Interview: Latest Signings to The Pretty Lights Music Camp
Since its launch less than a year ago, PLM (Pretty Lights Music), the record label founded by Colorado based Pretty Lights has been playing host to a line up of extremely talented producers quickly on the rise. Already representing the likes of Gramatik, Michal Menert, Paper Diamond, Break Science and of course Pretty Lights himself the label recently announced the introduction of two brand new names. We thought an introduction was necessary...
First off is Paul Basic. A drummer at heart who most recently was involved with fellow PLM artist Michael Menhert in the project Half Color, but also a band with labelmates Michal Menert and Derek Vincent Smith (Pretty Lights) through highschool before moving on to produce his own tracks. Currently completely focused on his solo work, he continues to develop his own brand of beats, fusing dusty samples with hard hitting drums and razor sharp basslines.
The other is SuperVision. A man not about one sound but about many sounds brought together with an approach that delivers a stylistic sound design not classified with one or two words. A sound that is sure to evolve without departing from what makes it unique. One to watch!
Going from strength to strength there seems to nothing that that can get in the way of PLM's course for world domination, riding on the forefront of a sound that is spreading faster than anything we've ever heard. What remains to be seen is how it will evolve into the future.
To get more of an insight into the new signings, we asked them a few questions...
For those of us who don't know much about you guys, fill us in.
SuperVision: Pretty Lights Music is a label started by our good homie Derek Vincent Smith; founded in 2010 with a first release by Michal Menert. The album is called "Dreaming Of A Bigger Life". It's legendary in my eyes. PLM is a crew and we strive to keep it that way. We play shows together, tour, collab, share resources and knowledge. We are based in Colorado but have artists in other places. Together we are pushing a new sound, "electro hip-hop".
How did you first get into making music?
SuperVision: I got in to making music soon after I started DJ'ing at 16. I grew up listening to hip-hop. Then I discovered house music and started spinning it. I could tell my infatuation with music was growing exponentially beyond what I knew at a younger age, so I began learning how to produce music. Shortly after I moved to Fort Collins in 2002 I met Derek and Mike. We hit it off and started hanging out, playing shows and making music. I learned a lot in those couple of years I spent in Fort Collins. I moved back to Texas to do some club DJ'ing and go to audio engineering school. I kept in touch with the homies and we traded music and techniques we were working on. Last year Derek told me he was starting the label and I knew exactly where I wanted to be.
Paul Basic: Drums were the first thing that really got me excited about music. As a kid, drum lines and rhythm heavy music always sucked me in. When I was 11 or 12 I decided to learn how to play. I joined a band at 15 (with label mates Michal Menert and Derek Vincent Smith) and played for about 5 more years before I started focusing more on production. Even at this point it was still the drums that did it for me. Once I realised I could sequence and layer drum parts that were beyond my playing ability I was hooked.
How does it feel to now officially be on board the Pretty Lights train?
SuperVision: Being officially added to the Pretty Lights Music roster is a dream to me. I have been friends with Mike and Derek for years so getting signed is making it official. I have wanted to make music and pursued a fulfilling career in the industry my entire adult life. It's a roster comprised of old friends and new friends to me; it feels like a family. So, it's an even better version of my dream. These guys have so much talent and a new sound that hasn't been saturated. This sound will not ever be oversaturated because it's a difficult sound to get right. That's why we can confidently say the PLM crew is on some next level...
Paul Basic: Super exciting. I definitely feel blessed to be part of an amazing line up. Every artist is bringing something fresh to the table but there's also a common thread that has given the label its own sound. I'm super excited to see how it expands. Also, the fact that it feels more like a crew more than just a label is really dope.
As you already know, his label is one of few that believe in giving music away for free. What's your thoughts on this?
SuperVision: Well, music is a way to connect to people and share love. I'm all about that. In fact, one of the big reasons I got into DJ'ing was seeing how the DJ brought people together in harmony to celebrate and dance. Also, the game has changed and we are an evolutionary generation. It simply makes sense and feels good for me to give my music out for free. I'm happy to share it with people without charging them.
Paul Basic: I'm all for it. It gets the music to more people which is good for both the fans and the artists. It has obviously been a successful approach for Pretty Lights and seems to be working for everyone else on the label. I feel like it's also good for the label as a whole in that fans can download the entire catalog for free rather than have to pick and choose based on price. As long as the music stays fresh and people come out to the shows the model definitely works.
You recently played at Filmore this year, alongside Pretty Lights, Gramatik and Michal Menert. How was that?
SuperVision: The last time I went to the Fillmore, I believe 2004, was to see the Quannum Sepctrum tour. I had not been back until our show there. It was a really big deal to be able to share the stage as a crew to represent our label in such a legendary concert hall. Also, our boy Paul Basic represented like a champ that night.
Paul Basic: Definitely an amazing show. The crowd was super live and I debuted some new material that went off. I always love playing on a bill full of homies and this was no exception. Definitely a good showcase for the label.
Can we expect any collaborations from other guys on the label?
SuperVision: You can def expect collaborations from the label. So far I'm working on two songs with Menert. One to go on my record and one to go on his. They're turning out to be real dope. I've talked with some of the other members and look to be doing some things with them in the future.
Paul Basic: Absolutely. Michal Menert and I have a project together called Half Color that we've already been working on for a few years. SuperVision and I have talked about collaborating on a track as well. I'd really like to see a lot of collaboration between everyone. I think it keeps things fresh and on a progressive tip.
What inspired your EP due out for release later on this month?
SuperVision: My EP was inspired by my entire life of music fascination. A sample based approach. I like to dig for records and collect. Then I layer them and put slamming drums and big bass lines in the sessions. I do much more than that, but that's an overview of my general approach. Ultimately trying to make something with passion and soul that makes you want to get down. With this record I am able to channel nearly all my inspirations. I think it's a sound that will have longevity and not be easily duplicated. Therefore it will probably never be super saturated. Considering step number 1 will never be a fad or a trend. That is record digging.
Paul Basic: I've been making tracks for a while but it's only been in the last couple years that I feel like I've started to find my own sound and really started exploring it. It's on the darker, grittier side of things but still has its brighter moments. I've always loved music that has a bittersweet quality so that's the feel I was going for with the EP while still trying to maintain a unique and consistent sound. I'm definitely happy with it and can't wait for it to drop.
Do you have any plans to come to India at some point? Ever been?
SuperVision: I do plan to someday visit India. I've not made specific plans yet, but have wanted to visit for a long time. I think it's a beautiful culture and I have a great desire to spend some time there. Hopefully I'll get booked out there and can come share our style.
Paul Basic: I've never been and don't currently have plans to go but I'd definitely like to make a trip out sometime. It's such a culturally vibrant place and I'm sure it would be an amazing experience. Plus I bet the crate digging would be insane.
The Same 3 Questions:
3 most inspirational artists:
DJ Shadow, Prefuse 73, Amon Tobin
King Tubby, Odd Nosdam, Elvin Jones
3 favourite albums of all time:
The Pharcyde - Bizzare Ride To The Pharcyde
A Tribe Called Quest - Beats, Rhymes & Life
De La Soul - Stakes Is High
King Tubby - Roots Of Dub
cLOUDDEAD - cLOUDDEAD
Charles Mingus - The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady
Favourite 3 artists of the moment:
SBTRKT, Gramatik, Hudson Mohawke
Joker, Lorn, Michal Menert
SuperVision and Paul Basic both drop their EP's on 27 September. As a taster you can stream and download a single from both EP's below.
SuperVision - Arcanehttp://soundcloud.com/thatsupervision/the-future
Paul Basic - Daydreamhttp://soundcloud.com/paulbasic/daydream