Baltimore electronic composer Dan Deacon is shaping up to be far more than the avant-garde party-guy flavor of the week he seemed destined to be when he smashed onto college-radio charts with 2007’s Spiderman of the Rings. Fast-forward five years to the critically acclaimed and orchestrally driven America, and Deacon seemed poised to become some kind of indie-electronica Philip Glass.
Enter 2015’s Gliss Riffer.
Gliss Riffer is a return to all-electronic form, though hardly a regression. What carries over from America is a level of focus not present in Deacon’s previous electronic work.
“I wanted to treat electronic sounds like they were acoustic,” Deacon tells EW. “With a computer you can do anything to any sound, but with an orchestra you’re working with the limitations of the instrument and the player. I wanted to think about the limitations of each sound and when to pull back instead of having endless layers.”
That presence of mind shines through on Gliss Riffer. Every layer appears to have a separate space in the mix, adding a clarity and subtlety throughout the record, particularly in the lush and dreamy beauty of its latter half.
Ever a showman, Deacon still knows how to party. His energetic live show is a digital baptism of sorts, including dance competitions and hilarious guided meditations.
Brooklyn’s Prince Rama and “spiritual guru” Ben O’Brien Earth Universe join Dan Deacon 9 pm Tuesday, May 5, at WOW Hall; $15 adv., $18 door. All ages.