Porter Robinson’s ‘Worlds’ turns six, ‘Shelter,’ four
When Porter Robinson‘s debut studio album, Worlds, was released in August 2014, it was a renaissance for the dance music sphere. Mainstream EDM was experiencing a surge in popularity, and the scene was dominated by tried-and-true anthemic bass drops that were designed for mass appeal and cultivated a party-like atmosphere.
With Worlds, Robinson turned this widely accepted image of dance music on its head, bringing soft melodies and indie-pop synths to the pulsing electro sound he had previously cultivated with his 2012 single, “Language.” Not only was the album groundbreaking in its distinct forging of a new path for the genre, but it also allowed Robinson’s fans a glimpse into his mind and inspirations.
The DJ/producer has long been fascinated with Japanese culture and has taken inspiration from the sounds of Japanese video games as well as their signature anime-borrowing visuals. Though his interest in the country’s culture was present from the beginning in Worlds tracks like “Flicker,” this inspiration was brought to the forefront of the album and his career at large, assuming a major role in Robinson’s sonic and visual signature.
Worlds is a complex and divergent 12-track tapestry, weaving together upbeat, vibrant tracks with nostalgic melodies, bringing together the best parts of 2014’s easily-digestible EDM and combining them with Robinson’s own idiosyncratic elements, making the LP truly individual and unexampled. A clear hit in 2014—it reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Album chart—the LP has also carried its weight into 2020. With iconic tracks like “Sad Machine,” “Divinity,” and “Goodbye to a World,” Worlds is still bringing smiles to the faces of dance music fans old and new. The same is true of “Shelter,” Robinson’s August 2016 collaboration with Madeon. The two Robinson staples realized their sixth and fourth birthdays, respectively, on August 12, 2020.
Featured image: Jasmine Safaeian