Published Feb 23, 2015Following the musical heights reached on 2012's America, Dan Deacon decided to pursue a "less is more" approach when it came to writing a new record. Foregoing his interests in orchestral arrangements and the use of acoustic instruments, Gliss Riffer was produced and recorded with next to no outside help, as he did on 2007's independently composed and executed Spiderman of the Rings. Despite their sonic similarities, Deacon's fourth full-length has struck an amicable balance between the hyperactive energies and extravagant compositional ideas prevalent in his earlier work.
A sense of exuberance runs throughout the record, which listeners will undoubtedly find familiar. The breakneck speed of "Sheathed Wings," "Mind On Fire" and "Learning To Relax" are all outright danceable moments, while the meticulous microsampling of "Meme Generator" and "Take It To The Max" demonstrate more of Deacon's accomplished arrangement skill, not to mention his incredible artistry in layering sound.
Gliss Riffer also sees Deacon pay greater attention his lyrical content, while still using his voice as a textural instrument through pitch-shifting and heavy use of a vocoder. From the psychedelic stream-of-consciousness sing-along "When I Was Done Dying" to the anxiety-ridden reflections of the aforementioned "Mind On Fire," his words now carry a greater weight in giving way to the greater narratives of each piece — a welcome new element to Deacon's grand vision. (Domino)