After a two year break, Porter Robinson has been shaking up the EDM world with his new project, Virtual Self. He recently gave an interview to MTV UK on the future of the project, and why he decided to do it the way he did.
As the interview describes it, Virtual Self’s EP is “a loving homage to the some of the sounds of the early noughties, brought on by what [Robinson] describes as a reaction to the ‘compromises’ he felt were being made in the EDM scene. Dubbing it ‘neo-trance’, the new five-track EP under his new moniker blends trance, hardcore, techno and more nostalgic genres for the most diverse collection of electronic dance music we’ve heard in an eon.”
Around 2014, Robinson was growing sick and tired of what he said was “the big room EDM sound that was dominating the festival main stages.” Producers were making too many compromises in an effort to get more plays on the radio and losing sight of what makes electronic music great.
“I think that as somebody who loves electronic music and who wants it to do well and I want even the most visible parts of the scene, even the mainstream to be producing music that’s worthwhile and that we can all be proud of,” he said. “I was like ‘I really want electronic music to be great.’ I don’t say any of this to knock any individual artist, but I do think electronic music is at its healthiest when people are trying to do something new and pull from influences they haven’t pulled from before.”
And it looks like people agree with him – Virtual Self’s “Ghost Voices” has generated a lot of buzz, including from Calvin Harris who tweeted that it was a “Big tune.”
“I was just really surprised when Calvin tweeted that out,” Robinson said. “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 things 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.”
But if you’re missing his releases as Porter Robinson, don’t worry. He says he’s not done making music under his own name yet and that the Virtual Self project exists alongside. “I’m never going to stop writing music as Porter Robinson and I see Virtual Self as more of a tangent. I’m releasing more music as Virtual Self, I’m definitely going to be touring Virtual Self.”