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Favorite ThisOpening acts are exciting, too

Published: October 17, 2010


By: Jamie Reysen

Derek Vincent Smith and Adam Deitch are generating excitement for each of the opening acts along their tour trail with the Pretty Lights Music 2010 Fall Tour Opening Act Compilation.

The compilation begins with Blockhead’s “Farewell Spaceman” from his latest instrumental album, The Music Scene. His down-tempo hip-hop beats take the listener on a journey. In “Farewell Spaceman,” Blockhead’s jazzy melody transitions from forlorn to sassy; he works expertly with samples and layering to give you a farewell you won’t forget. Though Blockhead will only join Pretty Lights in Detroit and Milwaukee, he’ll play a big part in Signal Path’s fall tour.

Next up is Gramatik’s hard-hitting and compelling track, “Day of the So-Called Glory,” off his recently released album, No Shortcuts. Gramatik shies away from genre labels and says he produces electronic music evolved from blues, jazz, soul and funk—“the father genres.” Gramatik and his genre-shattering beats will join Pretty Lights for nearly half the tour.

VibeSquaD throws down hard with “Dawn Patrol” from his 2008 album. The Colorado-based music producer brings serious energy to the mix with heavy bass, artfully layered synth textures, and manipulated vocal samples. After hearing “Dawn Patrol,” I can’t wait to listen to The Fire, set to drop Oct. 21. VibeSquaD and Pretty Lights will kick off their respective tours together in Tulsa on the 27th, and the two will join forces again in Omaha on Nov. 15.

Pretty Lights fans may be familiar with Michal Menert, the first artist featured on the PLM label. “Tomorrow May Never Come,” is a track from his debut album, Dreaming of a Bigger Life. Menert’s music integrates Eastern European and Western samples with rich synthesized sounds and upbeat melodies. Menert co-produced Pretty Lights’ first album, Taking Up Your Precious Time, and has worked with Smith on a bunch of tracks since. He’ll open for more than half of the fall tour dates.

On the other hand, Kraddy will only open in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. A founding member of Glitch Mob, Kraddy’s solo work is a melting pot of hip-hop, dancehall and dubstep. Kraddy’s Requiem Remix of Echasketch’s “The Storm” is better than the original. The distorted yet rhythmic glitch aesthetic creates a sense of eerie urgency. After listening to his remix, I can’t wait to hear The Labyrinth EP, set to drop Nov. 9.

Thunderball’s 12 Mile High also debuts Nov. 9, so mark your calendar. Known for their ability to shift from drum & bass to dub to down-tempo, the jazzy “12 Mile High” is a preview of what to expect from their upcoming release. 12 Mile High will mix live instrumentation, jazzy guitar riffs and orchestral components. The trio will join Pretty Lights in Baltimore, Seattle, Eugene, Arcata, Reno and Oakland.

Both Covington and Columbus will get a taste of Eliot Lipp’s signature sound, which he describes as a crossbreed of ‘90s hip-hop and house, ‘70s funk fusion, and classic electro. “Sand Castle” is a song from his latest album, Peace Love Weed 3D. During the album’s production, Lipp worked with a studio guitarist for the first time, integrating synthesizer sounds and drum-machine beats with live instrumentation.

Futuristic electronic sounds, skillful drumbeats, and hip-hop influence fuse to form the psychedelic sounds of Free the Robots. Free the Robots produced “Lazer Tag” exclusively for the compilation, and he manages to showcase his range as an artist in just three minutes. Two years of work went into CTRL ALT DELETE, which dropped in March. Free the Robots is currently overseas for his world tour, but he’ll return to the US in November, joining Gramatik and Pretty Lights in San Diego and Albuquerque.

Chali 2na brings the compilation to a close with “Guns Up,” featuring the reggae sounds of Damien and Stephen Marley. The track is off his first album, Fish Outta Water, released last spring.  Chali 2na will amplify Pretty Lights’ hints of hip-hop influence as an opening act at five shows: Philadelphia, Richmond, Boston, Albany and Burlington.

Some fans view opening acts as an inconvenience positioned between the audience and the act it came to see. With this compilation, Pretty Lights encourages their fans to get to know these artists. It will be interesting to see how each act sets a different tone throughout the tour, since they are all compatible with Pretty Lights, yet unique from one another.

Before Pretty Lights hits the road, they’ll send more music our way. Glowing in the Darkest Night EP will drop this Wednesday, Oct. 20.

There’s never a dull moment over at Pretty Lights Music.

Tags: BreaksDowntempoDrum and BassDubstepElectroGlitchHip HopHouseLivetronica