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by
21 August, 2014@2:24 am
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Along with his own Beatport chart topping singles, Porter Robinson has had a hand in both Zedd’s “Clarity” and Mat Zo’s “Easy”, showing that he almost has the touch of gold. But with EDM starting to fizzle out in terms of popularity, it seems that Porter has realized that he must go beyond the genre for his full-length debut, Worlds.


Showing off incredible song-writing capabilities, as well as amazing technical wizardry, Porter Robinson raises the bar for his six-figure-per-show peers. Abandoning the formulaic EDM recipes, the 22 year old producer actually slows things down tremendously, with little on Worlds tailored for festivals or massive nightclubs.


Inspired largely by the music of 1998 Nintendo 64 title, The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time, Porter employs a lot of atypical sounds to Worlds, giving the album a sort of weightless feel, yet heavy on emotional impact. The impressive “Sad Machine”, finds Porter sharing a duet with a Vocaloid – that is, an application that allows one to program lyrics and musical notation for them to be sung in key. The lyrics seem to reflect some kind of past wrong doings in a relationship, but could be taken more literally, as the Vocaloid being the one dependent on Porter’s programming. In either case, the end result is a bittersweet, brilliantly crafted song.


The same can be said for songs like the album opener, “Divinity”, or the blue-eyed soulful “Flicker”, both of which use electronic synths, but march at a much groovier pace, abandoning the four-on-the-floor style for snares.


Very impressive later is “Hear The Bells”, with Imaginary Cities, which channels a deeper, 80′s new wave sound. Finding it on the soundtrack to The Breakfast Club or Donnie Darko would not sound out of place. This also goes for “Lionhearted”, featuring Urban Cone, which tiptoes a little more around Porter’s EDM origins.


Things get a bit more heavy handed on disjointed “Fellow Feeling”, which wears its heart on its sleeve with a monologue midway through that reeks of bad coffee shop poetry. Despite this minor misstep, Porter is better to let the music speak for itself, as he does on much of the rest of the album.


“Goodbye To A World” closes the album out, infusing various elements of the entire project into one track: vocaloids, video game sounds, and even a rare EDM “drop”. The title almost suggests that by the time that track has begun, he’s already abandoned this album’s sound and is ready to move onto the next thing.


While the album itself is a bit of a dying format, its also a defining format, especially in the case of disposable genres like hip-hop and electronic music. Its here that an artist really proves themselves to be either someone with a few hits under their belt, or someone that has the potential for longevity. With Worlds, Mr. Robinson leans towards the latter.


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