When: Mon., Oct. 31, 6 p.m. 2011
As if right on time, rave culture (or something resembling it) is back. Electro house, glitch hop and, in more recent years, dubstep, have found success underground, in the festival circuit, on TV ads and from the fringes of pop music, and its producers are increasingly drawn from DJ culture. At the center of the current movement (alongside the divisive producer Skrillex) is Derek Vincent Smith, a University of Colorado dropout whose rapid ascent can be attributed almost entirely to word-of-mouth — his freely available albums have drawn hundreds of thousands of downloads in the first year alone. Smith, operating as Pretty Lights, uses both digital and analog sampling techniques to create a sort-of trippy electro soul that somehow captures the gravitas of dubstep without resorting to that genre’s constant pummeling. Peep YouTube for a glimpse of Pretty Lights’ many-hued live show and you’ll see what I mean: Throngs of devotees moving in one fluid motion to chopped and screwed slivers of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Kanye West that, when paired with Smith’s beats, seem somehow elegant. Undoubtedly the party is dialed to 10, yet nuance isn’t lost in the mix. Zed’s Dead, Porter Robinson, Nit Grit, Wick-It the Instigator and Cherub open.