Robert DeLong is convinced making that music to move somebody is “really all that matters.” The twenty-eight year old producer is committed to injecting soul and improvisation into electronic dance music...

Robert DeLong Photo
Robert DeLong

Robert DeLong is convinced that making that music to move somebody is “really all that matters.” The 28-year-old producer is committed to injecting soul and improvisation into electronic dance music, a genre that has recently been overrun by money-hungry, cookie-cutter producers and DJs. DeLong will be playing in New Orleans on Friday, March 13 at Buku.

DeLong is surrounded by an array of electronic devices onstage, and he is constantly running back and forth between a mixer, drum pads, microphones, game controllers, full drum sets and keyboards to create and manipulate his music. He utilizes software that converts individual devices to MIDI signals, and then sends it to Ableton and Logic. His controllers range from a Sega joystick that works as a pitch bend, to a Wii remote that can delay, speed up, and chop sampled vocals. DeLong says the purpose of using so many different instruments and controllers “is to directly communicate what I’m doing behind the screen.”

DeLong wasn’t always such an accomplished performer. For many years he was a drummer in small indie rock bands in Seattle. Many producers come from a percussion background, which DeLong believes is due to their role “as the guy sitting in the back, watching, keeping count, and guiding the band.” He continues, “They [drummers] have global perspective, and they understand the role that rhythm plays in music.”

This fundamental knowledge enables DeLong to make eclectic, dance-friendly music, and his unusual practice of playing nearly every instrument live reflects his appreciation, and mastery of the “global perspective.” His combination of skilled execution and ideological engagement allows concertgoers to recognize the depth that electronic music is capable of, but his show isn't theoretical.. DeLong promises a “raucous, loud, and continuous dance experience.”