Over the last decade, fans of musician-producer Dan Deacon have come to expect a certain degree of vibrancy and idiosyncrasy from his work. From the obscure and atonal sine wave explorations of Goose on the Loose (2003) to the infamous spoken word “Drinking Out of Cups,” Deacon has established a career based upon his quirky and unpredictable deconstructions of electronic music and pop culture. On the heels of accompanying Arcade Fire for its latest tour, Deacon has released yet another highly experimental and adventurous album that may be his best to date.
Gliss Riffer expands upon the manic tone established in Bromst (2009) and America (2012), with a dizzying upbeat vibe. Each song is carried forward at a blazing pace by racing drum pads and arpeggiated synth hooks. It is a spastic and energetic album that rarely takes breaks or pulls punches from its barrage of reverb-drenched sawtooth synths and sustained basslines.
Deacon’s use of vocals has been sparse in past albums, yet in Gliss Riffer, they frequently jump to the foreground. From the undeniably catchy chorus of the opening track, “Feel the Lightning,” he incorporates heavily processed vocal harmonies seamlessly into the album’s rich landscape of electronic instrumentation.
In Gliss Riffer, Deacon invigorates his avant-garde compositional style with a new pop sensibility. It is an accessible yet off-the-walls acid trip of an album, and promises to give Deacon an even more ubiquitous name in the electro-indie world than he has already achieved.