It’s been nearly three years since Denver’s Derek Vincent Smith, also known as the man behind Pretty Lights, issued a new album, and his newest release, A Color Map of the Sun was definitely well worth the wait. The already unique sound of Pretty Lights is taken to a higher level on Smith’s new album, which offers two discs of carefully crafted and consistent stoner jams that resonate influences from jazz, soul, blues and funk. Disc One focuses on the main product of Pretty Lights, fusing dubstep beats and bass with vinyl-sounding vocals and musical styles from the past fifty years to create hazy, atmospheric, and frenzied hooks. It’s difficult to pick one or even a few standout tracks since the album flows like one solid piece of art. Horns, piano, strings, everything is there.
Disc Two is simply the instrumental grooves, which are melodic, ambiguous (and sometimes eerie), and are created by Smith himself. Even heard on their own, the tracks are ambient and are a real demonstration on Smith’s musical abilities. You see, A Color Map of the Sun isn’t just another dubstep album for kids with neon paint and glow sticks. This is a real work of art by someone who really, really knows what he’s doing. The songs effortlessly roll out one after the other, flowing like a musical journey.
It’s a 2 hour chunk of your time that you’ll want to relive over and over again.
Check out the mini-documentary “The Making Of: A Color Map of the Sun”, as well. Equally interesting and amazing.