Robert DeLong On The 'Smoke And Mirrors' Of Modern Dance Music

7 July 2013 | 1:44 pm | Cyclone Wehner

"People are always gonna be skeptical about everything we do."

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Skrillex and young upstarts like Porter Robinson may generate the most hype as US EDM stars, but Robert DeLong has sprung out of nowhere with his post-moombahton hit Global Concepts – further exploring his innovative hybrid of indie and electronica on this year's debut, Just Movement. And he's not a DJ but a live muso and vocalist. Could the Seattle multi-instrumentalist be the new BT?

DeLong, oft-described as a one-man electronic band, is headed to Australia for the first time in July, performing at Splendour In The Grass, with side-shows in Melbourne and Sydney.

“It should be pretty awesome,” DeLong drawls. He's already played SXSW and Coachella. At Splendour, he'll rep the electronic side along with James Blake and Flume. “I really should review the line-up!” DeLong says guiltily. “I haven't looked at it yet. I just got back from Europe, so I'm kind of putting down the roots for a second.”

The former indie rock drummer's gigs involve an arsenal of hardware – and more. He deploys two computers, a keyboard, a drum kit, percussion, and repurposed video game gadgetry. Sometimes there's a guitar. And DeLong sings. He won't skimp in Australia.

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“I have all my electronics and everything, which we can fit in a couple of cases, and so we can bring all of that stuff – and then I end up renting the rest of my stands and drum set, et cetera.”

DeLong's dynamic live paradigm is showing up others in EDM. Punters have been becoming ever more cynical about the industry's profligate acceptance of pre-programmed live (and DJ) sets. It's hard to ascertain what is really happening behind a laptop. DeLong agrees.

“It's great that so much of it's [live electronic music] happening right now – and that's totally the result of technology being available to so many people and people being interested in pushing the envelope of what it means to perform electronic music. I think that there's a lot of smoke and mirrors (laughs). Who knows a lot of the times what people are doing? But, you know, that's kind of the fun of it, too. People are always gonna be skeptical about everything we do. It's all good."