Porter Robinson has undoubtedly created one of the most interesting and exciting projects in electronic dance music right now with his alter ego Virtual Self. Even legendary DJ Calvin Harris said that the song ‘Ghost Voices‘ from the Virtual Self EP re-ignited his love for dance music again. Now, in an interview with Fader, the American music producer has discussed in detail the work and inspiration behind the Virtual Self project.
Porter Robinson came up with the sound for Virtual Self after spending two years immersed in every song from a range of musical genres including techno, trance, and drum and bass. Listening to snippets from 100,000 songs, Porter said his goal was to create music that was nostalgic for him. He admits to taking imagery and design tropes from the 1999-2003 internet era which helped create the atmosphere around Virtual Self and the two characters making the music. Speaking more about his inspiration he said:
“I used a few techniques to generate a lot of them, like writing sentences and translating them into Russian into Czech into Korean and back into English using Google Translate, and seeing how the mistranslations would introduce a new word or change the grammar in a way that I liked. I used another similar technique called Markov chain, an algorithmic process that takes a large body of text and tries to generate new sentences from patterns it sees.[…] I took all the texts I’d written and ran them through Markov chains and generators, and picked the ones that felt the most ethereal and cyber.”
Porter Robinson is always exploring and curating, and already has more Virtual Self and Porter Robinson music written, ready for future release. Watch the music video for ‘Ghost Voices‘ below and let us know what you think of Porter Robinson’s alter ego in the comments.