Porter Robinson. Photo credit Drew Ressler/rukes.com.
He’s back. At least, for one set.
Before Porter Robinson was known as the audio-visual creative powerhouse behind the immersive Worlds tour, he was recognized as a DJ of exceptional skill and talent, whose high-energy sets were unmatched in intensity, mixing skill, and straight up danceability.
After his planned show at Digital Dreams was cancelled last weekend, Porter made it up to disappointed fans by returning to his roots for a one-off DJ performance at the Monstercat Showcase Afterparty in Toronto. The set he came up with – filled old and new classics, bangers and downtempo glitchy grooves, and, of course, some throwbacks to your favorite video games of the ’90s – is everything you’ve missed since Porter officially renounced DJing last year.
It’s an eclectic set that was clearly engineered for fans of the Monstercat sound (best exemplified by Haywyre, Pegboard Nerds, and other polished bass-heavy producers who meander somewhere around trap, electro, and drumstep, depending on their mood). Plus, it’s got the deliciously rough touch of a DJ who may have gone rusty, but still knows how to do his job better than most of acts on the mainstage.
Listen to the magic yourself, below, which is also a free download through Soundcloud.
And welcome back, DJ Porter.
On set lists, “DJ Set” indicates that the artist(s) will be mixing pre-recorded music, not creating music or incorporating live elements (such as instruments, vocals, drum machines, etc.). This term usually appears when the artist(s) are known for performing with elements beyond the traditional DJ setup.
You can think of the term DJ set as being the opposite of a live set, in which the artist will be performing some elements of the show live onstage. (Another term for a live set is “live PA,” or live performing artist. While this terminology is still used, Google Trends indicates that it is not as common as the term live set or liveset.) Similarly, the term “vocal set” indicates that the performer will be singing in addition to mixing a DJ set, but not incorporating other live elements.
In this 2010 post, the performing artist Quiet Entertainer outlines an episode in which a fan approached him after a DJ set, disappointed that he hadn’t performed in his normal live manner which incorporates performance art. Quiet Entertainer then vows to clarify on future set lists if he will be playing a DJ set instead of his normal live set (or live PA, as he calls it), to prevent confusion.