Standing in a Greyhound Bus station, wearing a Sylvester t-shirt and huge duct-tape-covered glasses, Baltimore’s Dan Deacon doesn’t invoke the image of a composer to the other bus riders. The two suitcases he loads under the bus, which accompany him from city to city, hold the sweat-and-grime-soaked electronics that he uses to craft his raging, maxed-out party music and light show. After 12 tours and 300+ shows in little over 2 years, the gear is beaten and battered, but the show and the energy it produces is anything but.
Dan Deacon has garnered a reputation in the underground as an intense performer and classic showman. The table top full of pedals, a sine wave generator, vocoder and casio blasting through the PA, joined by a makeshift light board with various bulbs and green skull strobe light, make his all out dance-til-you-drop performance a complete experience.
But it isn’t all fancy feet and bouncy beats. Deacon is a classically trained composer with a Masters degree in electro-acoustic composition. He has released 7 albums from 2003 to 2006, but those self-produced recordings do not contain the vocal-based experimental pop that he has fine-tuned in live performance. His latest full length, Spiderman of the Rings is the first album bridging the gap between party performer and genuine composer. A mixture of his live show dance anthems, intricate instrumentals and humorous monologues, Spiderman of the Rings establishes Dan Deacon as a new type of entertainer in the contemporary underground.
Since moving to Baltimore in 2007 with the encouragement of his friends Dan Deacon, OCDJ, and Videohippos, Benny Boeldt has made three full-length albums as Adventure and toured extensively with his own music and as a member of the Dan Deacon Ensemble. A U.S. tour with labelmate Toro Y Moi in the spring of 2011 was a fitting way to celebrate that season’s release of Lesser Known, Adventure’s second album for Carpark and its first album of pop songs. Adventure’s third LP is Weird Work, to be released in April 2013.
Weird Work is an extension of the world Boeldt created with Lesser Known, but without that record’s use of electronic pop elements such as vocal melodies and lyrics. It’s a new album of Adventure’s signature 8-bit-infused IDM. According to Boeldt, making Weird Work was about finding himself in his music again, and celebrating the act of creation. The album “is about being awkward, and anxious,” Boeldt says. “Ugly yet beautiful. Most of all, this record is about working hard, and cherishing any and all time left aside for creative endeavor.”
Boeldt grew up in Durham, North Carolina and attended East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. The school’s slogan, “Tomorrow starts here,” is an apt descriptor for Adventure’s music, which sounds both futuristic and of-the-moment. At ECU, he studied painting and drawing alongside friends and fellow future Baltimore residents Future Islands. It was here that Boeldt first developed an interest in writing and composing electronic music.