Pretty Lights Music’s Eliot Lipp to perform in Steamboat on Saturday |

Pretty Lights Music’s Eliot Lipp to perform in Steamboat on Saturday

Nicole Inglis

Electronic music producer Eliot Lipp will perform Saturday at The Tap House Sports Grill. Tickets are $10, and DJ Also Starring opens the show at 10 p.m.

— Eliot Lipp had an answer ready. He paused before he spoke, as he commonly does, chewing over what he was going to say about why he, a trained visual artist, turned to producing electronic music. As he speaks, his words develop a momentum, each thought building on another like one of his carefully composed tracks.

"When you're a painter, or when you make art, and you have that moment where you finish a project and you're going display it or show it, there would be an art opening," he said. "A bunch of people come and stand around and drink wine and have these little pretentious conversations about your work.

"When you finish a piece of music, you play your music as loud as you possibly can; they put these bright lights on you; it's a celebration. I still love to paint, but the instant gratification of music is pretty cool."

No stranger to the Rocky Mountains as a member of Denver-based record label Pretty Lights Music, Lipp will appear in Steamboat Springs on Saturday.

The show starts at 10 p.m. at The Tap House Sports Grill, and DJ Also Starring opens. Tickets are $10.

Although he makes his living producing electronic dance music, Lipp grew up listening to hip-hop. Dance music wasn't part of his musical palate until recently.

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"I grew up listening to hip-hop, and I got into producing by making beats," said Lipp, who has toured around the world with his laptop, MIDI controller and an analog Korg keyboard from the 1970s.

"One thing you'll notice with producers that started making hip-hop and broke out into dance music — in hip-hop culture, a huge part of it is to be original," he said. "You have to have your own style. That's true with being an emcee, a graffiti writer or any element hip-hop."

It all starts with a sample.

"I buy lots of old records and dig for old soul, R&B and jazz and listen for little melodies and rhythms that I can steal."

Wait, steal?

Lipp said sample-based electronic music gives new life to short pieces of old recordings and that sometimes the original inspiring sample might not even show up on the final product that was constructed around it.

As he learns more about the history of dance music and the myriad of iterations of the genre, he said, he's become more influenced by club sounds.

"My first love was downtempo music. I still keep going back to that," he said. "But I've definitely, over the years, been more and more into the high-energy stuff.”

Lipp said he always looks forward to trips to Colorado, where he said electronic music fans have broad tastes.

"Sometimes, you go out, and they just want to hear house or dubstep," he said. "Colorado seems to be pretty open to all kinds of styles of electronic music. I think people seem to be ready for new music and new sounds."

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email

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