Electronic artist Dan Deacon has two sides: sophisticated composer and hyperactive party producer. Spiderman of the Rings—Deacon’s seventh release since 2003—draws from both, and the result is a blitzkrieg of booty-shaking drones, blips and bleeps. It’s meticulously constructed, unpredictable and perhaps easily dismissed as kitschy nerd rock, but a closer listen reveals a pop sensibility. Armed with an analog smorgasbord of synthesizers, vocoders and sine wave generators, Deacon dishes out low-budget bliss, warp-speed melodies and cyclical hums.
Spiderman of the Rings is layered, versatile and challenges even the most prepared listener. Deacon runs laps around Beck on the bass-heavy “Snake Mistakes.” “The Crystal Cat” manifests the genius Devo tried to harness. Experimental components of the unhurried “Big Milk” provide a valid argument Deacon could have a blood relation to Laurie Anderson. The minimalism on “Pink Batman” is the best peek into Deacon’s education: an electro-acoustic master’s from SUNY Purchase. And “Wham City” is a 12-minute pledge of allegiance to Deacon’s roots, a loose aggregate of artists based in Baltimore.
Deacon is bizarre, but that provides intrigue and possibly even an antidote to pop music malaise—at the very least, it’s a danceable alternative. (Jonathan Stumpf)
Dan Deacon performs an all ages show at Higgins Hall Sunday, June 24, at 8:30 PM. $5. He also plays Monday, June 25, at the Great Northern Brewing Company in Whitefish at 9 PM. $8.