|Sky High||A Place Behind The Moon|| |
|Lucid Dreams||A Place Behind The Moon|| |
|Limelight||A Place Behind The Moon|| |
|Rise and Shine||Nocturnal|| |
|Cloud Nine||A Place Behind The Moon|| |
|Touch the Sky||The Night Is Young|| |
|Step Up||A Place Behind The Moon|| |
|The Uprising||Nocturnal|| |
|Its Goin Down||Nocturnal|| |
The output of Colorado-based musician Pretty Lights (Derek Vincent Smith) flitted between moody downtempo and upbeat, densely layered material geared more for clubs. His tracks often apply vintage samples to hard-hitting abstract hip-hop beats and layers of bold synthesizer patterns. Remarkably productive, Smith has released several albums and EPs across the span of a few years, including the full-lengths Taking Up Your Precious Time (2006), Filling Up the City Skies (two fully stuffed CDs worth of material, 2008), and Passing by Behind Your Eyes (2009). He has since taken his work on the road with assistance from fellow musicians like Cory Eberhard and Adam Deitch, and performed at the Coachella and Movement festivals in 2010. Smith also operates Pretty Lights Music, a label that releases his albums, as well as those from Paper Diamond, Break Science, and Michal Menert.
Andy Kellman, Rovi
Rapper Supervision was born on June 24, 1977, in New Orleans as Damin Bordenave (and subsequently raised in Los Angeles). When he was only five years old, he was hit in the eye with a bottle, and upon receiving treatment at a hospital, contracted pink eye, which lead to the development of glaucoma. Despite numerous eye surgeries, Bordenave became completely blind in both eyes. By age 11, Bordenave (now going under the name Supervision) began rapping and he formed his first band, called B-Force, with members he'd met while attending the Braille Institute. Three years later, Supervision had released his first recording, the four-track EP Blind Styles. Supervision quickly became one of the West Coast's premier battle rappers, participating in numerous contests, and opened shows for such artists as Mystikal and Xzibit in the process. In 2000, Supervision signed to Capitol Records where he founded Vision Intertainment, which encompasses a record label, management, sportswear, and security divisions. August 2001 saw the release of Supervision's full-length major-label debut, 20/20, which was preceded by an appearance on the star-studded Seagram's Gin Live Tour in the summer, where Supervision performed along with Mystikal, Jagged Edge, and Jaheim, among others.
Greg Prato, Rovi
Bassnectar is the stage name used by DJ, producer, and remixer Lorin Ashton, one of the more popular and influential figures in California's electronic music community. Bassnectar's music is known for its eclecticism, embracing elements of extreme bass, dubstep, breakbeat, and other IDM styles, as well as shifting tempos, contrasting moods, and dynamics that go from gentle to bruising and back during the course of a set. A significant amount of Bassnectar's music also has a strong activist streak, and Ashton uses his work to promote social and political causes and to foster a sense of community. Born in San Jose in 1978, Ashton was raised in a Bohemian environment and claims to have been introduced to the power of bass by the rumbling of a minor earthquake he experienced as a child. As a teenager, he was exposed to world music by an uncle who brought him a set of hand drums and recordings of African and Latin music; at the same time, the youngster had become a serious thrash metal fan, and was also interested in grunge (particularly Nirvana) and hardcore rap (especially N.W.A.). Ashton taught himself to play guitar and formed an extreme metal band, becoming a fixture on the local grindcore scene until he attended his first rave in the fall of 1995. He was immediately won over by the sense of community in the rave scene as well as the music, and he began attending raves as often as he could, as well as helping to organize and promote events. In 1996, Ashton started learning how to DJ, and coupled with his earlier experience in percussion, he recorded four-track demos with his band and studied electronic music at the University of California in Santa Cruz, soon mastering the basics of spinning and producing dance music. He started producing recordings for other acts in his spare time, and in 2001 he was invited to remix a track by Michael Franti & Spearhead for a single. Later that same year, the first Bassnectar album was released, Freakbeat for the Beatfreaks, which Ashton produced and released on his own label, Amorphous Music. While his first few albums earned him a buzz on the indie electronic scene, the fourth Bassnectar album, 2004's Diverse Systems of Throb, expanded his audience and influence, and since then, Bassnectar has issued a steady stream of albums, singles, and podcasts on which he has collaborated with artists including KRS-One, Ellie Goulding, Perry Farrell, Buckethead, and Gogol Bordello, as well as producers Diplo, BT, DJ Vadim, and Rjd2. Bassnectar also became a popular live attraction, with Ashton spinning up to 150 nights at year at venues ranging from clubs and warehouses to festivals such as Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza. In 2010, he got into the festival game himself, staging his first Bass Center Festival in Broomfield, Colorado, featuring sets by Dan Deacon, That 1 Guy, Brother Ali, and many more, as well as Bassnectar; Ashton has stated he intends to stage regular Bass Center events in the future.
Mark Deming, Rovi
Mixing that electro thump with the sample-heavy boom-bap of hip-hop, DJ/producer Gramatik was born in Portoroz, Slovenia, but he always seemed bound for Brooklyn. It was an older sister with a large cassette collection who turned the young Gramatik on to tapes of funk, jazz, R&B, and other genres that naturally lent themselves to dancefloors. By the time he was 13, he was making beats on his PC, and by the time he was in his late teens, his productions had earned him a loyal fan base and, eventually, the attention of the Colorado-based Pretty Lights. The like-minded producer signed to Gramatik to his Web label, also dubbed Pretty Lights, and released his Beatz & Pieces, Vol. 1 album in 2011. The #DigitalFreedom EP followed in 2012 along with Gramatik's new apartment in Brooklyn.
David Jeffries, Rovi