Porter Robinson Takes Us Into Another Dimension With His Album 'Worlds Remixed'
As electronic music’s popularity has increased over the last few years I’ve felt an overwhelming disconnect to it. A lot of the tracks and artists who’ve enjoyed heavy rotation have a very generic and cookie-cutter feel to them, which annoys me because originality is one of the key elements I look for in music. Luckily though every few years a group of artists seem to emerge out of nowhere and change the landscape of the genre they’re working in. Last year I felt my love for electronic music coming back due to a number of such artists including Garrix, Madeon, and the one who stands out the most to me, Porter Robinson.
Porter’s debut studio album ‘Worlds’ is nothing short of amazing! I’ve had that record on rotation for months on end. When listening to it I’m drawn into a different dimension – like I’ve stepped into a Japanese anime. Each track takes me on an emotional journey; jubilance, melancholy, anger, despair, vulnerability, and the list goes on.
So when the news came out that the album is being remixed in its entirety I was a bit skeptical that the outcome would be any good and I think I was somewhat right. The remixed version of the album titled ‘Worlds Remixed’ came out on the 2nd of October 2015 and I didn’t delay to get it. The first thing I noticed off the bat and must commend most of the producers for is that it feels like they made an effort to shape this album into something you don’t hear everyday sonically. It’s not filled with the typical EDM song arrangements with screaming leads and 4-on-the-floor drums. There’s a lot of originality in the sonics of the project. For the most part the album also has a consistent feel throughout which is great because I’m the type of person who prefers to listen to albums as opposed to singles.
However, for all its good points I didn’t find it as engaging as the original version of Worlds. The remixed version lacks the same level of emotion as the original. The use of pads, wildlife sounds, and open, floaty soundscapes in Remixed are fewer and further apart.
The project starts off with ODESZA’s really strong rendition of ‘Divinity’ followed by a pretty decent Deon Custom remix of ‘Sad Machine’ which does not do the original version justice, but it’s not bad at all. ‘Years Of War (Rob Mayth Remix)’ annoys me because it feels out of place and doesn’t carry the message in the song very well. Worst of all the bulk of the track sounds generic, like it should be on a Cascada album. Matt Zo’s remix of ‘Flicker’ is one of the most standout tracks. It manages to keep the stuttery feel of the original while adding a breakbeat backing track, pads, and a sick bassline.
Last Island knocked it out of the park with the ‘Fresh Static Snow’ remix; a brilliant take on a track which takes you through emotional peaks and valleys. The following 3 songs ‘Polygon Dust’, ‘Hear The Bells’, and ‘Natural Light’ are all just okay tracks, nothing special. Then we get to Point Point’s remix of ‘Lionhearted’, a steady-paced, anthemic track with beautiful percussion sounds in the background and lush pads. Galimatias’ remix of ‘Sea of Voices’ is the most ambitious on the album. We can’t even call it dance music. It’s like jazz, infused with metal, fused with soul. It’s crazy!
SLUMBERJACK’s remix of ‘Fellow Feeling’ kills it. The song is my favorite on the original album. The remix contains the same growling elements as the original with a more upbeat feel though. The manic changes in tone are present as before but with a trap beat. The track is a thing of beauty. Chrome Sparks closes the album with a decent rendition of ‘Goodbye to a World.’
All in all it’s a solid project, with beautiful sonic qualities. It takes us into a new world - just not quite as imaginative and beautiful as the first one he took us into. It’s just unfortunate that this project is following in the footsteps of an already brilliant album so it was doomed to comparison to begin with, but such is the case with remix albums.