Dreamy electro-pop given live muscle
Once De De Mouse’s glasses flew off his face mid-fist-pump during the first song of his set, it became clear this would be an especially energetic performance from the electronic producer. For the next 50-some minutes, he delivered driving electro-pop topped by chopped-up vocals, while his supporting band added some muscle to these bouncers. Accordingly, De De Mouse himself stayed lithe for the whole time, shooting his arms into the sky and constantly coaxing the crowd to do the same.
In a live setting, De De Mouse brought along a guitarist, bassist and drummer to add a little oomph to electro-cuts that on his albums can sound primarily twinkly. They added a little extra force without tearing through the dreamy veneer he set up, at times lending an air of math-rock precision to songs such as the swift “Face To Face” and “My Favorite Swing.”
This arrangement beefed up the songs without blurring what makes De De Mouse’s electronic numbers unique. The defining characteristic of his work has always been split-second vocal stutters, drawn from Southeast Asian music (“My Favorite Swing”) or female-delivered R&B (set closer “Get You Back,” a highlight), often set again jazz-inspired melodies. His ability to turn the human voice into a particularly radiant instrument came through clearly at the Red Marquee, with fans popping whenever a familiar syllabic blast came out.
And De De Mouse himself got into the moment, jumping around and mimicking hitting drums during especially thumping portions of songs such as the hard-hitting “Rock You Up.” Even during a two-song portion where it was just him, he threw himself around alongside the Japanese-summer-festival-inspired music. On the final number, De De Mouse hopped up onto his equipment table, lifted up his bulky keyboard and played to an especially estatic crowd. Fittingly, it was at this point that the guy standing next to me jumped around so much his glasses flew off.