort Lauderdale you haven’t seen anything like this. Def Owl were behind bringing Pretty Lights and I was blown away by how well it was received. They’ve taken it to another level in my eyes with booking The Mob. They are doing amazing things for South Florida with their bookings. Pretty Lights, Orchard Lounge, Black Violin, and now THE GLITCH MOB!

Keep up to date with all the Def Owl events =)

I’ll be raging in the front so come out August 30th to Revolution!
Buy Tickets / Facebook Event Page

Doors open 8:30pm
18+ Tickets: $14.00

Category: Events, Glitch Hop, News | commie No Comments »

Pretty Lights – Making Up A Changing Mind EP

time March 12th by John-Michael authorTags: , , , , ,

Instead of Fire Friday Mix… Here is a Fire Friday EP!
Hott damn why did I sleep so much on this EP and not post it. The man himself, Derek Smith, has put out a new release that is absolutely stunning. Pretty Lights is truly something special if you haven’t heard them.

It’s a perfect fuse of hip-hop, glitch, dubstep, and funk! Not to mention this guy is a preformer using a Monome & MPD! Lets not forget Cory who plays drums live during some preformances.

Probably one of the best things about Pretty Lights is that he releases all his music for FREE!!! How amazing is that. You can tell he does it for the love and makes up for it while getting HUGE bookings.

This new EP is the first of a trilogy he plans to release. He has obviously put some serious thought into this. Making Up A Changing Mind is well thought out EP from each beat to every little sample.

I applaud everything this dou does. Fortunately had the oppertunity to see them a few months back. Hopefully if things go well I’ll get to catch his set at Ultra.

You can get all of their releases on their website.

Category: Downloads, Fire Friday Mixes, Glitch Hop, Music, News | commie No Comments »

Ultra Music Festival Line up 2010 Miami,FL

time January 5th by John-Michael authorTags: , , , , , , ,

Ultra Music Festival Line up Phase 1 is out! There are some quality acts that even make me curious about it.

I’m not a fan of Ultra to be honest. Right now tickets are $140 and thats without service charges I imagine. The reason why it doesn’t go down well with me is because most of the talent I enjoy you can catch a smaller more personal parties throughout the week. Not to mention as a Miami native I’ve done Ultra 3x already back in the day when FL Breaks and Electro was alive. Now the festival has acts like Will.I.Am and even some bands I’m sure will be added. It was never like this. Quite surprised to see guys like Skream and Rusko on the line up. Considering last year I saw Rusko for free with FREE redstripes and bacardi at WMC. Also saw Skream about 3x last year and dont think I paid once except for ViRam event.

What I’m very happy to see is Glitch Mob in town for once! Thats big! Not to mention Pretty Lights coming back. I’m praying someone books Glitch Mob for a smaller party.


Day 1
Swedish House Mafia
Eric Prydz
The Crystal Method
The Disco Biscuits
Carl Cox
Dirty South
Rabbit in the Moon
Infected Mushroom
Plump DJs
Adam Freeland
Felix Da Housecat
Pretty Lights
Green Velvet
Alex Metric
Bassbin Twins vs. Uberzone
Evil Nine

Day 2
Groove Armada
Carl Cox
Faithless Sound System
Armin Van Buuren
Above & Beyond
Ghostland Observatory
Bloody Beetroots
Major Lazer
Steve Aoki
The Glitch Mob
LTJ Bukem

Eddie Halliwell

Category: Events, Music, News, Videos | commie No Comments »

Glitchmas Party!

time December 16th by John-Michael authorTags: , , , , , , ,

Glitchmas Party

I was asked awhile back by my amazing new friend, Adam aka Munkz, if I wanted to DJ a house party. It would have to be a glitch hop funk oriented set similar to Pretty Lights show we had recently been to. I Agreed.

Women are silly creatures and turns out party was a no go at their place. I let Adam know that I have no problem moving the event to my house. I’ve been working on this parties set for awhile and had tons of friends asking if they could attend this event. He said forsure and December 18th is my first small glitch event. I’ve been hard at work and in a matter of less than a month I’ve picked up Ableton and APC40. It’s going to be the start of something BIG!

The party is a few days away now and feel fairly comfortable and ready for this. Instead of recording a live mix for December I plan on recording my set at this party and releasing it as my December mix.

Get ready Miami I’m going to try my best to bring this glitch sound to the mainstream as much as I can. Makes me sad when I see the events that go on the other side of the States. Miami, I believe in you and hope you embrace this.

Expect a more IDM Glitch mix for January. December has been more oriented to the glitch-hop and going to start 2010 with more of a mellow IDM feel of glitch.

After I record this mix on Friday hopefully it’ll be the last piece of my resume for Glitch.FM. This might get me the radioshow I’ve always wanted and goal for 2009 reached.

Big things popping in 2010!

Category: Events, Glitch Hop, Miami Dubstep, News | commie No Comments »