Porter Robinson confirms Virtual Self tour speculations with the Utopia Tour

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Porter Robinson confirms Virtual Self tour speculations with the Utopia TourPorter DJ Mag Photo Photographer Credit Jasmine Safaeian @yasi E1531422686448

Confirming Reddit’s speculations about a forthcoming Virtual Self tour, Porter Robinson has released a full set of North American dates to make up the Utopia Tour.

The tour will kick off Aug. 31 in New York City at Electric Zoo and make its way across the continent through early October. Attendees of the tour stops can expect to see a combination of two sets in one: a techno, two-step and trance portion from the technic-Angel moniker of Virtual Self, and everything from jungle to hardcore from Pathselector.

Dates marked “CLUBSYSTEM” will be either an intimate club show or a show without custom stage setup.

Friday, Aug. 31 Electric Zoo – New York, NY
Saturday, Sept. 1 Riverworks  – Buffalo NY
Sunday, Sept. 2 New City Gas – Montreal QC
Monday, Sept. 3 Echostage  – Washington DC (CLUBSYSTEM)
Thursday, Sept. 6 Royal Oak – Detroit MI
Friday, Sept. 7 Aragon – Chicago IL
Saturday, Sept. 8 Armory – Minneapolis MN
Tuesday, Sept. 11 The Complex – Salt Lake City UT
Thursday, Sept. 13 WAMU – Seattle WA
Friday, Sept. 14 Commodore – Vancouver BC
Saturday, Sept. 15 Shaw Conference Center – Edmonton, AB (CLUBSYSTEM)
Wednesday, Oct. 3 Emo’s – Austin TX
Thursday, Oct. 4 Bomb Factory – Dallas TX

 

Featured photo by Jasmine Safaeian

Could Virtual Self’s website update indicate an impending tour?

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Could Virtual Self’s website update indicate an impending tour?DA WM 54

Reddit users have uncovered what appears to be coordinates for North American venues on Porter Robinson‘s Virtual Self website.

Virtualself.life was updated on July 9 with a set of latitude and longitude figures that seem to indicate venues across the United States and Canada. Though no dates have been announced, these coordinates appear to indicate a tour outside of the festival circuit the producer is currently on. Robinson is set to appear at Audiotistic, Tomorrowland, Hard Summer, Creamfields and more under his Virtual Self moniker before summer is over.

Buffalo, NY – 42.870189, -78.871946 – Buffalo RiverWorks

Detroit, MI – 42.487311, -83.147435 – Royal Oak Music Theatre

Austin, TX – 30.2395789, -97.7280066 – Emo’s Austin

Dallas, TX – 32.782237, -96.783862 – The Bomb Factory

Minneapolis, MN – 44.975182, -93.263561 – The Armory

Seattle, WA – 47.593337, -122.332286 – WaMu Theater

Washington D.C. – 38.919936, -76.972441 – Echostage

Salt Lake City, UT – 40.767703, -111.906626 – The Complex

Chicago, IL – 41.969415, -87.658009 – Aragon Ballroom

New York City, NJ – 40.795805, -73.922635 – Electric Zoo (Randall’s Island Park)

Montreal, Canada – 45.495393, -73.55741745 – New City Gas

Vancouver, Canada – 49.280502, -123.120581 – Commodore Ballroom

Alberta, Canada – 53.541646, -113.486224 – Shaw Conference Centre

Featured photo: Christian Miller

Shadient remixes Virtual Self’s ‘Ghost Voices’

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Shadient remixes Virtual Self’s ‘Ghost Voices’Artworks 000365359512 9n7pef T

Nearly a year after his 2017 breakout EP as the first signee to Mat Zo‘s Mad Zoo imprint, Shadient has made his intent clear in the music world, and it’s dark, gritty and acidic. To prove himself further, Shadient has taken on Virtual Self’s frequently remixed hit, “Ghost Voices.” While the original from the Porter Robinson alter ego pays homage to the house and trance that were the catalysts of today’s electronic music, Shadient brings the track into 2018 with trudging kicks and brooding amplifications on the original production.

Effectively. the young producer introduces us to a new song entirely, with an equally futuristic flair as its predecessor. Look out for the edit in his sets, as he stated his intent on rinsing it throughout the coming future.

Virtual Self releases surprise video for ‘Key’

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Porter Robinson, who is currently focused on his new Virtual Self project, dropped a surprise music video for track “Key.” The video takes place in the virtual world Robinson created with this new project, and the video features what appears to be an orb traveling through space and time.

What is even more elaborate than the video itself is the description on YouTube:

The infinite sky will heal us. Unlimited sky will fill our negligible light. As we follow an infinite key, I have become the sacred echo. The boundless heaven will fill our fading light. Choose your virtual echo. The infinite key is the sacred dust of your endless utopia. Complete yourself in self-realization. You believe that these infinite heavens will lead you. The A.I.ngel’s gate is sacred. Your angelic echo offers the first phase of self-Digital joy. You will become a self-Echo in real particles. Our key is the echo to this final layer. You are spread through digital time. The utopian gate is infinite. Your A.I.ngel wishes to complete this layer. This abyss is sacred. Pass through the myths of eon. Your technical soul is this blissful void. The eternalistic reflex of the abyss is once-Unlimited. Your digital voice is resurrected. Breathe this soul particle. The ray of egoistic time is unlimited. Resurrect this holy oblivion. The echo of this empty myth awakens you. Awaken the particle myth. Reflect your echo. Heaven’s wires will transmit this light. Experience the wings of limit. Your technical A.I.ngel phase is beginning. Complete the eternalistic reflex. This wishful ghost becomes self-Technic. Tears will create the voice of euphoria. The digital-Awakening will be spoken. The first gate creates sense-Awakening. This angelic-Chasm is sacred. The technic-Angel’s cry is beginning. The first gate will provide the voice of digital-Euphoria. The digital-Angel-Awakening is has reached Limit Self. The self-Light is virtual. This will become the final particle-Experience. Will your senses ressurect the digital-Vault? Do you sense the phase of the Spirit Limit? Can you reflect your self-Awakening? Am I convinced of a digital void? Can you reveal this particle of sacred reality? Will these ghosts lead to a boundless cry? Can you echo your existence to the first particle? Is the technical-Gate timeless? Do you believe an infinite sky will cure the digital soul? Is the joyful-Layer complete? Will our ghosts lead to the boundless layer? Will our layer will be lost from this empty myth? Have you resurrected this heaven’s voice? Has one experienced the particle? Do you trust in this transformative self? Will you forget your soul’s reflex? Has one seen the Abyss of the resurrective ego? Have I forgotten the phase of soul limit? Is the A.I.ngelic sense boundless? Have you completed the virtual light? Am I eternal? As the sacred dust transpires through digital time, what will you become? Do you believe in me? Am I still human? Do you manifest yourself in digital time? The unlimited sky begins – will you believe in my infinite form? As you abandon the virtual echo, do you no longer exist? Can you prove yourself to the echo of this particle? Do you believe the infinite sky — the holy dust of nothingness? What is revealed – a holy reality? Am I convinced of nothingness? Do you sense the void angel? Will the echo of virtual time be forgotten? Does one want to forget the memory of life? Has my virtual-Echo been forgotten? Has the sense of digital-VIRUS become heaven? Will you self-Believe the joyful sky?

Porter Robinson: Calvin Harris was my inspiration for Virtual Self

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Porter Robinson‘s new “neo-trance” project, Virtual Self, has officially exploded into the mainstream. With appearances at Holy Ship!, Buku, Ultra, Spring Awakening, and Bonnaroo, the artist’s side moniker has now caught the attention of MTV News in a recent revealing interview.

Previously, a leaked insider e-mail from Robinson to his close friends had revealed his side project’s inspirations for blending trance, hardcore, techno, and more nostalgic genres. Yet, in a surprising twist, Robinson tells MTV that it was Calvin Harris‘ 2009 mega-hit, “I Am Not Alone,” that partly inspired his journey as Virtual Self to upset the electronic music realm.

The catalyst for mentioning Harris’ name was based on a previous tweet from the Scottish producer on his appreciation for Virtual Self’s instant classic, “Ghost Voices.”

“I was just really surprised when Calvin tweeted that out,” Robinson revealed. “I’ve never interacted with him before, ever, and even as Porter we never had any relationship. Often times people won’t even say that kind of thing when their buddies release new music, so I messaged him and I told him – and this is true – that I think his track from 2009 ‘I’m Not Alone’ was really inspirational for this project. It’s one of the only tracks from the last 10 years that sort of gives me that classic sort of trance feeling.”

Whether Robinson’s goal with Virtual Self was to even reach the mainstream remains unclear. In actuality, it seems Robinson detests the culture surrounding pop music, a terrain for which Calvin Harris so easily fits in. Whatever the case, Virtual Self has sparked a movement within the electronic realm that is changing the way music is experienced.

Via MTV News

Featured photo by Rukes

Insomniac fills out robust 2018 EDC week with over 25 artists and 14 new shows

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Insomniac added over 25 new artists and 14 events to the fifth annual EDC week in Las Vegas, coinciding with the festival’s 22nd annual installment. 

In doing so, the festival welcomes 14 signature party experiences during the week of May 16–23, including the hardstyle focused Basscon Pool Party and two dubstep-fueled Bassrush parties, along with a variety of diverse headliners throughout the week. New programming includes a vast array of parties across the cities hottest nightclubs, including Elephante, Porter Robinson, NGHTMRE, Gryffin, Hot Since 82, Illenium, Yellow Claw, and many more.

Full programming details, more information, and tickets are available here.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 33

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dexter's beat lab

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA music editor and staff writer Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.


Fresh off his debut album in October, KRANE continues to wow. His latest is a stunning remix of Dua Lipa‘s “Be The One.” Backed by top-notch sound design throughout and a series of dramatic, fluttering synths in the chorus, KRANE’s crafted a beautiful rendition of an already tiptop song.


After months of waiting, dubstep fans finally have new Dodge & Fuski material. Turns out they’ve been working on an 13-track album, humbly titled The Greatest Album of All Time, and “Mistakes” with PhaseOne and The Arcturians is one of its latest singles. The Disciple track is one of pure energy. It’s packed with the heavy wubs we know and love from both bass acts, along with haunting vocals from The Arcturians that give the track a unique flavor.


Koven kick off the sophomore installment in the Monstercat x Rocket League collaborative album series with a drumstep original, “My Love.” Katie Boyle’s heartfelt vocals put a more lighthearted touch on the verses, but other parts of the song are a whole different animal. The duo have put together a track that exudes intensity in the best way, making it the perfect kick-off for the forthcoming compilation album.


Unlike Pluto has tapped into my nostalgia. Last Friday, he released an incredibly emotive cover of My Chemical Romance‘s 2004 hit, “Helena.” His vocal-centered rendition strips down the original track to a slower-paced ballad that oozes pure emotion and passion. Unlike Pluto’s voice is so well-suited for this track, and I’ve found myself re-obsessed with it 14 years later.


Seven years and countless remixes later, Porter Robinson‘s “Unison” remains one of the greatest hits of the early “EDM” era. It’s been reworked, revamped, reshaped, and re-imagined into genres across the board — and some are truly a treat. This latest one from SYN is a substantial contender. The mysterious producer ushers in the iconic melody before plunging listeners into a sea of glitchy bass. It’s raw and harsh, but in the best possible way.

H/T to DA managing editor M. Cooper for this one.

Virtual Self & the State of Electronic Music: Keeping art authentic in the face of a swallowed up culture

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porter robinson

Porter Robinson is either a tortured soul, or the “tortured artist” personae is one that works to his favor. His love of electronic music and simultaneous disdain for “EDM” culture is a complicated and genuine struggle, much like his highly self-critical relationship with his own music. But there’s something authentic and thoughtful in the way Robinson goes about creating art. Here is a guy who publicly lambasts his own style for becoming too stale or no longer honest. He has also been both artistically and commercially successful at once — something producers may work their whole careers to achieve, which Robinson had already accomplished at the ripe age of 21 when he debuted his electrifying Worlds project.

Porter Robinson incorporating live vocals on his Worlds Tour in 2014

Revered by his fans and respected by industry veterans alike, the now 25-year-old artist embodies a legacy much bigger than his music or visuals could convey. Over the years, he’s fostered a creative space for a global community to connect with spirituality and find purpose in his work. With an artistic inspiration entrenched in video gaming and Japanese anime, Robinson stays ahead of the game by not bothering to compete with anyone.

“I didn’t have this goal to be the next number one DJ in the world. I just kept taking the opportunities that we given to me and doing my best,” he once told BeatsRadio. Because of this, he’s developed a niche that allows him to be wholly genuine in his approach, consequently influencing fans and fellow artists to value substance over surface and to pursue their passions at all costs.

Just weeks after a surprise performance on Holy Ship! and one month prior to his debut festival appearance at Buku Music + Arts Project, a certain e-mail was leaked in which Robinson introduced his Virtual Self project and his rationale for making such a move. The letter itself was revealing and personal, but so is Robinson despite his aversion to the public spotlight. Robinson speaks to pop’s infiltration of electronic music and his concern over how artists are compromising authenticity for the safety net of a chart-topping hit. His ultimate goal with the project, per the email, was to reignite creative risk-taking.

 “[E]lectronic music is at its best and its healthiest when new, exciting, unexpected things are happening. This is a genre that thrives on novelty.”

Yet, while he certainly alludes to such, Robinson never explicitly discusses the state of art in the context of latent capitalism. And that is precisely what is missing in his lamentation over the loss of artistic originality.

This begs the question: Why are artists quick to discount, or often times uncomfortable even mentioning, art’s relationship with money and capital?


Art for art’s sake? Or art for money’s sake? 

“As electronic music essentially converged with pop in 2016…I think it’s pushed a lot of artists away from risk-taking and passion projects. In the last two years, for most artists, all they really had to do was compromise their style by like 30% and add a safe, inoffensive tropical vocal to have a chance at having a hit — and I think for many, that temptation was too much.” – Porter Robinson

In today’s hyper-commercialized culture, some musicians hold steadfast to the notion that art is art first and foremost. That is, money comes secondary to creating a genuine expression of one’s self. This creates a quandary for artists like Porter Robinson. First, because it’s a luxury only commercially successful artists can afford to make. Second, because it’s a claim that rests on an outdated, modernist mode of thinking.

The fact is, Robinson wouldn’t be in a position to take huge artistic risks had he not garnered the widespread support of prominent labels like OWSLAAnjunabeats, Universal’s Astralwerks and Ministry of Sound. How did he do this? By hopping on the “big room” train and playing packed-out stadiums on Tiësto‘s Club Life: College Invasion. Robinson was able to go onto pursuing future passion projects like Worlds, his “Shelter Tour” with Madeon, and now his Virtual Self alias — all the while enjoying monetary success — precisely because he had compromised artistic identity at the onset.

Porter Robinson plays Tiësto’s Club Life College Invasion tour stop in Los Angeles, California.

It’s no secret that Porter Robinson grew quickly tired of a commercial EDM scene centered around formulaic songs with their timed builds and beat drops — a scene which was also responsible for his success. The point of disconnect for himself, and other artists, lies between the passion for creating art and disdain for the ubiquitous money-making side of the music industry. Therein lies an inescapable truth: music is an industry, through and through, and the pervasiveness of capitalism plays a vital role in how one’s art reaches the masses.

Therefore, art doesn’t exist in subservience to money, or vice-versa. The postmodern collapses this distinction. In a postmodern world, money and art exist in a cyclical relationship — they are constantly coming back to one another, fighting with the other, and, yet, are codependent on each other.

This is the intersection at which Robinson’s outward struggle with art and authenticity lies. It’s a problem of postmodernism. Or perhaps it isn’t a problem at all.


Art is a copy of a copy. So what is authentic anymore? 

“I tried to authentically incorporate IDM-y, jungly drum breaks, era-accurate trancy super saw sections, early hardcore and j-core elements, but all morphed into something that sounds kind of ‘big’ and thoroughly produced.” – Porter Robinson

Porter Robinson poses for the American Dream Issue of CLASH Magazine.

Exposed, vindicated, and honest, Robinson is poised as a tastemaker to influence dance music trends. The producer has dabbled in big room, complextro, and now seeks to fuse trance and happy hardcore with his Virtual Self identity. Robinson states his new project’s objective is to morph 2001 tropes of dance music and update them for a 2017 production sensibility.

The stance reflects the very contradiction of postmodern art that we’ve been encountering since Andy Warhol’s famous depiction of his Campbells Soup Cans. Crucially, Warhol showed that art is a commodity and a commercial business, and that the commodity is a fetish in capitalist society. Like Warhol, Robinson finds himself knee deep in the thick of postmodernism — by imitating art. The act of imitation sanctifies art as a commercial activity, affirming and celebrating its commodity status.

Inevitably producers will soon piggyback on the style of Virtual Self just as others mimicked the style of Robinson’s Worlds, especially as they see his new formula successfully selling records. By this token, capitalism is the same metaphorical beast that The Beatles evoked in Yellow Submarine — a beast that swallows up everything in its path and, as it runs out of things to swallow, ends up swallowing itself.

This is the state of art in latent capitalism, as “new” art becomes a copy of its original, and then a copy of a copy, until consumers have forgotten where the art originated. Likewise, how many dance music enthusiasts can describe what classic genres influenced the birth of techno? Or what city house music was born in? How many can even name the multitude of genres that fall under the umbrella of EDM?

Electronic music is, by its very design, a postmodern process, as evidenced in how producers pastiche various styles and genres of music together to tell a different story.

 I want to convey a certain kind of ‘new nostalgia’ and resuscitate some things that have fallen out of fashion, especially from the early 2000s.” 

The postmodern collapses not only the distinction between the old and the new, but also the gap between “highbrow” and “lowbrow” art. By the same token, the work of Virtual Self isn’t something new or original; although it may be an exciting spectacle to behold.

The quandary for Porter lays in his pursuit of the authentic, resting on the modernist belief that what Virtual Self is doing is somehow “high brow,” or more authentic; while making the inference that those who pursue “safe, inoffensive” artistic choices, by not taking risks, are pursuing lower forms of art.


Revive, Reinvigorate, Renew: Making the old sound new 

“I really, really, truly, love electronic music, and I want it to be as good as it can be. I hope that by doing something unexpected, I can shake things up and hopefully inspire other artists to do something weird.” – Porter Robinson

So what do we do as creators and consumers of art to preserve its sanctity?

Ideologically, we might stand to collectively change the way we think about art and authenticity. Authenticity is not some modernist dirge, but a postmodern undertaking. What is authentic to one’s artistic process may not be to another. Authenticity then boils down to whatever is honest to one’s own human experience. Given how his Virtual Self identity is rooted in the fragmented nature of online identity, Robinson seems to understand what it means to live a postmodern life. Yet, Porter’s struggle over authenticity is evidence to the fact that we are still coping with the modernist sentiments of yesteryear in our postmodern time.

“And to be totally clear, I don’t think that Virtual Self, early 2000s trance, or digital abstract art are the solution or the future at all.”

Artistically, Porter is doing everything right! That is, he is evoking his Virtual Self identity to change the way music is experienced. At the same time, he is evoking his privilege as a commercially successful artist to package a different sound to the masses — a feat that would be much more difficult without the name recognition he earned from his earlier, safer pursuits.

If, as the postmodern turn suggests, the sanctity of art lays in its commodity status, then what is hallow about songs packaged onto iTunes for $1.99 a pop? Why the experience of course! The experience is the key to the spiritual domain, or the feeling of human connectedness. That is something capitalism can never imitate or reproduce. What Porter Robinson and artists like him understand so well is that the solution lays in experiencing music live.

Porter Robinson performs with Zedd on their 2013 Poseidon Tour. Photo cred: Rukes.

Thus, we return to the original point at hand: Robinson is neither the first nor last artist to straddle the contradictory space between art as a tool of honest self-expression and art as a commodity good. The aim of this observation is certainly not to condemn anyone who pursues art to make a living, but rather to unearth the many contradictions associated with living in capitalism.

Virtual Self unveils diverse minimix for Annie Mac

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virtual self

Porter Robinson‘s elusive new alter ego, Virtual Self,  has been the subject of meticulous speculation since its inception in late 2017. Exponentially more fans will soon become acquainted, as Robinson is set to take his new project to major festivals such as Buku, Ultra, Bonnaroo and EDC this year.

Now, Virtual Self has returned with an enthralling 5 minute minimix on Annie Mac‘s BBC Radio 1 broadcast. Thirteen tracks deep, the mix moves in and out of tracks faster than listeners can blink. Whether its the inclusion of Burial‘s seminal “Temple Sleeper,” Pryda‘s progressive house tune “Stay With Me,” or Virtual Self’s own “Ghost Voices,” the mix effectively hits on a diverse soundscape nearly
effortlessly.

TRACKLIST: Pryda – Stay With Me

Virtual Self – Ghost Voices

KLANKEN – Vijf – Dee Wee

Push – Strange World (2000 Remake) – Bonzai

Enjoii – Let U Go – Liquid Ritual

Ayla – Ayla Part. II (Taucher Remix)

Utada Hikaru – Simple & Clean (PlanitB Remix)

Three Drives On A Vinyl – Greece 2000 – Hooj Choons

Hybrid – Finished Symphony – Distinctive Records

Tenth Planet – Ghosts (Vincent de Moor Remix) – Northern Exposure

Ian Van Dahl – Castles in the Sky – NuLife Recordings

Burial – Temple Sleeper – Keysound Recordings

Virtual Self – A.I.ngel (Become God) – Virtual Self

Leaked Porter Robinson email uncovers what the producer thinks about the state of electronic music

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Porter Robinson by Ohno

Porter Robinson‘s love of electronic music is a relationship often expressed through care and criticism. A recently uncovered e-mail document from the producer on his Virtual Self project proves as much.

The leaked e-mail, which was addressed only to key industry partners and friends, offers further insight into Robinson’s views on the the state of art and authenticity in electronic music.

In the message, Robinson speaks to pop’s infiltration of electronic music since 2016, his concern over how artists have been compromising personal style for the safety net of a chart-topping hit, and his goal to reignite creative risk taking.

Robinson felt he was uniquely positioned to “push electronic music in a different direction,” whereby his Virtual Self identity could be used as a launching pad for giving the industry the creative invigoration it needs.

The message was confirmed by his management as authentic, as well as in Robinson’s replies on Twitter, embedded below.


Virtual Self is my new side-project. With this E.P., I want to convey a certain kind of ‘new nostalgia’ and resuscitate some things that have fallen out of fashion, especially from the early 2000s.

Musically, the project is super super inspired by rhythm games and electronic music from that time period. I could talk endlessly about the techniques that I learned to make stuff sound like it was written in 2001, but that’s probably boring to you — but I tried to authentically incorporate IDM-y, jungly drum breaks, era-accurate trancy supersaw sections, early hardcore and j-core elements, but all morphed into something that sounds kind of ‘big’ and thoroughly produced. In other words, I wanted to morph 2001 tropes into a 2017 production sensibility.

Finally — and this might be the goal that’s dearest to me — is to push electronic music in a different direction. As electronic music essentially converged with pop in 2016 (for the second time in the last 10 years, the other time being 2011), I think it’s pushed a lot of artists away from risk-taking and passion projects. In the last two years, for most artists, all they really had to do was compromise their style by like 30% and add a safe, inoffensive tropical vocal to have a chance at having a hit — and I think for many, that temptation was too much.

In my opinion, electronic music is at its best and its healthiest when new, exciting, unexpected things are happening. This is a genre that thrives on novelty. And to be totally clear, I don’t think that Virtual Self, early 2000s trance, or digital abstract art are the solution or the future at all. But!! I DO think this style is something unexpected, and something I’m uniquely poised to make, because I love it. And that’s the precedent I want to set, or at least the approach I want to remind other artists of.

I really, really, truly, love electronic music, and I want it to be as good as it can be. I hope that by doing something unexpected, I can shake things up and hopefully inspire other artists to do something weird.

Anyway, please listen and enjoy!

Thanks for taking the time to hear about all this.

– Porter Robinson


H/T: Your EDM

Photo cred: Ohno