A Musical Australopithecus

The 4 years that I was in college was a time in which the identity of EDM changed pretty drastically. This track, which came in the middle of that, is like a snapshot of the evolving EDM scene. It embodies many sub-genres all at once and in discrete packets to produce an interesting and memorable track. I think this track is like a musical Lucy. Lucy was the missing link in the evolutionary chain between early hominids and the Homo genus, just as this song is an evolutionary link between two time periods of EDM music.

The track starts off simple enough. A basic beat reminiscent of many EDM songs leads us into a dreamy progressive stretch starting at 0:30. Then at 1:30 it takes a glitchy turn, of which I am not a fan. However, I try and keep in mind the context of this song. Skrillex was super popular, and so was the glitchy sounding dub step in general. Even deadmau5 was getting in on the dubstep game (see below for a dub step track that I actually like), and Porter Robinson was no exception.

Incorporating that glitchy stretch out of nowhere in this song is a bit like musical whiplash, but I will let is fly because what comes next makes up for it. 2:00 is when this song really comes into its own! Quite possibly my favorite few seconds of an EDM song starts at 2:11. I have written about syncopation and how I like gaps, pauses, and silence and this little effect that Porter Robinson included is on the top of my my “favorite snippets” list.

At 3:00 we get an excellent stretch from a vocalist who leads us into a buildup and another glitchy sounding section. Finally, the song culminates at 4:30 with a repeat of the previous themes.

This song has it all. Porter Robinson included some traditional sounding trance/progressive stretches, threw in some glitchy segments, and appealed to many with the inclusion of an awesome sounding female vocalist. This is truly a representative sample from a time when the identity of mainstream EDM was in flux.