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The Road to Lights All Night: Meet Charlesthefirst

Lights All Night has become one of the year’s most anticipated end-of-year gatherings over the past decade. Held annually at Dallas Market Hall in downtown Dallas, TX, the festival has gained a veritable reputation as the South’s premier holiday dance music festival. This year, DiploKaskadeExcisionTiësto, and REZZ are among the top acts that will draw fans to the twi-day indoor massive. To take a closer look, we’re highlighting some of our favorite acts on the bill’s undercard in our Road to Lights All Night series. 

Charles Elias Ingalls has been gaining so much ground under his Charlesthefirst moniker that it could be likened to a vast tundra. For one, he’s been named among Conscious Electronic‘s Breakout Acts of 2018. The 22-year-old Lake Tahoe-native grew up inspired by the beautiful Sierra Nevadas he called home and that certainly shines through in his music. In fact, he uses field recording in order to capture organic sounds and sample them in his music.

Now why use a tundra metaphor, you may be pondering. Well, it’s because Ingalls’ music in so entrenched in natural elements that it becomes icy and bleak at times, at other times warm and crisp. Throughout any given track’s progression, it feels a lot like passing through the darkness of nightfall and remerging into dawning of sunrise. It’s entirely cyclical like the seasons. It’s also wildly imaginative and meditative, like standing out on a cliff and taking in a breathtaking mountain landscape.

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More than anything else, his music can be classified as downtempo, breakbeat, experimental bass music. But it is equally hard to pin down. With roots in hip-hop elements, and heavily influenced by natural tribal instrumentation, Charlesthefirst is certainly making a name for himself as a transcendent beat maker.

To gain a better sense of Charlesthefirst’s deep and calming sound, we’ve listed one of our favorite tracks in “The Descent,” which he released two years ago. The track is a prelude to his most recent, independently released full-length album, The Ascent, which has received monumental fan and critical applause right out of the gate.

Also, be sure to check her out at this year’s Lights all Night, held December 28 – 29. Limited GA tickets remain and can be purchased on their website.