Electronic lineup featuring Porter Robinson excites Colorado promoters

Porter Robinson burst onto the EDM scene in 2011. (Rachel Epstein / Courtesy photo)
Porter Robinson burst onto the EDM scene in 2011. (Rachel Epstein / Courtesy photo)

By Sonia Amodeo

Friday night on campus, the beats — and probably various beasts — will electrify the Balch Fieldhouse.

Program Council, CU-Boulder’s student-run group that books most campus entertainment, is hosting an electronic-filled Haunted Fest Friday night at 8. Porter Robinson is set to headline, supported by an impressive lineup including Minnesota, Exmag, Sound Remedy and Boulder’s Ananda.

Program Council has hosted huge-name concerts in the past at Balch Fieldhouse (like Chance the Rapper, Modest Mouse, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and more), but the student group’s director, Kelsey Gonzalez, said Haunted Fest is a shining achievement for the student organizers.

“I’ve been a student here since 2010 and a Halloween concert has always been on Program Council’s list of dream shows,” said Gonzalez.

As Program Council made its dreams come true by hosting the show, electronic fans in Boulder will be impressed with a heavy-hitting lineup:

•One of electronic music’s forefront producers, Porter Robinson who will headlining the show, started making a splash in 2011. The North Carolina musician initially defined his style with glitchy and bass-heavy beats, but has since expressed his discontent with the EDM scene.

Beginning with his album Worlds (2014), Robinson underwent quite a transformation. Worlds reflects this evolution with an experimental shift to more ambient and alternative electronic music — resulting in apparent sincerity in his tracks.

Robinson told Complex magazine in a 2014 interview:

“I accepted the fact that whatever I did with this album was gonna alienate people and hurt my career. But my discontent with EDM, electro, and DJing had come to a head… I wanted to shed the EDM moniker.”

To the contrary, Worlds neither alienated fans nor hurt his career, as the album rose to the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Album chart.

Friday night, Robinson, MTVu’s Artist of the Year, will electrify campus with his evolving tunes and a transcendence from the EDM scene (which has been compared to that of Daft Punk’s).

And in anticipation for Robinson, Program Council also booked some heavy-hitting supporting acts:

•California producer, Minnesota, will deliver his high-energy dubstep/glitch-hop melodies and drops. A veteran of the West Coast bass-music movement, he has performed with an impressive lineup, including STS9, Gramatik and Boulder’s own Big Gigantic.

Brooklyn trio Exmag will perform at CU's Haunted Fest. (Courtesy photo)
Brooklyn trio Exmag will perform at CU’s Haunted Fest. (Courtesy photo)

•Brooklyn-based trio Exmag is sitting in the spotlight of the relatively new genre niche of future funk. The genre subset reflects a range and mix of genres — from trap, to dubstep, to hip hop, to soul. The trio’s downtempo fusions fit right there in the middle and will give some sensual swagger to the stage.

Exmag members Mike Iannatto, Eric Mendelson, Tyler Dondero told the Colorado Daily that their style is influenced heavily by ’90s R&B, hip hop, funk/soul and disco.

“We try to combine our influences a put a unique spin on it,” the band wrote in an email. “You can call it whatever you want. We embrace all types of music and we try to keep musicality in our productions.”

And as for labels, the crew wrote: “Future soul is cool term. It’s funny calling stuff future, but hopefully it is future.”

•From Chicago, the one-man producer and touring powerhouseSound Remedy will pump irresistible dance beats and club melodies.

•And if all that isn’t enough to tear up eyes and ears, Boulder local Ananda will open the show.

Program Council encourages students to wear Halloween costumes to this Holy Grail of live electronic music — there’s a chance the artists will be in theirs too.

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