Following up on the release of his mammoth ensemble recordings ‘Bromst’ and ‘America’, virtuoso casio warrior/genius Dan Deacon seems to have reverted back to a simpler, more economical way of writing and recording for this self produced release ‘Gliss Riffer’. His music is as pioneering and heroic as ever.
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While Dan Deacon’s music has stayed the course in a lot of ways -- its electro-hippie exuberance remains, and the multi-coloured dance jams are as precise as ever -- there’s been a subtle change in his persona since the triumphant, strangely cosy ‘Bromst’. On 2012’s ‘America’ he made a concept album that focused less on himself, offering fly-on-the-wall electronics and orchestral configurations that blew up his country’s vast landscape, rather than the person looking into it. Three years later, there’s little left of the tirelessly thematic songwriter Deacon became, but there’s still the same shy figure, hiding behind distracting blasts of squeaky synth pop and a stew of percussion that says The World Is Bigger Than Me.
‘Gliss Riffer’ is perhaps the most surreal thing Deacon has made since ‘Spiderman Of The Rings’, because it focuses on the joyful buzzsaw sounds he can make with his electronics, putting his voice into the backseat or occasionally exchanging it for someone else’s. A lot of these songs are pure jams based around little tectonic shifts and celebratory repetition, including the quintessentially old-era Deacon “Meme Generator” And yet: this record’s best song is also its most clear: the amazing, gorgeous and oddly inspiring “When I Was Done Dying” asks us to follow Deacon down a magical, ever-changing pathway as he breathlessly narrates a total fucking trip. Its synths oscillate urgently, the marimba falls down the stairs and the helium harmonies steer off down all the wrong avenues -- yet the whole thing feels cosy and welcoming, because all Deacon songs and excursions, nothing is wrong. The world is just exploding.
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