Robert DeLong: Deep Thoughts on the Dance Floor
Live, DeLong is a force, whipping up an ever more ecstatic dance party from layers of vocal loops and instrumentation including drums, dials, a Wii Remote and a Sega Genesis controller. The setup looks a bit like the cluttered control board to the spaceship in Flight of the Navigator, and from it DeLong delivers with sweaty intensity.
Thematically, Just Movement is an homage to quarter-life maturity outfitted with a catchy pop sensibility. Like a Conor Oberst for the EDM generation, DeLong sings earnestly of aging, love, God, the meaning of life and other such global concepts. ("Global Concepts" also being the name of one of the album's best songs). The title track serves as a sort of the thesis statement for DeLong's notion that ultimately, the only true thing is that there is stuff moving around the universe - just movement. Of course this also serves as a tidy double entendre for the club joy his music inspires.
It's self-reflection masquerading as a dance party, and in emphasizing the necessity of both, Just Movement is perhaps also a mark of maturity for the electronic youth movement. In "Few Years Make" DeLong sings rapid-fire of death, fucking up romances, past friendships and resonant childhood memories. While other lyrics touch on an inability to truly feel his emotions, there is most definitely a ghost in this machine.
"Once you have something you want the next thing," DeLong says on the eve of the album release, "and that's what keeps you moving, and that's progress, but that song is kind of reflecting on the sadness of all that too."
Robert DeLong plays tonight at Amoeba Music.
Top Ten Awkward Coachella Dance Move GIFs
What's the Difference Between the EDM Scene and the Beat Scene?
Interview With a Raver Who Wears Electrical Tape on Her Boobs
World's Douchiest DJs: The Top Five