The Indianapolis-based DJ and producer drops his first full length project titled ‘Form and Function’ – an eclectic nod to a host of dance music styles, all of which pervade at various points on this high-energy 15-track album.
The record serves as a tribute to the omni-benevolent culture of dance music – the love and happiness of collective human contribution to the continued movement of feet-shuffling sounds. Self-described ‘altruist and dance enthusiast’ Justin the Lover is revered for spreading joy through his dynamic DJ sets and (sometimes) impeccable dance moves. His 2014 #nomoresad campaign offered a free dancing video to anyone who sent him a song – all in the name of happiness.
‘Form and Function’ draws on the assorted styles and patterns of high-tempo dance music, with a varied – but finely executed – blend of house, techno, breakbeat, garage, jungle, footwork and acid elements, among much more. The project traverses the higher BPM ranges, offering a high-energy joyride through scratchy electronic textures, broken drum patterns and minimalist rolling synthesisers, creating an unmistakable dancey sound.
American artist Justin has previously released music on Brooklyn-based labels Astro Nautico and Escape from Nature, under the monikers Michael Jukeson and Michael. He has now taken the position as ‘head coach’ at Sport Songs – the record label founded in 2018 to commemorate his attempt to break the Guiness World Record for longest individual dance marathon – under which ‘Form and Function’ releases. At the cost of this latest (successful) musical endeavour, Justin quotes his minor fall-out with his love of making dance music – and subsequent drive to return to doing what he loves best.
“I’d lost that feeling over the years while trying to push myself into a more serious lane,” he explains. “The real inspiration behind the album was to get back to the fun I had when I first started producing dance music; in the beginning it was just an exercise in creativity and fun for me. This record is about having fun and getting hype and sweaty on the dance floor. That’s it.”
The American DJ and producer likens his sound to underground cult-legends Addison Groove and Breaka. For years galvanised by his deep passion for floor-filling sounds, he hopes the album can take its place alongside more acclaimed dance music projects. Justin remains modest about his latest work, noting that although there are no direct collaborations on the tracks, he is firmly standing on the shoulders of giants when it comes to musical influence.
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to celebrate the global community of dance music,” he says. “There are just too many names to mention. Simply put, my music would be meaningless without their endless contributions to this beautiful community – I hope this record stands well with the titans.”
In true dance music fashion, Justin’s creative process is rather impromptu – a virtue heard in ‘Form and Function’s’ twisting and unpredictable soundscapes. “I’m not too precious about the process – it’s pretty fast paced,” he discloses. “I usually start with a sound or a noise and play with it for a few minutes, then… BAM! Something clicks, it inspires an idea that inspires another, and so on…”
A welcome addition to the rich dance music space ‘Form and Function’ is out now on all major platforms. A contribution to more than just music, 100% of proceeds from all Sports Songs releases are donated to GiveWell’s Maximum Impact Fund – a nonprofit organisation that you can read more about here.
Follow Justin the Lover’s musical journey –