Before even reaching the age of 21, Porter Robinson already has the presence of a veteren, completely selling out the 2,000+ capacity Roseland Ballroom in the middle of one of the worst blizzards in recent history. The LIE was shut down all weekend, but city warriors manned the cold and the snow and fought there way to Midtown to catch the rising superstar rock out his current Circle Assembly Tour. After reaching fame at an early age with remixes of Avicii’s ‘Seek Bromance’ and Yolanda and D Cup’s ‘We No Speak Americano’, Porter signed to Skrillex’s OSWLA label and skyrocketed to superstardom. His first album on the label, Spitifire, jumped straight to number one on both Beatport and the iTunes dance music chart. His latest hit, ‘Language’, was one of the biggest anthems of the summer, being dropped by seemingly everyone while Porter spun at nearly ever major dance music festival. What else is there for this man to do?
Well, the answer is, a lot. Based on some of the yet to be ID’d tracks Porter played at Roseland, you can expect some big things for this producer in the coming months. Porter is unique in that he has managed to blend his appeal across two huge genres that are barely mentioned in the same breathe – trance and dubstep. It seemed like Porter was on his way to trance superstardom in his early days, creating catchy synth hooks that fit perfectly over clean productions. But after signing with Skrillex, Porter was shot into dubstep relatively early for the North American scene and his music reflected that, featuring heavy drops and wobbling bass without fully abandoning the skills that brought him to prominence.
The result is an awesome mix of the best of both genres. You get the catchy synths that fill up the room and make you want to bounce your hands in the air. But the drops are powerful with somewhat experimental noises that allow you to let loose and jump around. And because the sounds appeal to fans of both genres, Porter switch seamlessly between the two genres when playing other people’s music. Who else can go back and forth between Wolfgang Gartner, Flux Pavilion, Steve Angello, Gessafelstein, RL Grime, W&W, Figure, Madeon, and Nero? Seriously – look at how different those artists are, it at no point seems weird or forced. It’s really awesome and most DJs couldn’t pull off going back and forth between the two genres.
I also want to give a shout out to Huge Euge, who went on right after Porter. The local DJ went on right after Porter got off, which was a little after three. This is generally a time that people flock the coat checks and fight for cabs – but the main floor remained relatively packed. Euge similarly switched between heavy songs and more mainstream hits, picking solid tracks that clearly made much of the crowd reconsider their plans for the next hour. It was a nice complement to the previous set.
But the spotlight should deservedly be on Porter Robinson, who far exceeded expectations in his biggest New York City solo show to date. His stage set up was fantastic, featured a giant LED structure with solid video mapping adding another element to the table, making it bigger than your average party. It’s rare for a DJ to be able to play music in such a variety of genres in one set, and even rarer for it not to be completely terrible. Porter Robinson only serves to get bigger and bigger as these genres reach new heights in America. He’s one of the rare DJ’s whose track could be played by Armin Van Buurn and Skrillex in the same night.