Trending this week: Porter Robinson's 'Worlds' album release!
Porter Robinson’s ‘Worlds’: Album Of The Year (Possibly Decade)
The Electronic Dance Music Scene has grown accustomed to appreciating young talent, of whom contribute greatly and masterfully to The Scene. After all, what would it say about our Culture if we were to exclude DJs/Producers merely because they would not normally be allowed to enter the venue unless they are spinning? We would be missing out on some of the best tracks and festival sets from the likes of: Madeon, Martin Garrix, Nicky Romero, Hardwell, and Porter Robinson. Furthermore, for a culture in which its members are stereotyped as ‘methed-out drug-zombies,’ there are not many examples of the aforementioned musicians having a ‘reckless’ time in the public eye—unlike the paralleled child-stars of the film industry: Lindsay Lohan, Macaulay Culkin, Amanda Bynes, Gary Coleman, and many others who matured in world-class f***-ups. Let’s not forget about the adolescent products of pop: Brittney Spears, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber (as painful it is to even write). Perhaps the MTV can forgive excessive twerking from a ‘role-model’ performer, but DJs within the Electronic Music Community have not quite earned equivalent ignorance from its critics.
In our current decade, we have been privileged to shuffle with deep house debonair—Frankie Knuckles, rage with the Progressive Prince—Eric Prydz, and drop it low with the madly decent—Diplo. As these pioneers of Electronic Dance Music have defined the musical genre, we welcome the young artists in hopes of evolving an already expansive list of incredible producers. This week, at last, Porter Robinson released his full Worlds album to the public. His twelve track composition is “The best music I’ve ever made,” quoted by the artist. We are now used to seeing DJs bombard social media with their self-promotion and hilarious antics to increase notoriety. While this has become the new standard for fame, it can be safely said that Porter Robinson’s album promotion has been one of the classiest and creative campaigns of the last decade. Perhaps the release of a full album, relatively new for EDM, has allowed for Robinson to define a new standard of perfection in his musical artistry of electronic music.
DJ/Producers such as Hardwell, Romero, and Garrix, are known for their big-room bangers that make your heart beat faster; Robinson’s Worlds is an alternative approach to understanding an emotional journey—through music. There is much respect for Robinson, given his deliberate angst for the direction of Electronic Dance Music. Though, the defining characteristic which sets his apart from others is his actions speaking louder than his words. Rather than continuing to produce music favored by wealthy ragers, Porter Robinson created an album of which completely represents himself. He intends to bring his listeners on an emotional journey: from sunset to sunrise, thinking in the car, or for ultimate self-reflection. This isn’t an album full of tracks to ‘roll’ on, nor does it consist of ‘festival bangers’ that will be played by every DJ at TomorrowWorld. Personally, I am more than alright with that. These twelve tracks are productions that need to be held with the utmost respect and admiration, rather than being amongst a controversial pre-recorded set from a headlining DJ.
As Porter Robinson opened pre-orders for his Worlds album, he provided listeners with several options to continually enjoy his art. We were given options of purchasing his album on CD, and also on vintage-style vinyl, for those who own a record player/turntable. While I did not own either prior to ordering Worlds, there was something about this album that I felt needed to be remembered on vinyl. Coincidentally, around the same time as the August 12th release date was revealed, Pioneer released photos of their new turntable—PLX-1000 (At the time, I didn’t know that it would be priced at $699). While I didn’t yet buy the newest Pioneer must-have, I was right about the magnificence of listening to this album on true vinyl. Until I was able to purchase the player, it was as if Porter Robinson was inside my mind, and provided digital copies of his entire album alongside his two, double-sided vinyl records.
When “Sea of Voices” was released as the first single of his Worlds album, it became clear of Robinson’s brilliant artistic talents. When “Sad Machine” proceeded, the level of anticipation and anxiety rose to levels comparable to the intimate moments of love and loss. Next was “Lionhearted,” which only further illustrated the greatly anticipated August full-album release. Lastly, as the final single released prior to the full twelve-track album, “Flicker” was a summer anthem so different to the market standard, I am certain album sales increased drastically following the release. In his choice of four singles leading to Worlds, there was a little bit of everything to expect from the remaining nine tracks: there was some uplifting beats, reflective melodies, and unique computerized vocals, which set Robinson apart from his fellow producers. Don’t expect this album to become over-hyped. It is not possible. Worlds has earned every right to fill up our news feeds and timelines. If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself!