Dan Deacon, ‘Feel The Lightning’

By Mike Katzif  |  WNYC


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Since his 2007 breakthrough album, Spiderman Of The Rings, Dan Deacon has assumed numerous roles. Longtime staple and spirit animal of Baltimore’s Wham City art collective, Deacon is a classically-trained composer, a mad scientist lording over salvaged junk electronics and an absurdist ringleader for uninhibited fans primed from the get-go to lose themselves to Deacon’s call-and-response dance-off antics. Similarly, his music delivers both exquisite bliss and full-on kitchen sink cacophony. But no matter the setting, Deacon’s unfettered sense of humor and his masterful ear for sonic textures unify his various music sides in endlessly exciting ways.

With “Feel The Lightning,” the opening track from his stellar new album, Gliss Riffer, Deacon returns to the fizzy dance party sound of the era that produed “Crystal Cat.” Like so much of his work, “Feel The Lightning” is densely stuffed with polyrhythmic beats and buzzy synth sequencers that ecstatically fire like synapses straight from his weirdo Technicolor brain. When Deacon sings the song’s big hook — toggling between his own analog voice and a more feminine, pitch-shifted voice, like a gender-bending synth pop duet with himself — it’s easy to imagine forming a big circle on the dance floor and flailing with awkward abandon with the best of them.

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