Pretty Lights

May 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Interviews

What’s up dance fiends?  In this show, we bring to you one of the hottest acts to rock the late night dance scene:  Derek Vincent Smith, otherwise known as Pretty Lights!

Derek has had one hell of a first year hitting the festival circuit, and blew up the crowds at Bonnaroo, Rothbury, Camp Bisco and more.  His live performances along with his drummer Corey are an absolute must see.

Pretty Lights has been releasing free albums (with option to donate) on, so you definitely need to grab yourself some of his albums.  If you need a great soundtrack to drive around to on a beautiful sunny day, Pretty Lights is the way to go!

Be sure to check out the new for an all new Tracks experience…  So we bring to you… The man who moves the feet…  Derek Vincent Smith, from Pretty Lights.

Derek Vincent Smith (Pretty Lights) Interview on Moe Train’s Tracks

Monty Wiradilaga and Brian Kracyla (MTT)

Moe (MTT):  This is your first festival season right?  How’s it treating you?

Derek (Pretty Lights):  I had no idea what to expect coming into it.  I was very excited about it.  And to be honest, I’ve received nothing but love at all, it’s been really cool.  Even fifteen minutes before the show, when the tent’s empty and I’m feeling kinda nervous about if people are going to come check out the set, they’ve never let me down.  Everyone has been really cool, it’s been packed, lots of energy.  People obviously come to festivals to listen to music and dance and get down and I’m glad that I can help them do that.

M:  You guys run an interesting improv angle with your music, you always have an evolving sound.  How do you work to create an evolving musical journey throughout your set?

PL:  That’s a cool question.  A lot of people look at me behind a table and think that I’m a DJ, and to be honest, I’ve never spun a record in my life.  I could probably match beats with records, but I’ve never even tried it.  All the music is original, using original productions I should say.  I’m using software and different devices to trigger different parts and arrange it on the fly and to affect it and manipulate it and play some of the layers live on top, like melodies and samples and stuff like that.  But back to your question, how do I look at it as a set, as a whole, I try to think of it more as how a DJ would as far as tempos.  I really try to bring the energy up and back down smoothly.  Even if it’s a real hype hip-hop speed track, I don’t like to play it after some more up-tempo electric track because it just doesn’t feel right.

M:  Don’t want to burn people out?

PL:  Yeah.  Also I like to produce a lot of different styles of music, of a lot of electronic kind of music, but they also vary in energy a lot.  But rather than just have my live shows be all high energy dance music, I like to bring in some of the more organic down-tempo, more emotional kind of tracks.  It does take some consideration of where to bring that in and where to play it or not to play it.  Honestly, as I play more and more, I’m getting better at being able to do that. Because I never have a set list, the songs have a level of improvisation, but the sets are always improvised as far as the order.  Like last night, these people had grabbed a set list off the stage and I could see people were kinda arguing over it and I went down and said, ‘That’s not even my set list!  That’s the set list for the band that hasn’t played yet.  You better put that back up there, they’re not gonna know what songs to play.’

M:  Well you and Corey worked together in another band before this, so I guess you guys have a good chemistry going.

PL:  Yeah, we worked together before Pretty Lights in a band and actually when that broke up, when that kinda ceased to exist, that’s when I started writing the first Pretty Lights album.  There was really a period of time for about two years between when that band ended and when the first Pretty Lights show that I actually invited the drummer up to play with me.  I wanted that element live and I feel like it brings a certain kind of hands-on, live energy to the show.  Also, I like to be able to play off another individual.  So that’s when I collaborated with him and started doing the shows with a live kit.

M:  You basically formed a sort of sign language on stage, sort of tipping each other off on what’s going on?

PL:  Yeah.  When we first started playing it pretty much was only two hand signals, like ‘cut out’and ‘come back in’.  But as we played together more and I’ve written more music in a way that it can be performed differently each time, utilizing the different technology like Abelton Live with the different kind of features…

M:  Is that what you use?

PL:  That’s what I use live, yeah, in conjunction of a device called a monomer.  We use signals like, I have different hand signals to switch drum beats, or switch high-hat speeds, or switch to ride signals, or we’ve got one for switching to an off-beat snare pattern, or losing the snare and keeping the kick and high-hat, or different things for bringing the energy up or bringing the energy back down, and things like that.  It’s definitely evolved, the way in which we communicate on-stage.

M:  So how do you think the live performance brings your audience a different experience than what’s on your albums?

PL:  It’s all about the energy, about hearing the music in a different sort of setting.  It’s good car music, I think it’s good bedroom music but a lot of…

M:  Bedroom music, huh!  Getting the beds rockin’?

PL:  That’s what I’m saying, man! People have told me that I’ve gotten them laid.

M:  There you go, to your credit…  Put that on your resume, ‘Getting People Laid!’

PL:  (Laughing)  Back to that question, what I was trying to say was that it’s not all me, or us, the people on-stage, creating that live experience.  It has so much to do with everyone coming together and experiencing the difference of the live show energy but also within a congregation of people.  And it also has a lot to do with, nowadays, the light show and bringing the visual medium.  Which has evolved, but I’m looking to take it a lot further.

M:  Just an all encompassing experience.

PL:  Exactly, a multi-media experience.  A lot of people think that when I named it Pretty Lights that I named it exactly for that, some crazy laser light show, but that definitely wasn’t in my mind at all when that name kinda came to be.  It was more about personal experiences of pretty lights, I’m always on the look at for that kind of thing.  But I’m definitely trying to bring the whole live light/video aspect of the show to a whole ‘nother level, and just keep pushing that, keep pushing the production so that people can really have a cool experience that’s far different than listening to the record.

M:  We are doing a show on Michael Jackson.  How did he affect you, if at all?  With his passing, it hit us all in the music industry in one way or another.  Did he affect you at all?

PL:  Yeah, he did.  Not maybe at the same time that other people, especially at my age, might have been exposed to it or hit by it because, honestly, I grew up in a family that, when I was a kid, I wasn’t really exposed to a lot of music.  Being born in the eighties, I think a lot of people my age heard a lot of Michael Jackson growing up but it was a different experience for me because it didn’t get into to it until I was able to find it myself as a late teenager.  In junior high I was like ‘Oh, I know who Michael Jackson is, he’s the King of Pop’ but I wasn’t really exposed to his music.  When I really started getting into music, and getting into production, and really going back and listening to it with fresh ears, a lot of it is just unbelievable.  It’s just incredible music.  The records he did specifically with Quincy Jones, who’s one of my icons as a producer, have been very inspirational, not only in how I create music but also in a personal way.  That combination of artists was really able to create some pieces of music that made you feel.  And that’s what music has always been about for me, creating emotion and always having people be able to feel something from the music, inside.

M:  Where do you see Pretty Lights evolving to in the near future?

PL:  I have a lot of ideas that I want to manifest and to make happen in my career, wherever it goes.  Right now, and in the recent past, I’ve been doing a lot of collage sample producing, where I’m taking different snippets from vinyl and bringing them together to create pieces of music.

M:  Like Girl Talk style?

PL:  Not like Girl Talk at all.  Actually, nothing like that.  More like DJ Shadow, a big influence for me.  The whole idea is more obscure pieces of music and just little pieces of it.  So you can still really implement melodic creativity and create feelings and emotions that didn’t exist in the song that the sample was taken from because you’re getting pieces from all these different not only artist but different decades.  As far as pushing the project and the show and the music in general, I feel like the sampling phase of my career is kind of dwindling because I have the means to create that stuff on my own.  Before, in that two year period I mentioned between the prior band and Pretty Lights, I worked as an audio engineer in a professional recording studio and did a lot of records with, not only local bands, but some bigger artists.  I did some work with Lyrics Born and Greyboy Allstars and stuff like that.  I want to be able to capitalize on my experience as an audio engineer and working in the studio producing other musicians, just how we were talking about Quincy Jones.  I’m actually already looking into getting my own vinyl press and buying analog tape machines, so I can really create the sound that I want, which right now I’m getting by taking it from vinyl from other decades.  But I want to be able to create that in the present day.  As far as future records, I’m looking to work with networks of musicians and really utilizing recording techniques to hang on to that golden age of music where everything sounded so warm and awesome.  As far as my records, that’s where I’m looking to take things, but also I’m looking to make it very multi-media.  I do a lot of video editing and stuff on the side and haven’t been able to really bring that to the show yet.  So one thing that I’m looking to work on in the near future is also realizing audio/video compilation things, not just records but records and video accompaniments and the same time.  But, anyway, you’re letting me babble on, which I appreciate.

M:  That’s cool.  I asked the question.  Hey man, thanks a lot for being with us.  I appreciate it.  We look forward to your set tonight.

PL:  Yeah, me too!  It’s been a pleasure.   Thank you so much.

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Ghostland Observatory

February 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Interviews

MTT and Ghostland discuss capes, sexual dancing, James Brown, Daft Punk and more while at Lollapalooza.

Interview with Ghostland Observatory

Thomas Turner, Aaron Behrens, Monty “Moe” Wiradilaga
Friday, August 3, 2007
Lollapalooza – Chicago, Illinois

Moe: We’re sitting backstage with Thomas and Aaron from Ghostland Observatory. How you doing guys? That was one of the best sets I’ve seen in a long time.

Thomas: Thanks a lot.

Moe: You guys started off with three people right?

Thomas: I think Ghostland, like the first official Ghostland show, we used two people. We were in other bands before but…

Moe: How did you guys get together, what was your meeting?

Aaron: We just met in the bands previously that we did. He answered an ad in the paper and we hit it off. The other guys went and took a break for a while and me and him just kept going at it and we found what me and him love to do together, you know?

Moe: Absolutely. You guys are from Austin correct?

Thomas: Yes, yeah.

Moe: And they’re saying that it the “live music capital of the world.” Is Austin really that strong of a live music scene?

Thomas: When we tour other cities, you can kind of tell like, in Austin, you can go out almost every night and see any kind of genre of music you want to, at almost a hundred different clubs. And most cities don’t have that you know. If want to see blues you can see blues, you wanna see rock, indie rock, punk rock, electronic, DJ shit, whatever, you know, you can go see it in Austin almost any night of the week.

Moe: You guys definitely have an interesting combination of styles. First of all, what’s with the cape? I gotta know what the cape is man! (Laughs)

Thomas: My wife made it for me, so I wear it you know, I sport it.

Moe: I was lookin’ for what stage you guys were playing on, I saw the cape and said, ‘Oh there they are.’

Thomas: (Laughs)

Moe: What did you guys grow up on, what were you really listening to? ‘Cause it sounds like you go from little bit from the dance genre, but then you go from rock, then you have a little rap, just a combination of so many different styles. Aaron, what’s your take on this?

Aaron: I grew up listening to, you know, my dad had a lot of like seventies, sixties-seventies rock, like Jimmy Hendrix, Zeppelin. Grew up listening to them… And then I got into eighties, and my mom had like Huey Lewis and The News, Prince, you know, all that good stuff. And then, you know, in the nineties I got into gangster rap…

Moe: There you go. (Laughs) NWA!?

Aaron: Snoop Dogg, NWA, Onyx…

Moe: Eazy-E! Yeah, there you go!

Aaron: Eazy-E, yeah all of them.

Moe: What happened to Onyx anyway? (Laughs)

Aaron: I don’t know dude. I think Sticky Fingers got into acting for a while, so I don’t know… But then I, you know, then I moved to Austin, and Thomas introduced me to electronic music, so yeah.

Moe: Yeah, it’s just the blend, the blend happened right there.

Aaron: Yeah… The beautiful blend man, you know, so..

Moe: Did you listen to a lot of James Brown?

Aaron: Oh, a lot, yeah, I love James Brown… I love James Brown… Yeah.

Moe: I know you know everyone says it… They draw your dancing style to James Brown…

Aaron: Oh, that’s a huge compliment, I love J.B…

Moe: It is. Those are big shoes to fill, but, tell you what… You never stop, you never stop! (Laughs)

Aaron: Oh man, I’m tryin’, I’m tryin’. (Laughs)

Moe: I could tell through the set, people were getting into it more and more. You guys know everything was just starting to build up, and I don’t know if you noticed the crowd, but the hands started going up and by the end everyone was just rockin out. Ahh. It was great.

Aaron: Yeah! That’s good!

Moe: You guys basically just leave it out, all on stage, just balls out…

Aaron: Yeah, we really try. I mean, like I said, me and Thomas, “The Wizard” over here, dude. You know, he just throws down all this, it’s just, everything crazy on top. And it’s just, like we’ve said before it’s like, he just allows for me to get crazy on top of that, but he’s just pushing me man. With all those sounds…

Moe: Just feeding off each other.

Aaron: Yeah! It’s just real feeding back and forth. It’s just not talking, it’s feeling between both of us, you know.

Moe: What do you feel about the musicians that are doing that little shortcut with laptops and all that in their music?

Thomas: Yeah, I guess people do whatever they’re comfortable with. Maybe, you know, they started out with a laptop, and using virtual synths and things like that, and that’s just how they do it. I mean, I don’t hate on them for doing that. I just prefer having a synthesizer and, like, really getting inside of a synthesizer, and learning it inside and out. It’s the harder way to do it. You know, that’s just what I feel comfortable doing, and I like it. I enjoy it a lot.

Moe: Did you grow up more with the rock stuff, ’cause you’re playing drums, and you’re doing the synths, doing them together, just meshing the two. Did you grow up more in rock, or did you grow up more in the dance styles?

Thomas: Well I guess when I really started getting into music I really fell in love with electronic music, that’s where my heart is. But I played drums when I was younger… I used my knowledge of playing the drums and creating beats, but I never thought that I’d have to play drums again. It just so happened that I got the opportunity, and we just rolled with it, you know.

Moe: Does it feel natural though? I mean, if you were doing the drums, and you were doing the beats… Was the going back and forth, working with the synths and the drums… Was it natural, or how’d that work in?

Thomas: Yeah, yeah I think so. It feels good to be able to do both, you know? I like it.

Moe: Well like I said, we’re gonna see you guys at Vegoose… The rest of my crew’s coming tonight. What should they expect when they see you guys for the first time? How would you describe your set?

Thomas: You just have to be there to witness it. I would say, go in expecting nothing, and be the judge for yourself, and see how you feel when you leave. Hopefully, you’ll really, really love it. Or you’ll really hate it. There will be no in between, like ‘Ahh… It was okay.’ None of that. Its either you’re really into it or you’re not, you know.

Moe: Aaron, your dancing is obviously very, very sexual.

Aaron: Yeah.

Moe: You don’t doubt that right?

Aaron: No.

Moe: Not whatsoever. (Laughs)

Aaron: It’s a very powerful energy!

Moe: Yeah, so what’s the craziest thing a girl has done to try to get in your pants after a set like that? (Laughs)

Aaron: Well, honestly, I haven’t really had to deal with that, because I really don’t put myself in situations to deal with it, you know. A lot of times people will try to get on stage, and you know, dance with me and stuff. But the thing is, it’s like, that’s cool, but I’m like in my own world. I mean I definitely do it for the people and I like entertaining up there, and it’s wonderful that they get inspired to get down with me and everything. A lot of it, it’s a lot of personal release. You know, it’s a lot of personal energy getting out, flowing out of me. So, I really haven’t had anything crazy, you know, or anything like that. And I think a lot of my fans know that. A lot of our fans know that. They respect it. And it’s the same thing; I don’t expect anything from them after the show.

Moe: However, you should have heard the comments from those girls that were standing next to me. Oh shit, you would’ve been like…(Looks and points) Yeah, point to em’… (Laughs)

Aaron: (Laughs) Girl, you’re dirty! Girl, you’re nasty!

Moe: Yeah exactly!! They were getting dirty nasty, that’s right. You guys are very independent…

Thomas: We don’t have a manager. We hired a publicist just for a short period of time, just to help promote the upcoming festival season, the new record that’s coming out, and just like to help the press-related things kind of go our way as opposed to just random things happening… Have a little bit more control of that. But, yeah, we’re very independent. We don’t answer to anyone. We agree on things and that’s what we do. And we just stick with that, you know. And we really don’t do many press-related issues either you know so…

Moe: Well, thanks for… thanks a lot, I appreciate that!

Thomas: Yeah! Yeah! So we stay under the radar, we basically leave the people to decide whether they like our performances or like our albums, and that’s that, you know. We just let them figure it out for themselves.

Moe: I definitely see a trend in music today. “They” want control of their catalog. I spoke to Ziggy Marley at Bonnaroo, and he went independent now. He was saying how he wants control of his things. Slightly Stoopid, who I just spoke to, also said the same thing. So, what do you guys think about the trend of music? Is it people taking the power back from the labels? Why is the trend like that?

Thomas: I don’t know. There are some bands that are very comfortable being on a label and they enjoy that lifestyle and the perks that come along with it, and having tour support, and having a marketing team and publicists and everything like that. And than there’s other people, they just really wanna do things their own way. And I think if you really want to do your own thing bad enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen, and I think that’s what a lot of bands are doing.

Moe: So you have a new album coming out soon?

Thomas: Yes, yes. We’re finished writing. Now we gotta get into the studio the end of August, early September and then bang it, bang it, bang it, bang it!

Moe: Yeah man. If you guys could collaborate with anybody, Aaron who would you collaborate with? Anybody, doesn’t have to be dance-related, anybody. You’re biting your finger; you’re probably like, ‘I don’t know.’

Aaron: I really don’t… I really don’t know. Because, it wouldn’t be the same, you know? The thing is, I think, Thomas and I enjoy the kinship we have with our music you know.

Moe: That’s a good thing.

Aaron: To add another person in the room, or someone else in the collaboration, I don’t know if we’d function the same, I don’t know if… It breaks up the connection.

Moe: Do you think it would water it down?

Aaron: I think it would water it down. I don’t know. Certain circuits run a certain way, Thomas and I have to be alone and in silence, and if anybody’s added in there it doesn’t work the same. It doesn’t.

Moe: So when you guys are doing your writing sessions, is it just like you’re on stage? You guys just start rocking out?

Aaron: There’s a lot of silence and then a lot of sound.

Moe: A lot of rockin?

Aaron: Yeah!

Moe: You guys definitely have a real big sound for just two guys. I thought you guys were gonna blow out the PA system, did you hear it popping at one point?

Thomas: That’s good! I like that! (Laughs)

Aaron: Yeah, that’s good! (Laughs)

Moe: Yeah! I heard it, I was like, ‘Oh shit, there goes the set.’ ‘Cause you guys did blow out a set, where was it?

Thomas: Sasquatch.

Moe: That’s right!

Thomas: We blew out the entire power in the whole freaking festival.

Moe: No shit.

Thomas: Yeah… It wasn’t too fun though when it happened. We were like, ‘Oh, that’s not good.’ You can’t even talk in the microphone, nothing.

Moe: Did they get it back and going?

Thomas: Yeah, but it took a while. It was just like, at first, it’s cool, like ‘Oh, yeah they blew out the power’, but then you can’t crank it back up you know, you gotta wait. Then they get the power running again and you’ve got to start over and try to get back to where you were. But the crowd seemed to respond really well to it, so it ended up working out.

Moe: That’s cool. So you guys gonna be around for Daft Punk tonight?

Thomas: Man, we have to play another show tonight! So we gotta go sound check…

Moe: Oh, where is that by the way?

Thomas: Schubas? So we gotta go sound check right now.

Moe: Maybe I’ll show up for that one, after I figure out where the hell it is.

Thomas: If we can’t make it, we’ll try. Man, we drove all night to get here, and it’s pretty crazy, yeah.

Moe: (To Aaron) If you we’re gonna be there, you should be on stage as a dancer for Daft Punk, and suddenly you show up on stage, and people are like, ‘What the fuck is going on here!

Thomas: (Laughs)

Aaron: (Laughs) They would probably blow me up with their electronic stuff. And that’s the same thing, ya know… Daft… They would, yeah… I don’t know what would happen. (Laughs)

Moe: (Laughs) You just might have to show up for just like a couple minutes and then head out! Guys, thank you very, very much. Can’t wait to see you guys at Vegoose…

Thomas: Thank you!

Moe: And maybe we’ll see you guys tonight.

Thomas: Okay, sweet deal man!

Moe: All right guys, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.

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Gregg Gillis Explains Girl Talk Live Show

July 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Excelsior's Exclamations

Gregg Gillis/Girl Talk rocks a laptop like no one else.  However, one can see how a laptop musician can be misunderstood.  Gregg decided to address the questions and comments that he’s come across as of late…


I’ve been seeing a continuous discussion over the last couple of weeks about live electronic performance. I’m not really interested in debating anyone’s points, but I thought I’d break down my own approach. I’ve gone over various aspects of this countless times in interviews, so this is nothing new, really, but I thought it might be helpful to clearly lay it out in one place.

I want to start off with some history of the project in order to provide some context. Prior to doing music and shows under the name Girl Talk, I was in some electronic-based bands, playing things like synthesizers and circuit-bent toys. This was in the late 90’s. I didn’t have my own laptop yet, but it was becoming more widespread as an instrument in the experimental electronic scene. I saw a variety of people use them live, ranging from Pittsburgh computer rock heroes Operation Re-Information to Austrian glitch artist Fennesz. I got my first laptop for college in 2000, and I decided to start a solo project called Girl Talk based around it. I wanted to do something that was entirely sample-based, influenced by audio collage artists like John Oswald, The Bomb Squad, and Kid 606.

I started to mess around with Audiomulch software (which I still use live today) and discovered ways to process sounds and trigger samples in real-time. I started playing shows within a few months. I never played at dance clubs, raves, or with DJs (sometimes someone would be playing some songs in between bands, but this was typically off to the side). Even though my music is made entirely out of samples, the goal has always been to make something transformative, something that could be considered a new entity. The shows I played were always at venues that had live music. The other artists could be electronic, punk, rap, whatever, but it was always live. These are the type of shows where you get on stage, it’s silent, everyone is looking at you, and you perform. During the first few years of doing the project, I toured the country a few times. My friends (who also did various electronic music projects) and I would book shows anywhere that would have us, and we’d be lucky if we ever made gas money. It was always a blast.

The primary purpose of mentioning this background is to highlight the fact that a laptop was my instrument of choice before starting the project. I looked up to those artists I saw performing live on computers and wanted to do that. It wasn’t like I produced a bunch of music, then had to figure out a way to perform it. The live sample-triggering and digital signal processing was how I arranged the collages in the first place. I never aspired to be a DJ in traditional terms. No disrespect to the DJ world at all, it just wasn’t my scene. I was coming from the subculture of glitch and IDM, where nearly everyone I saw perform would be doing some form of live sound manipulation on a computer.

OK, with that out of the way, I’ll go into a basic description of how I play live. Here’s a video where I go through most things I’ll mention here:

Every sample is triggered by hand. Every element is as isolated possible. In an hour of a typical set, there’s probably somewhere between 300-400 samples. When you’re hearing a drum beat, it’s possible there may be three loops: 1) kick and snare together, 2) hand clap, and 3) hi-hat. So you could be hearing the kick and snare playing a rhythm and when the hand clap comes in, that’s me clicking that sample. Likewise, every individual melody part is isolated. You could hear the piano from Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” playing, then transition into the piano with bass behind it, and then transition into a part with piano, bass, and singing. Those would be three individual loops and in order for that sequence to happen, I would click the new sample when I wanted that part to play. Multiple elements are combined into a single loop only when it’s impossible for me to play the individual parts in a way that I feel is adequate.When I occasionally step away from the computer, the music will not progress forward; it will endlessly loop. You will never see me stage diving or with my hands in the air during transitional moments. I need to manually trigger all of the individual elements of that particular section in order for it to occur. The loops are quantized when initially assembling them to allow for beat-matching.

The set is mapped out in advance, in an ideal way that I want to get through it, and I will have it memorized. It almost never goes down exactly how I planned though. Mistakes happen or sometimes I feel like changing something up. At any given moment, I can skip over a part, repeat something more than I had rehearsed, or change the arrangements. There is some variation every night, even when I’m attempting to play the same material.

We have a video component to the show, but it is not sync’d up to a SMPTE feed. It is triggered live by the guy who also is doing my lights in real-time, Ben Silverstein. Rachael Johnston develops videos content, based around short audio clips I send to her. These visuals are built around the ideal way I want to play that particular part. If something changes on the spot, it’s up to Ben to recognize this and improvise.

I make small changes to the set often. I will substitute a new part in for something that I don’t feel like playing anymore. If I want to include a new section, I will have to develop a transition in and out of it. Creating the new material and becoming familiar with executing it live can be time-consuming, which is why I am usually only able to change a couple minutes per week. The set is made up of enough loops and samples that I need to constantly rehearse in order to keep all the details fresh in my mind. Typically on the day of the show, if there is any new material involved, I will spend minimally 2 hours practicing before the performance.

If you sat someone down in front of my laptop and gave them a quick demonstration on how to trigger samples, then yes, they would be able to learn to play parts of the live material. I do think it would be an extremely difficult task to memorize and execute the entire set though. Most of my time and effort goes into actually developing the material: cutting up all of the samples and going through the trial and error process of finding combinations that work. By the time it gets to the live set, it’s already written. Anyone with a fundamental understanding of playing the guitar can learn how to play “Smoke On The Water,” that doesn’t mean that Deep Purple writing/playing that song is any less entertaining/valuable/awesome.

To reiterate, this was not meant to call anyone out or to start arguments. Everyone has their own approach to performing live electronic music, and I respect that. There is no right or wrong way to do it. I’ve been playing my laptop live for 12 years. Thanks to everyone who has made that possible!

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Caribou – Swim (6/10)

April 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Album Reviews

Had I heard Swim seven years ago I would have loved it, but since I’ve heard 200+ albums over the past couple years that sound exactly like it, I found it unaffectedly boring. – Just another album to listen to while I’m reading.

CaribouSwim (6 out of 10)

This whole electro-ambient trendy-restaurant-music genre is no longer the exception to the rule, it is the rule (and consequently the genre is rapidly growing more and more annoying).  Had I heard Swim seven years ago I would have loved it, but since I’ve heard 200+ albums over the past couple years that sound exactly like it, I found it unaffectedly boring. – Just another album to listen to while I’m reading.

- B

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