By: Cole Epley
Cyril Northcote Parkinson once wrote, “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” If ever there were anyone to fulfill this adage, Adam Deitch would be the man.
Wielding a pair of the funkiest drumsticks this side of the equator, the Break Science mastermind and newest addition to the Pretty Lights camp has met a fine match in Derek Vincent Smith, the man behind the machine that is Pretty Lights. Remarking on Smith’s passion and drive to create music, Deitch commented, “First, I’m a real die-hard music person and I like to be around people who like to work and constantly be coming up with new stuff. What I admire most about Derek is how serious he is about the music…he’s not doing this just so he can party.”
The Pretty Lights bus is outfitted handsomely with quality electronics, including TVs and a horde of DVDs, but upon closer inspection, an old record player is revealed to be spinning 45s. “(Derek) has a whole bunch of 45s that he just got from this shop in Detroit where J Dilla and a lot of the Detroit guys probably get their records from. And here we are, listening to records on the bus, and it’s totally amazing with DVDs and TV sets and here he is rocking this little record player—that’s the kind of vibe I want to be around, someone who appreciates the music. This music is too good to be sitting in a bin in a shop for $5 just collecting dust.”
On the stage and off the stage, the pair complements one another in many ways. Smith is currently assisting Deitch in polishing up his Ableton chops. The pair inspires and drives one another creatively and professionally as well: “During the entire experience, he’s been super gracious—not only just being a good guy, but he’s also willing to help promote BS and let his people know that we’re also doing it. He’s also interested in my being a solo artist; just helping put out all the hip-hop beats I’ve been doing for years and trying to get them out (on my own) to different rappers—he’s been like, “Don’t worry about selling that to anybody, we’re going to put it out and it’s going to blow up!” Nothing’s finalized yet, but just the fact that he’s willing to talk about doing that, with everything else that he has going on, it’s really an honor to be asked to be a part of that. So it’s really cool to be getting this kind of support from this ‘Colorado crew.’ I feel like, ‘Cool, I’m in Colorado! It’s like a music mafia!’ It’s been inspiring to be around these guys because they’re whole MO is to spread love through the music and make hot beats.”
Historically speaking, Break Science and Pretty Lights had been linked with Sound Tribe Sector 9, playing opening sets as well as after party gigs. The pair met a few times and hit it off. Smith had heard of the New York drummer through friends in his crew who were familiar with his work in Break Science and Lettuce. As soon as they parted ways on the tour, Deitch said Smith approached him and inquired about the possibility of collaborating for Pretty Lights sets. The rest is history. Reflecting on earlier days in his career, Deitch recalls ventures into the New York ‘street’ hip-hop scene: “I always joke because I got caught up doing this sort of street hip-hop shit, pretty hard core shit. A lot of the guys I produced for at home, a couple cats on the (forthcoming) Break Science record, they were doing street hip-hop in the ‘90s and I was caught up in that. With the CO crew, they’re more into doing music for the people, it’s not violent—it’s party music, it feels good, truly.”
It also sounds good.
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