Tag Archives: Trance

EP Review of Porter Robinson’s project “Virtual Self”

On October 25th, 2017, Porter Robinson released a new single titled “Eon Break” under the
mysterious alias “Virtual Self”. This YouTube music video for the track dropped out of nowhere, and it certainly got my hopes up for what was to come.

Porter Robinson’s music video for “Eon Break”

After almost a year since his last release, Virtual Self is a new alias and EP with a
nostalgic take on music. Harping back to old Dance Dance Revolution tracks from
the 90s, Virtual Self imitates a similar style with quick drums and heavy synth
sounds. Calling it an “awakening of a technic-Utopia”, Virtual Self aims to be
unique by using nuances unheard of in popular music today.You can listen to the entire EP for free on SoundCloud! https://soundcloud.com/virtualselfThe EP begins with “Particle Arts”, which opens with a
beautiful piano section that instantly reminded me of Joe Hisaishi’s compositions
in Studio Ghibli films. In the same vein, as if almost a nod to 2016’s “Shelter”
(another release from Porter Robinson and Madeon) it is clear that this entire
EP will paint a similar scene focusing on a futuristic/fantasy setting.

Porter Robinson and Madeon’s 2016 release of “Shelter” : Although bearing almost no similarities, for some reason I
can still interpret “Particle Arts” and the rest of the Virtual Self EP as being Porter Robinson’s work. Personally, I
think it may be because he makes his tracks feel very nostalgic and eerie,
using words drenched in reverb like “angel”, “virtual”, and “void” in many of the
tracks. Nevertheless, the music still conjures up vivid imagery that kept me thoroughly
engaged.My personal favorite on the entire EP is “Ghost Voices”.https://soundcloud.com/porter-robinson/virtual-self-ghost-voices?in=porter-robinson/sets/virtual-selfI have a soft spot for vocal chops and samples; I use them
all the time when I produce music too, typically out of a lack for a vocalist,
but “Ghost Voices” makes use of both. The reverb heavy vocal tones and phrases
gives the track that airy atmosphere that lets it nicely meld into the rest of
the EP. Although Virtual Self categorizes the track as “neotrance”, the track had
the levels of contrast and structure as a typical song would. I normally
dislike trance music, but when done like “Ghost Voices” I found myself
listening to the track on repeat.If you haven’t listened to this EP, I strongly urge you to
as it’s unlike anything I’ve heard before. Porter Robinson’s music never ceases
to leave me feeling lost in nostalgic musical bliss, and his Virtual Self project is no different.- MAZAA (Joshua Maza)

New Album: Jaapur – Organic

Jaapur’s latest release starts out as a series of digital noise. Its momentum and tones feel like a throwback to the over-dubbed days of 8-bit remixes. A series of high and low pass filters add dynamics to the track, which make “Double Much.aac” an excellent introduction to the eclectic (yet satisfying) Organic.

The second track, “Conclusion.txt” starts out quietly as it, like the other songs on the album, plays off of the various computer file-naming conventions. Bass-heavy and trance-like, the contrast between synths and snares provides a basis on which to build a vibrant system of sounds. The melody alternates between instruments, each subsequent variation adding to the last. Towards the middle of the track, the rhythm becomes increasingly danceable, each instrument battling for its turn in the spotlight.

Following the quick-to-end instrumental that came before it, “Effigy.jpg” traces the line between highs and lows. Each synthetic instrument stays within its chosen scale – the unique sounds finding their individual places in the track. Various voices interrupt the flow, interjecting with plays on the name of the song. Although the bass line leaves something to be desired, the catchy chorus makes this track one of my favorites on the album.

The album continues in various forms, the tracks in themselves progressive as they build along with the broken pieces of the same theme. An occasional rap-track, featuring iamlogan and (most likely) Jaapur himself, can be found on the album – the flow, slow to match the tempo.

From disco beats to trance suites, Organic takes us back to a time before heavy-hitting bass lines ruled the boiler room. Be sure to take a good listen to the standouts (embedded below), “Akebono.flac” and “But Do You Know” which features Sarah Rain, Jaapur’s IRL sister, on vocals.

Organic by JaapurOrganic by Jaapur

Listen to the album and GET IT FOR FREE on Jaapur’s Bandcamp. To stay up to date, check him out on Facebook.

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DJ Desman

Rad Report–come with me and join the Manatee Commune

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The music created by Manatee Commune is like a gust of wind that breathes life and energy into you as you walk down the street on a cold winter day  (similar to the ones we’ve been having in Seattle this last week). It’s the kind of music that exhales only positive vibes into anybody who takes a listen. When I first heard these beats I felt myself inhale a rush of emotions, which cannot be produced by anyone other than the incredible Grant Eadie—the creator and member of Manatee Commune. 

Described by Eadie himself as “chillwave, bedroom electronic, [and] rainy goodness,” Manatee Commune’s music is really unlike any other. There aren’t many artists producing such relaxing, yet intriguing types of music that can induce such an intense experience. The ethereal sounds within Eadie’s music bring out this feeling of awe that’s hard to describe, but is similar to the sensation of having climbed a mountain and having meditated on the summit. The idea of “the sublime” comes to mind, the concept of something completely awe-inspiring and stupendous—this is exactly how I feel when I play a song by Manatee Commune.

While definitely fitting into an electronic genre, I think of Eadie’s music as mostly experimental and trancelike. The most interesting and coolest part of many of these songs is that natural sounds are incorporated into them, which are definitely a reminder of the Pacific Northwest and Seattle specifically (where Eadie is from and currently resides). This gives the music a very relatable and homey feel to it that is applicable whether you’re on that grind studying for finals next week, or whether you’re trying to ease your mind and get some good sleep.

Although I feel like it’s remarkably easy to connect to Manatee Commune’s music through soundcloud and bandcamp, I’m really excited to be able to experience these rad rhythms live on December 3rd (tomorrow)! The show is actually FREE and is presented by our very own Rainy Dawg Radio in UW’s Ethnic Cultural Theater. I, myself, have yet to experience Manatee Commune live, and have heard that it’s an unbelievable experience. I hope to see you all there so we can enjoy the breathtaking work of this fantastic artist together.