Virtual Self: Porter Robinson’s New Project

Porter Robinson, one of EDM’s massive names, seems to be taking a break from his usual musical style. Many know him from his “Worlds” album that dropped in 2014, or his collaboration with Madeon on the hit single “Shelter.” Despite all of Porter’s recent success, he seems to be putting work released under that alias aside for a new project. On Oct. 25, Porter tweeted about a new project he was working on called Virtual Self. This announcement tweet came with a link to Virtual Self’s first single, “EON BREAK.”

Virtual Self, while clearly influenced by Porter’s original sound, stills stands out and is able to establish itself as an individual force. Virtual Self carries over some of the fantasy-like, anime inspired sounds Porter is known for, and expands and experiments with these sounds on its new singles.

The Virtual Self single “EON BREAK” is a face paced flurry of drums and pulsating electronic melodies. It might initially sound like “EON BREAK” would benefit from even more speed, but by the end of the song the choice to keep it slower is understandable. The climax of “EON BREAK” sounds as if you’re being shot through an other-worldly portal at light-speed.

Almost two weeks later, Virtual Self dropped its second single, “Ghost Voices.” This track juxtaposes “EON BREAK’s” barrage of noise with something a bit more down tempo. A steady rhythm guides the song from beginning to end, with a heavenly trance of a beat that could either infatuate listeners or leave them desiring a bit more. In between and mixed throughout this track are ethereal vocals that are equal parts soothing and hypnotic.

This only looks like the start of Virtual Self’s career, as Porter subsequently tweeted out Virtual Self’s very first live show. After what we’ve heard so far, one can hope that there are more singles on the way, or maybe even an EP. I think previous fans of Porter’s will enjoy this redistribution of sound, and new listeners now have the ability to explore something unique and fresh.

***UPDATE*** Porter Robinson tweeted on Nov. 17 that Virtual Self’s EP will be out on Nov. 29.

Featured Image: Retrieved from here.

Artist Spotlight: Charlotte Cardin

Alternative pop artist Charlotte Cardin’s musical career followed a path unfamiliar to other artists. Prior to music, the Canadian vocalist initially worked as a model before joining the competitive singing show, “La Voix,” in 2013. Growing up in Canada, her parents taught her to speak French as well as English. Landing herself in the top four of that season garnered some attention to herself and her vocal ability. This was the beginning of her musical career.

In 2016 she released her first EP, “Big Boy.”¬†This EP stands out for having tracks not only sung in English, but in French as well. Cardin’s music is a blend of pop, electronic and alternative, which puts her in the slew of artists that don’t fit nicely into any preconceived genre. Most of her tracks have a somber tone, that often saunter along from verse to verse.

In the following year of 2017, Charlotte came right back with her debut LP, “Main Girl,” in early September. Her newest record contained some of the songs from her previous EP, but had some new tracks as well.¬†With a voice somewhere between Amy Winehouse and Florence Welch, Charlotte sings over music that bounces between rhythmic drums and guitar chords, and pulsing electronic kicks. Beyond her albums, Charlotte has also released a number of singles and remixes that do not appear on either her newest LP or EP.

Besides her commercial success, Charlotte Cardin has also been nominated for a number of awards for her songs and songwriting. In 2017, she became the first artist in the history of the SOCAN Songwriting Awards to be nominated in both the French and English category. These nominations are well-earned, as her music not only offers a mixture of traditional genres, but of languages as well. Charlotte Cardin’s musical career seems only to be just beginning, and with how quick she has put out tunes prior, hopefully we’ll have more to listen to from the Canadian artist soon.

Flying Lotus in 3D at North Park Observatory

Flying Lotus brought his psychedelic beats to San Diego just in time for Halloween. The wild beat veteran didn’t just decide to do a regular ol’ tour, though. Instead of just going city to city playing his music, FlyLo decided to up the ante by adding 3D visuals.

FlyLo has been known to have crazy stage setups to create a visual performance along with the music for audiences. Knowing this, it comes as no surprise that he would include this extra element of experience for his current tour.

Now, the big question in my mind heading into the show was how exactly was he going to achieve 3D for the audience.

This question was answered immediately as I entered the venue and was handed a pair of custom 3D glasses for the FlyLo tour. Opening for FlyLo was a DJ named Pbdy, pronounced pea-body. He played a variety of unpredictable and off the wall electronic music, something one would expect to precede an act like Flying Lotus.

After about 45 minutes of the opener, the man himself came out with an infectious smile for the restless crowd. We were told to put on our 3D glasses, and then our journey began. What was once a flat LED screen turned into a portal to another dimension. Floating heads, bizarre patterns and endless grids flew around and past FlyLo as he performed his set. Rather than using a playlist of his own songs, he played more of a DJ set of his own tracks mixed with others. At one point, he even switched to his alter ego rap artist Captain Murphy and performed a few of those songs live.

The 3D was mesmerizing, and FlyLo’s charisma kept the audience excited and lively. There did seem to be some audio issues at certain times throughout the set, which was a bit disappointing as the tracks being played at the time lost some of their chutzpah. However, it was still a fun show, and it was cool to see the creativity implemented with the 3D visuals. Even if you left dissatisfied with the show, at least you left with a free pair of 3D glasses.

King Krule Returns with “The OOZ”

King Krule returns from a four year hiatus with a new album, titled “The OOZ.” Krule comes back with his signature sound, yet with a slightly different format as compared to his previous works. His past album and EP followed the traditional record format, meaning every song was a full song. Each one is self contained, yet part of a greater work. “The OOZ” bends that mold slightly, as Krule finds space for more songs with less structure. Now, along with all of the standard tracks, Krule has added additional tracks that contain faint melodies usually with some sort of voice over or talking. Some seem like unnecessary filler, but others are pleasant sounding treats to interlude between the main songs.

The new structure of the album doesn’t necessarily mean a new sound for the King, however. King Krule, Archie Marshall, drowns us in his deep baritone vocals. His signature alternative style is back in full swing, with his whole range of songs. You might have heard of previous records of his. You have the upbeat punk sounds of “Dum Surfer” and “Emergency Blimp,” as well as the slower, jazzier beats of “Logos” and “LA Lune.” Every track stands out in its own way, and brings merit to the album as a whole.

If you liked Krule’s previous records, I think you’ll find this one enjoyable as well. It sounds familiar, yet fresh. While not all tracks are perfect, there is a large enough quantity that I believe anyone would be able to find a few that tickle their fancy. I think that overall it’s a good album, but might not outshine Krule’s debut album, “Six Feet Beneath the Moon.” It’ll take a bit longer than your usual album to finish, but every track on “The OOZ,” has something to offer. I think old fans will like the album, and new ones can get a late introduction into the sound of King Krule. If you haven’t heard him before, I would recommend checking out his first album regardless of your thoughts on this newest record.