Michal Menert of Pretty Lights Music graces the stage of three20south in Breckenridge Saturday to coincide with the Winter Dew Tour festivities. The popular Colorado-based artist coproduced the debut Pretty Lights album, "Taking Up Your Precious Time," and was the first artist signed to the record label, releasing "Dreaming of a Bigger Life" in 2010. Here, Menert gives a window into his technique:
It's preplanned - though there's a level of spontaneity in the song's presentation live, in the way I'll play certain bass or synth layers differently live on the MPC.
It depends - everything from digging for samples to designing an analog synth tone, to having a melody I want to get out. It all starts from something catching, like the record of my attention span skipping, getting stuck on a moment and building a world from it.
I'm inspired by old records, by fleeting moments, by peaks and valleys of emotion.
Because people will continue to steal music, and I'd rather not feel spite towards my audience just because I'm losing money on record sales. Plus sales charts add to a competitive nature in this industry that's become increasingly dominant over actual expression. I am going to start selling physical copies of my work on vinyl, because it's collectible and beckons the listener to interact with the listening process (putting the needle on the groove, flipping sides, etc. makes the experience more ritualistic than choosing a Pandora station or mp3 from iTunes).
It's going to be an amazing show. I'm touring with one of my favorite producers, Mux Mool, for this Colorado mini tour. We just traveled the East Coast together, and our styles are contrasting but complement each other. I'm bringing my drummer AC Lao along, too. And there's an up-and-coming producer from Denver that I added to the bill, named Late Night Radio. I've been listening to his stuff on tour, and this dude is nice on the beats.
I've got a great run of shows around New Year's Eve. I'll be up and down the East Coast that weekend, then headlining a PLM room at Stellar Spark 10 in Milwaukee for the New Year. I'm also releasing my first vinyl EP, "Elements," in March, but leading up to it I'm dropping a song a month. Check out http://elements.michalmenert.com.
I've been snowboarding for 15 years, and love it! Breck is one of my top three. Love the smoke shacks and tree runs.