Identifying a dance DJ’s samples is half the fun—the other half is winning a new toaster for shouting out the right answer. Load up on toasters with this GrouponLive deal to see Porter Robinson at Congress Theater. For $21, you get one ticket for general admission on Sunday, December 30, at 8 p.m. (up to a $41.49 value, including all fees).
The notion that making electronic dance music is easy has been the albatross of many DJs. But Porter Robinson isn’t just slapping the keyboard of a laptop or tossing CDs into a digital blender. His tricky compositions—a style of music he refers to as complextro—go beyond textbook dance-floor drum and bass. They’re intricate symphonies, melding house music with the defibrillating pulse of dubstep and ethereal vocals. In Robinson’s musical world, every beat, blip, and blindsiding break is deliberate. His work is a labor of love, and there is no autopilot.
That passion seems to be infectious: his skills have landed him slots in major festivals such as Coachella and Lollapalooza, stints with peers including Skrillex and Tiësto, and headlining tours that shook Europe. He’s crafted official remixes for Lady Gaga, crashed servers with his online releases, and topped the Beatport and iTunes dance charts. When Robinson was only 18 years old, he crafted the throbbing single “Say My Name,” which clubbers worldwide took to like horses to fine brandy. Now, at the age of 20 and poised for interplanetary domination, Robinson rings in the pre-New Year with an energized performance of smash hits such as the recent “Language,” along with a grab bag of mash-ups and unreleased remixes that launches party hats through the roof.
Two of MTV’s EDM Rookies to Watch get the anti-analog show started. Dutch one-man dance machine and fellow EDM prodigy Hardwell ignites the atmosphere with “Big Room House,” and Deniz Koyu hits the decks with international club hits such as “Tung” and “Bong.”
Robinson performs at Santa Barbara’s Velvet Jones.