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Winter 2009 - Anticipated Albums of 2009Dan Deacon



Apr 07, 2009 Dan Deacon Bookmark and Share

Wham City warrior Dan Deacon comes at us with Bromst, his first full-length since 2007’s Spiderman of the Rings and, boy, is it a doozy. This time he loses some of the surgical precision of his earlier work, opting for a more natural approach. His increasingly fluent language of editorial trickery builds on his established shorthand to reach a point near critical mass. And, though these are still largely electronic compositions, this album delivers an extremely interesting study in our relationship to the analog and digital worlds. It’s Deacon’s most ambitious collection of recordings to date.

“Slow with Horns/Run for Your Life,” “Of the Mountains,” and “Get Older” are all real winners. The eight-plus-minute “Snookered” climbs from a simple xylophone line through rising pitch-shifted vocals and rapid sampling to a giant climax. Many of the songs have an overwhelming geological feeling, layered with the organic and the alien like a core sample or cross sections from an ancient medical text. By observing sonic extremes, Deacon allows these tracks to change color and temperature much more rapidly than with his predominately digital recordings. This, coupled with Bromst‘s extremely confident mixing, brings a subtlety in expression heretofore unseen from this artist or any of his scene’s contemporaries.

But how do you accurately recreate these sounds live? How about a 15-piece live band consisting of members of Future Islands, Ultimate Reality, and Adventure? That’s what Deacon’s planning to do for at least one date, which could be disastrous or could be beautiful. I’m willing to bet it will be partly both, but judging by his jubilant past performances and the family atmosphere he’s chosen to surround himself with, there should be a lot of love for live Bromst. Its layers make it a very a Mid-Atlantic record and in many ways, it sounds more like Baltimore than any of his previous work. (

Author rating: 8/10

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