Derek Vincent Smith continues to raise the bar in the electronic music world. So much more than just another DJ, Smith, better known as Pretty Lights, is a musician, producer, composer, arranger and all around one man storm, always looking for new ways to take his music to the next level. He went over and above with his 2013 release A Color Map Of The Sun.
In the past, Smith has used borrowed samples to create his music, a mixture of hip-hop inspired beats, electronic, funk and soul. But this time he wanted to go in a new direction. So he assembled groups of musicians in various cities including Brooklyn and New Orleans to record all original music he had composed. He then took these recording sessions, pressed them to vinyl and used them to then sample his original compositions to create the songs on A Color Map Of The Sun.
Although still falling under the electronic umbrella given the beats and Smith's trademark whirring keyboards, the live band recordings used put this album squarely in the instrumental funk and soul category. Surrender your expectations to what electronic music is capable of, this is old school funk through and through. From the jazz influenced opener "Color Of My Soul" to the gorgeous dreamscape "Yellow Bird", A Color Map Of The Sun is Pretty Lights taking his music to new heights.
Favorite tracks: "Yellow Bird", "Color Of My Soul", "So Bright", "Prophet"
A Color Map Of The Sun was released July 2, 2013 via 8 Minutes 20 Seconds Records.