Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Dan Deacon Loves America
Dan Deacon isn't what you would call your run of the mill electronic artist. This is a guy that is far to spastic to just concentrate on any one area of music, so he doesn't and as a result he create collages of twisted sounds and loops that manifest themselves into something resembling songs. He is avant garde and slightly atonal at times, but if you look hard enough and listen long enough you'll spot a song just waiting to get out of this guys head. His latest effort, America is no different as it's a journey in electro-acoustic mayhem that sounds like it's about to spiral out of control but never quite does.
America is unabashedly proud of the fact that it is frenzied electronic noise. Sounds, loops, and synths come hurling at you from all directions almost as if Dan was trying to exorcise them from his brain. It's a record that spirals out of control with melodicism and hints of songs that could be hits but never will be. That isn't necessarily a bad thing because this little disc of pandemonium still manages to be an intriguingly strange listen.
To say Dan Deacon has made a hypnotizing record would be understatement. Through simple repetition much of this record will wear you down and make your eyes go cross in a daze. By about the 350th loop you'll be having odd thoughts, cold sweats, and ideas for making synthesizers do things they never thought they could. It's almost as if you're listening to Stereolab on about 50 shots of espresso meeting some wayward indie rock kid hooked on Radio Shack Electronic Project Kits.
As bizarre and as twisted as this all sounds, Dan Deacon actually has made a record that is listenable. American, while frenetic, has loads of melodies coursing through it that save it from being a giant avant garde experiment gone wrong. While Dan Deacon is obviously overjoyed to be experimenting and manipulating sounds like a aural wizard, he knows from experience that you can only do so much before you lose the plot. The key with him is that he teeters on that line between crazy and genius. Thankfully, he never crosses into crazy and instead hides the pop sensibility of each song deep within the spasms of noise and that's what makes America such a good record; its like discovering pop gold on each of it's eleven outbursts.