It’s been almost three years since Denver hip-hop producer and EDM-festival star Derek Vincent Smith issued a new record, instead concentrating on his ultra-opulent live show.
His first album of entirely original arrangements, ‘A Color Map Of The Sun’ is indisputably Pretty Lights’ most ambitious work to date.
This time around, Smith has flipped his previous production process on its head and spent a year learning the craft of analogue recording in order to make his own samples.
Rather than research through timeless classics and old-school funk tracks, Smith has assembeled a team of talented musicians from the likes of Colorado and New Orleans to create inspiring original material.
The output is nothing short of astounding, fusing the old-school sound in with the heavy glitch sound he is most notable for.
On completion, Smith went and extended A Color Map Of The Sun into a double LP, gifting listeners the reels of analogue material as a disc two, a postscript to the album.
Both ‘sides’ are nothing short of beautiful. Record one is a lavish work that spits hip-hop and soul, one that draws you back with the heavy alluring bass lines and electro-charged breaks. Record two is a selection of devastatingly cool instrumentals. Each side is amazing and it’s quite hard to decide which incarnation you will end up liking most.
Pretty Lights puts his albums up for free download, but this time around he has sent out an for listeners to engage with a physical format – not out of a desire for a pay cheque, but more because this is an album that’s worth celebrating that way.
True to form, A Color Map Of The Sun is a worthy investment. One listen will have you peeling the notes off sharpish to get that shit on double wax, just like you should.
Smith is on fire, not only with his mind-blowing shows, but with this latest production; it’s easy to see how this release has been nominated for a Grammy.