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Baker's Dozen

A Controlling Cacophony: Dan Deacon's Favourite Albums
Dom Smith , June 9th, 2015 09:28

With his fourth album Gliss Riffer released earlier this year and a European tour just started, the Baltimore electronics wizard tells Dom Smith what the gems in his record collection have given to his own musical creations


People Like Us & The Jet Black Hair People - People Like Us Meet The Jet Black Hair People... In Concert!
I heard this record also in college. It was when I was studying music and I was really blown away by the use of samples. Vicki Bennett, who is People Like Us, is one of my favourite musicians. I think the main thing is that it was beautiful music and it was really crazy to listen to, it was unlike anything I'd ever listened to before, but it was also funny. A lot of music hides from humour. As soon as you add any type of lightheartedness to music people think about it differently. Music is an art form that has to have mystique and be taken so seriously, which I think is crazy. I liked how I was laughing while listening to this record, but I was in awe by its sheer beauty and at times they were one and the same. No other performing art has to be serious the whole time. A lot of bands are really funny, lighthearted weird people but it doesn't make it into their music and I didn't want that, I wanted my personality to be present in my music and I felt like this record did the same thing. This record showed me that no sounds are off limits, that every sound is usable.

Sometimes the most hardcore experimental musician has a very limited viewpoint about what can be used. Why is the sound of metal scraping against a rock considered music but a duck quacking or a cartoon horn off limits? It's all about context and recontextualising that context into new music and new things and that's what I think Vicki Bennett and People Like Us really did for me. That record was so about recontextualisation.