Dan Deacon once forgave me of my sins (mine and every other concert goer that night). A few months later, I bumped into him coming out of the bathroom holding a 40 at a house party, which he probably doesn’t remember. These kinds of chance encounters with strangers in moments of chaos, and a collective breaking-down of boundaries, have always been a theme in Deacon’s work. This experimental electronic musician’s live shows thrive on the willingness of the audience to act silly with people they don’t know.
His latest album, Gliss Riffer, was released on Domino on February 24 and shows him continuing to refine and polish his sound, which has come a long way in terms of his compositional sensibilities. He hasn’t lost touch with the celebratory exuberance that’s always defined his work, but on Gliss Riffer he moves closer to a simpler club-floor dance sound while continuing to draw on the pulsating beats of classical 20th-century minimalism. Listen to track 7, entitled “Take It to the Max,” to hear Deacon at perhaps his most Reichian.
Broadly speaking, Deacon’s various multimedia projects are an ironic embracement of American pop culture. In his 2008 film Ultimate Reality, for example, it seems like every Arnold movie ever coalesces. In his aesthetic world, the absurd intercomplexities of pop culture become the streamers for life’s party. Gliss Riffer, which develops a theme of learning to relax in its lyrics and song titles, is victorious in bringing that affirmation to its listeners.