Photo by Jasmine Safaeian (@yasi)
26-year old producer and DJ, Porter Robinson, has been continuously taking the electronic music scene by storm, surprising fans and artists worldwide with his creative storytelling and nostalgic sounds. From his 2010 single titled “Say My Name,” his debut EP Spitfire through Skrillex‘s OWSLA label in 2011, his breakthrough album Worlds, and legendary collaboration with longtime friend Madeon for “Shelter;” Porter is highly praised and celebrated across the globe for his one-of-a-kind masterpieces with headlining shows in North America, Europe and Australia along with many festival appearances such as Coachella and Tomorrowland. After the final Shelter performance with Madeon during the second weekend of Coachella, Porter left fans questioning if he’d release any more creations for Worlds or what he would do next at such a successful point of his career. With that, Porter surprises them entirely with a brand new project titled Virtual Self.
Photo by Jasmine Safaeian (@yasi)
While Worlds was heavily inspired from his love and nostalgia for video games, Virtual Self celebrates the era of songs from the early 2000’s that he discovered during his early years; whether it be through games like Beatmania and Dance Dance Revolution, Japanese anime or media, or other local or international items that heavily influenced his childhood. In his interview with DJ Mag he explains, “I want to help us define how we remember the early 2000s. I want to help revitalize and bring those things to the forefront. I want to be one of the people who defines nostalgia for that time period.”
Source: Virtual Self / Twitter
With his creation of Virtual Self he allows us to dive back in to the sounds of trance, techno, 2-step, gabber, hardcore and more through his “producers” technic-Angel and Pathselector. Below are some of the songs each of them have released to showcase the two distinctive styles that they have:
EON BREAK – technic-Angel
“Eon Break” was the first song by technic-Angel released under the Virtual Self alias, showcasing a lot of drum-and-bass and hardstyle in the track. I listened to this on the day Porter announced his new Virtual Self project and I remember being incredibly excited for more releases to come because you can definitely see the time, effort, and research that he put in to create such a nostalgic yet “one-of-a-kind” sound.
Ghost Voices – Pathselector
Following “Eon Break,” Virtual Self releases the second song produced by Pathselector. Contrasting Eon Break, “Ghost Voices” provides this groovy yet eerie, underground-esque sound that’s entirely different from technic-Angel; I definitely see a lot house, techno, and trance influences on this track, and as a fan of trance myself I instantly fell in love with it. Have you seen the music video as well? Like many fans, I initially thought this video was digitally produced to later find out that Porter himself had directed the music video on set. Amazing.
Key – Pathselector
“Key” is one of the other tracks released on Virtual Self’s self-titled EP, and while it is also produced by Pathselector it contrasts the eerie and haunting vibes of “Ghost Voices” with very bright and upbeat sounds. Fans quickly took notice on how literal the title is, as it actually does change key midway through the track. As the lighter and euphoric sounding track out of all the songs released on the EP, fans took immediate liking to the song most likely because it was the closest sounding to something from Porter’s Worlds era.
Angel Voices – technic-Angel
“Angel Voices” was a recent track released by Virtual Self and is actually a remix made by technic-Angel of the original track “Ghost Voices” by Pathselector. Hearing this first live at EDC in Las Vegas took me completely by surprise because you wouldn’t think that Virtual Self would release a remix of his original track. While it still highlights the eerie groovy sounds from the original Ghost Voices, this 6-minute track definitely falls under technic-Angel’s style of happy hardcore and hard-hitting beats.
Alongside the release of Virtual Self’s EP and the recent release of “Angel Voices” is his headlining North-American Virtual Self Utopia Tour. The tour recently kicked off with an amazing performance at Electric Zoo this past weekend and has scheduled stops in a variety of cities across the US as well as Canada. In addition, Danny L Harle, Eprom, G Jones, Mat Zo, and Raito will be joining Virtual Self on the Utopia tour.
The Utopia show is split up into two different live systems—the first live system by Pathselector and the second live system by technic-Angel. These live systems will definitely bring fans the nostalgia factor of the early-2000’s electronic music while the custom-built lighting and stage production alongside the music will blow audiences away as an experience of a lifetime. Porter Robinson has always been so attentive to detail when it comes to his live productions, aesthetics and performances so there’s no doubt that his Virtual Self performance will far exceed expectations and be a show you absolutely cannot miss.
Click here for more info on show performances and to purchase tickets to experience one of the most unique productions of 2018! For more songs and to dive deeper into this mysterious, eternalistic void, be sure to check out Virtual Self’s website and other interactive sites and forums posted by Virtual Self, technic-Angel or Pathselector. Who knows, maybe you’ll find some hidden gems that us dedicated fans haven’t discovered yet!