Pretty Lights is launching his new live show in Miami, as part of this weekend's two-night Basslights stand, featuring the kind of set that has never before been attempted in the history of live music production.
The Colorado buddha head will be bringing, along with his five-piece band, an analog studio on stage. It is equipped with speakers capable of producing a jillion jiggawatts of bass, and gives him the ability to crossfade between any and all elements of sound and light in real time while also making new live electronic music on the fly.
And oh, yes, there will be lasers. Here's what Pretty Lights has to say about it.
Crossfade: What's your history with Miami?
Pretty Lights: Miami is a bunch of crazy motherfuckers. Whether it's Ultra or my own shit at the Jackie Gleason Fillmore shit, you always go off. It's just a good-time dance mecca. I'm tryin' to insert my steez into the cultural mecca.
What about Miami's musical history?
My last album [A Color Map of the Sun] is samples I made all myself. But I still love to dig through record stores to be honest. I've done so much of it looking for that Midwest soul: Chicago, Detroit, wherever. What is some good Miami music?
Oh shit, well, you know that song "Soul Man," it goes "I'm a soul man, du du du du du," It's by Sam and Dave, most people don't realize those guys are from the real city of Miami. Even though they recorded with Stax in Memphis, they got started on the talent shows of Overtown and Liberty City. We got Betty Wright's "Cleanup Woman," KC and the Sunshine Band with all that disco shit, Little Beaver who was one of the greatest guitar players of all time, Latimore had that soul. Motherfuckin Blowfly. Henry Stone. There's a lot of shit from here.
Yeah, now that you say the names I know all that stuff, I just didn't know it was from there.
Bassnectar said he got three semi trucks full of sound and lights. What you got?
Man, I got four 18-wheelers, three buses, and a band.
Hell yeah. Most people produce or DJ or just play over their tracks. My approach is to take my songs, create new parts on crazy old-school vintage shit. I have a full vintage analog studio on stage. I've got hip-hop soul bangers, I've got a live band, live production. I can crossfade into the live band and mix back to the beat. And I've got the hottest records in the world that nobody has ever heard before. And just the sonic quality between the gear and the players ... It's just fresh.
This is an all-new live show setup for you, right?
Miami is my first show doin' this. But goin' in I'm so comfortable, so confident, so excited, so amped. It's dope.
Wasup with the gear?
All the gear is, like, 50 years old. I have a huge rack of gear that I can sculpt the drums with before I send it out to my sound guy. I have six analog bass synthesizers that I can switch and arrange on the fly. I can even do like Lee Scratch Perry and live loop and dub out the drums. I walk out on my riser lookin' at 10,000 knobs, faders, and blinkin' lights staring back at me.
You think there's more musical creativity in Colorado because of legalized weed right now?
The herb is the gift. Man must make use of and respect it. It's not like I need to smoke to play or write. It enhances my spiritual awareness and gets me in tune to the music.
How many people with you on this trip?
It's me, five people in my band, and 30 people doing sound, lights, and lasers, and my peeps. It's a tight team. I call it the PL Posse.
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SHOW ME HOW
Bassnectar and Pretty Lights' Basslights. Friday and Saturday, October 18 and 19. Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. The show starts at 6 p.m., and tickets cost $41.75 to $47.75 plus fees via livenation.com. Call 305-358-7550 or visit bayfrontparkmiami.com.