Pretty Lights (credit: prettylightsmusic.com)
Picking top bands in any genre or city is a subjective matter. Denver has a thriving and dynamic music community filled with many big names and independent talent across all genres, and the electronic scene is no different. There are numerous electronic bands/producers that deserve recognition and the following list just skims the surface. The following list of Denver’s top electronic bands was put together with the help and guidance of Denver tastemakers and artists Blake Jackson, Eryc Eyl and Curtis Washington.
Two Fresh, comprised of twin brothers Sherwyn and Kendrick Nicholls, has exploded in the electronic scene over the last five years. The pair’s fresh take on production has garnered many fans as well as invitations to play all over the country. Two Fresh’s brand of music leans heavily on a hip-hop influence while being drum heavy and drenched in soul. The duo’s latest release is “Watch This!” and can be streamed or downloaded from the website. Two Fresh was a big part of the Smog City Tour which just graced several stages across the country.
Pretty Lights may arguably be the most popular electronic musician to hail from Colorado. Derek Vincent Smith, the mind behind the production, began his career using samples to create his sound, but today he is all analog using his own recorded sound bits to build each piece of the track. Pretty Lights’ most recent release is the Grammy-nominated “A Color Map of the Sun.” Pretty Lights is in the middle of an international tour. Check the website to see what cities he will grace next.
Samples, also known as Ben Samples, creates an eclectic mix of hip-hop, glitch hop, house and dub step beats that get the club moving. Moonlighting as a sound engineer, Samples’ flawless production has the clean sound that can only be created by a professional. His latest release is “Sex, Drugs and Bass Volume 2.”
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As a more modern-style producer and DJ, Paper Diamond appeals to EDM lovers of all kinds and travels the world to share his music. Under his real name, Alex Botwin, he also runs a Boulder, Colorado-based music label coined Elm & Oak. Paper Diamond is embarking on a national tour in April, check the website to see the full tour schedule including cities and venues.
Dynohunter makes its version of electronic music a little differently than what most expect. The trio, comprised of Clark Smith, Justin Ehmer and Fred Reisen, creates live beats with a mix of saxophone, keyboard, bass, synth, drums and more. The group brings together the live instrumentals with more typical DJ techniques to create one of the more high-energy and engaging live shows. Dynohunter’s latest release “Megawatts & Monoliths” EP is available for free download via Facebook. Dynohunter is playing several shows in Colorado over the next month, from the mountains to the city.
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Nicole Cormier is a hip-hop head with business ambitions who stumbled awkwardly into journalism in 2007 as Colorado Music Buzz’s hip-hop editor. She is the publisher and editor of the Colorado hip-hop e-magazine. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.