Sometimes a track comes along that redefines your opinion of what a genre can be. In EDM, we were recently graced with Avicii’s Wake Me Up, in all it’s bluegrass-infused glory. Now another stalwart mainstream name, Porter Robinson, has come along with a track that promises to again change the face of EDM. Already known for his bombastic hits like Language, it isn’t a surprise that Robinson comes to the table with something new. Virtually nothing has come out of his studio lately other than a trickle of strange Twitter posts and a bizarre 10-hour announcement video for his forthcoming album Worlds. Until now.
To describe Sea Of Voices as epic would be like calling the ocean a pond. It is an extraordinary journey of pads, chimes, bells, enormous drums, and the atmospheric vocals of an unnamed female. The song, at 64 bpm, is not your typical EDM. In fact, it may not be EDM at all. What it is, however, is sheer beauty. And the choice to defy the EDM mainstream was fully intentional. On Twitter before the release, Porter shared his feelings:
Years ago, I realized that I wanted to write an album that focused on beauty above all else. The feeling of hugeness and gorgeousness and vastness and beauty is what I fucking live for. It is my favorite thing in the world. I kept trying to write songs that both satisfied me artistically and also could ‘work’ in a DJ set. Nobody ever heard these songs because they sucked and made me miserable. Again and again, I found that making a track ‘danceable’ just meant compromising and ignoring what the song really needed. And I found that the more I forced myself to work within those DJ-friendly limits, the more I resented the genre. I realized that the rift between the music that works for DJs and the music that I love had grown too huge to ignore.
I’ve had multiple anxiety attacks on stage this year and it was always related to feeling like a fraud. It sucked. The fucking watershed moment in writing ‘Worlds’ was when I realized that I didn’t have to write songs for DJs. I realized that my need to be honest with myself and with you was greater than my need to be famous or whatever. I don’t want to cheapen peoples’ past experiences of shows or songs. I still fuck with my old stuff. That was my favorite music when I was 18. I am 21 now and now I’m writing 21-year-old-me’s favorite music.
Given this viewpoint, Sea Of Voices’ ethereal soundtrack beauty, and masterful production, Worlds won’t be the EDM album many Porter Robinson fans are expecting. To our ears Sea Of Voices feels like an intro track to the album. If this is true, we can’t wait to see what Worlds we’re taken to when the album releases. Porter’s mystery vocalist proclaims “I see creation come undone.” If Worlds lives up to the building hype, it may be our definition of EDM that twists apart.
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