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Music by VICE

THUMP on 1: Porter Robinson Wants People to Like His Music

Singing with robots, the influence of Dance Dance Revolution and moving beyond EDM on 'Worlds'.

by Zel McCarthy
May 14 2014, 5:00pm

After a much-talked about signing to Astralwerks last Fall, Porter Robinson's Worlds would be EDM's most anticipated album of the year - except the producer who built a career as a young ruler of festival main stage drops has made a decidedly un-EDM album.

"EDM is very functional," Robinson tells us. "It's meant to make people jump up and down and go crazy and it's real good at that. I just think in terms of expression, it's very very limiting."

When he stopped by THUMP in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, the 21-year-old had just put the finishing touches on his new single, "Sad Machine." It's the first record on which the producer actually sings (though he has some help from a Japanese robot) and like the rest of Worlds, it expresses a slice of his unique musical vision.

"When I first started writing the album, the first ten or so demos I made were very diverse," Robinson explains. "I honed in on two or three of those and noticed some like elements. There's one chord progression that appears throughout the album and I find it really emotional. It's not in any of my previous work."

Even though he says he feels "way better understood," now that he's making more melodic, less-banging music, Robinson admits to having some concerns about how his fans will react.

"One thing that scares me a little bit is that I want people to like my music, but I think a lot of what I like about my own music are these references to things that people don't share nostalgia with me on."

Given the fan response to early single "Sea of Voices," it's likely Robinson has nothing to worry about.

Watch the full interview to hear Porter talk about Dance Dance Revolution, signature sounds and the electronic music scene of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Worlds is available August 12 through Astralwerks in CD, digital and vinyl. Pre-orders, including limited edition bonus packages, start today here.