Albums, Review | Pretty Lights – A Color Map of the Sun

Posted by on July 3, 2013



There’s no beating around the block here that Pretty Lights’ latest album, A Color Map of the Sun falls nothing short of a masterpiece. This album is less about unveiling new music than it is showcasing years of hard work and artistic innovation atop the highest, most deserving pedestal. I am firm believer in the theory that if you apply yourself beyond all measures, then you will be rewarded in double the amount. Derek Vincent Smith has turned a vision he had in 2011 into a reality and even without the prior fame or promotions, or limited designed t-shirts and vinyl records, the craft that went into this album can stand alone and is almost as astounding as the actual songs produced. I could sit here and rave about it for a while, although many already have (and in a much more poetic manner), so I’m going to jump straight to the music.




Remember the first time you heard Pretty Lights? Remember how blown away you were, and then how intrigued you were, and then how you fell in love with every single one of his songs right after that? Well this album is like that. Every time you play it. Seriously. ACMOTS is the epitome of everything you ever loved about Pretty Lights and more. There’s the dark, twisted songs that strike a deep, artistic and angst-y chord deep down (“So Bright”), the happy songs that sound the way watching moving clouds feels (“Yellow Bird”), and then the bangers that knock you on your ass when you hear them live (“Let’s Get Busy” and “Prophet”).

Most importantly, there’s the standout track that brings music lovers of all types together with an inspirational line we can all sing along to, with enough instrumental breaks to give us a chance to dance along and appreciate the track before the next chorus arises: step down, “Finally Moving,” and allow me to introduce to you, “Around the Block (feat. Talib Kweli).”

Lastly, there’s what separates good artists from great ones and that’s experimentation. Songs like “Vibe Vendetta” and “One Day They’ll Know” offer curious electronic sounds and stylistic choices that aren’t textbook Pretty Lights tracks and are successful for that reason. Look, Pretty Lights made a niche in the music world and with tracks like these, he proves this niche has no boundaries and infinite possibilities.




I don’t want to take away from Smith’s spotlight about he produced, recorded, and then remixed every track on the album (creating some sort of mind bending Pretty Lights inception-collage), but I think this gives way to a much greater issue at hand: the direction of EDM. Electronic music was headed to a questionable place to which we were all wondering: will we ever be able to bring it back? There has since been a pivot, seen most notably with the return of Daft Punk, that is slowly weeding out the producers, subgenres, and other manipulative players in the game that wanted the right things for all the wrong reasons. Smith’s creative process is commendable, artistically speaking, but also for the reason of being a role model and demonstrating to the infinitely ranging (in size and age) audience of EDM that success is built upon passion, perseverance, and inner confidence. Music, namely electronic, is no longer a trend, a song you rip from YouTube because your friend told you it was cool. It is returning to its roots a respectable art, and the most delectable art at that.

I encourage you to download (but really, if you can, purchase) and appreciate ACMOTS for the thousands of reasons that it’s worth.

At times I feel, like a literal color map of the sun, Pretty Lights has the power to see things in life that us mere mortals cannot. Listen, you’ll see what I mean.

Download A Color Map of the Sun

Click here to see tour dates to experience Pretty Lights for yourself


Progressive House | DallasK – Alienz

Posted by on April 30, 2013

DallasK - Alienz

Former DEFEP member and Kindergarten Records signee, DallasK gives us another release on the record label after the giving out a freebee in the Kindergarten Records Yearbook Volume One and releasing his single “Vice“. Much like “Vice” he combines euphoric, big room elements with a gritty low end that gives the track an edge and drives it home in a way that you don’t see from many other big room tracks. The prevalent spacey, panning arp brings in the title of the track. “Alienz” finds a way to cut like an exacto knife into the niche area of dance music that is both emotional and a bit brusque at the same time. Maybe that is what aliens are like, who am I to know. Maybe DallasK knows…..

Beatport | Amazon | iTunes

Electro-House | Walden – Machine Land EP

Posted by on April 29, 2013

Walden - Machine Land EP

Aussie youngster, Walden has become a hot pick lately as an up and comer with several releases thus far this year on New York based Big Beat Records and already touring stateside, playing the esteemed Ultra Music Festival. This time he returns with three new originals (one is an 2013 update) to cultivate a three track EP, exploring new sounds and styles for the burgeoning talent from down under.

The EP starts with the title track “Machine Land”, which starts immediately with an onslaught of echoing, electro beats that pound at you until the very last second of the track. It is downloadable for free for the next 48 hours below. The next two tracks continue the trend of hard hitting electro with the new original “Only Invader” that starts with an ominous build and then cascades into a fast paced, pitched synth laden drop with a growling low end and then finishes with an update of his previously free single “Mono World”, tweaking the grungy track to fit the EP. Walden has been slowly creating his niche with euphoric, big room house tracks and with this EP, he flips the script completely and shows his capacity to create hard hitting electro tracks, much like others on his label. It is an interesting direction to see him and go and it will be worth watching in the future.

Free Download: Walden – Machine Land

Beatport: Walden – Machine Land EP


RnB, Videos | Ciara – Body Party (Rendition) by SoMo

Posted by on April 1, 2013

Every Sunday, I have a new favorite SoMo song. I’m only as good as my recent listen when it comes to the Texas native. I fall in love with whatever he touches. He has an incredible way of making smooth, soulful covers that are drenched in emotion. I’m not going to pretend like I’m a huge Ciara fan, but I am a huge SoMo fan, so I enjoy listening to this one more than the original. SoMo has found his niche, and he will continue to kill it because there is an endless amount of music for him to cover. I just can’t wait to hear some of his original stuff..

Progressive House | Style of Eye & Tom Staar – After Dark (Club Mix)

Posted by on February 25, 2013

Tom Staar made a name for himself in 2012 with unique remixes, notably with fellow British producer Kryder and a growing number of singles and collabs under his belt, while Swedish producer Style Of Eye has made a niche for himself moving from various styles and genres in his wide variety of singles and remixes over the years. “After Dark” combines an outstanding melody, just the right amount of male vocals and well timed electro growls with an interlude of staggered, rolling key play and a hard, driving bass line that gives this track the versatility and uniqueness to fit into a variety of sets and stick with you for more then 2 days.

Beatport: Style of Eye & Tom Staar – After Dark (Club Mix)

Dubstep, Trance | Cherry Cherry Boom Boom – Come Back From San Francisco (Rameses B Instrumental Remix)

Posted by on July 12, 2012

Rameses B occupies a special niche of sound, and consistently stays providing that which my ears love. Reminiscent of late trance submersed in modern dubstep, this track exemplifies a tropical space.

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Electro | Usher – Climax (Diplo & Flosstradamus Remix)

Posted by on May 9, 2012

A few weeks ago, Diplo and Flosstradamus dropped their trap musik-infused remix of Usher and Diplo’s slow jam “Climax.” Today, Diplo announced on Facebook that he would offer it for free DL if he could get 2,000 likes. Ah, the power of social media — it took no more than 10 minutes for his fans to mobilize. Diplo, of course, is a man of his word; you can now download the remix here, and he has promised to keep the link live until, and I quote, “Sony shuts it down.” Atta boy. The remix enhances the smooth vibe of the original with some chill, funky synths that complement Usher’s buttery vocals nicely. Diplo’s an international man of mystery and a proven tastemaker, so his forays into bounce, Baltimore club music and trap are definitely indicative that bigger things lie ahead for these regional niche genres. Get acquainted now.