Porter Robinson Talks Madeon, Jon Hopkins and Other Artists He Picked to Play His 2021 Second Sky Festival

Courtesy of Porter Robinson

Today (May 3) Porter Robinson announced the lineup for his September IRL festival Second Sky.

Taking place Sept. 18-19 in Berkeley, CA, the event will feature performances from Japanese band Jyocho, electronic duo Knower, swiftly rising trio Wavedash, English phenom Jacob Collier, New York mainstay Jai Wolf, scene legend Jon Hopkins, Robinson's close friend and collaborator Madeon, and the longtime alternative electronic favorite Toro y Moi.

Produced by Goldenvoice, the event will also feature a set from Robinson, who curated the festival lineup and who's fresh off the release of his very warmly received sophomore album Nurture. Second Sky, the first iteration of which took place in the summer of 2019, will be Robinson's first live performance in the wake of the pandemic.

"Perhaps purely as a consequence of having been in quarantine and seeing no live shows for the previous year, I kept cranking up the fun," Robinson recently told Billboard in regards to designing the Nurture live show. "I couldn’t stop. I made everything into a more fun version of itself.”

Here, in his own words, Robinson shares his insights on each act that he chose for the Second Sky lineup.

Jyocho are a Japanese math-rock band headed up by Daijiro Nakagawa. Their music is so special to me, and it hit me at a formative time during the writing of Nurture. I think they express the beauty of reality and of nature through their music. It sounds so tactile, so human and vulnerable, but also so powerful at the same time. It's impossible for me to not visualize an idyllic meadow when I listen to their sound. Listen to "Circle of Life" - the run at at 3:28 makes me cry every time.

Knower, which is the duo of Louis Cole and Genevieve Artadi, is so, so, so unmistakable. And it's interesting, because their music is so varied, but there's this "Knower" thing that glues it all together. They're one of very few acts that I know of that can make me laugh and also cry on the same record. A song like "Die Right Now" is the perfect example of that -- you can feel the sense of humor, but it's also just undeniably beautiful.

Wavedash are some of my best friends in the world, and the greatest living EDM boy band. Their most recent album World Famous Tour is like my go-to "big dreams" album -- you feel the hugeness of their aspiration, their incredible sonic range, all put through this filter of ultra-fat production by these young guys who cut their teeth making dubstep. But they're incredible at pop, at ambient, at hip-hop production -- it's all there. It's an album that makes me want to do everything.

Jacob Collier Haha, what can I say about Jacob Collier? There's no shortage of descriptions of that man's talents, and it's hard for me to think of any praise of this guy's abilities that would go too far -- but ultimately, it's not about his abilities for me, it's his songs. I first heard "Make Me Cry" with no context around who he was, and I was like: "Damn, this is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard in my life."

Jai Wolf is an artist who I think shared the same aspiration that I do around building out a worldview through a live show. He's done an incredible job of solidifying himself as one of the greats of this new generation through his performances and production and the music has a ton of heart.

Jon Hopkins might be the actual most-respected electronic musician that I know of. It's really, really hard to find any real electronic music enthusiast who doesn't appreciate this man's music. It's so deeply intricate, so clearly careful and effortful, but chaotic at the same time. Anyone who produces music knows how hard it is to please those two gods. His music feels physical, like it's living and breathing. And leaving aside all of his incredibly masterful and detailed production, you have something like "Abandon Window" -- one of the most essential minimal piano pieces of our time.

Madeon is one of my very best friends and one of the most intelligent and gifted musicians I've ever had the chance to know. He's my collaborator on Shelter, and he's made two of my favorite albums of all-time. I know that my most recent record, Nurture, would never have existed if it wasn't for him -- his writing and performing as a frontman on Good Faith really drove me to do the same. He's a genius with production and pop songwriting, and an even bigger genius with constructing a world around his live shows.

Toro y Moi is an artist whose music makes me want to make music. It's so often feel-good, but deeply credible. He strikes me as someone who loves making music more than anything else. I can't listen to his music without immediately wanting to open my sequencer and write a demo.

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