By Michelle Broder Van Dyke
Dan Deacon’s latest album forfeits one-man prowess for a more expansive sound — realized on tour by a 15-piece ensemble — that swaps electronic exclusivity for a tightly woven tapestry of bleeps, samples, and acoustic instruments like the guitar, glockenspiel and marimba. The resulting sound is less alienating-irritating than on previous releases.
Bromst still has endorphin-inducing tracks, like “Woof Woof,” a bouncy, buoyant opener that spazzes out with animal calls that loop backward as the rest of the song moves forward into catchy cacophony. Deacon has honed his skill at building suspense all the way up to a climactic finish, as in the standouts “Build Voice” and “Paddling Ghost,” which crescendo and then plummet like a roller coaster ride. I imagine the noisy culminating track “Get Older” as a scene in Fantasia 3.0, filmed shortly after the apocalypse, in which abstract butterflies and birds repetitiously stream through a realm of light and darkness before lightness finally wins out.
Dan Deacon gets a hand. Photo by Josh Sisk.
All of Deacon’s work possesses an inherent sense of humor, exemplified by the fold-up tent that is central to his current iconography. But Bromst taps some emotional depths, thanks to “Slow Horns/Run For Your Life,” with its moving staccato piano break, and “Snookered,” with its poignant lyric, “We’ve done this so many times before…but never quite like this.” Such new hints of maturity leave me anticipating the next act by this mad scientist of electronic noise.
With Future Islands, Teeth Mountain
Thurs/23, 9 p.m., $13
Great American Music Hall
859 O’Farrell, SF
Deacon talks about Bromst, after the jump: