Best Albums of 2009: #17, Dan Deacon's Bromst

Rank: #17
Album: Bromst
Artist: Dan Deacon
Label: Carpark Records

It takes a few listens through Dan Deacon's Bromst to even begin to grasp what the hell is going on within its layers and layers of electronic experimentation. If one pays too much attention to the cascading synthesizer, you'll lose the sound effects being looped in the background. Spend too much time focusing on the impossibly fast piano part in the forefront, and risk losing the vocal harmonies that, when present, are essential to the experience. But that's how Deacon wants it. Bromst is an assault on the listener's senses, in the best possible way.

If nothing else, the album is structured madness. The chaotic organization of tracks like opener "Build Voice" leave you feeling as if you've entered into the middle of a shouting match-- yet, when you combine the finer points of both sides, something does come of it. The dueling keyboard and saxophone play off the buzzing, beeping effects at a breakneck speed-- challenging the listener to remain focused. With music this active and lively, one cannot just listen with your ears. The sights invoked here are a visual extravaganza essential to the experience as well, with bright, offsetting colors bursting from every direction, in sharp, jagged edges. Then, at the end of each track, it all just comes to a screeching halt, before warming back up again just seconds later. Make an attempt at digesting songs like "Snookered" on the first pass at your own peril, but at any rate, Bromst's ability to stimulate the senses is what makes it one of the highlights of 2009.

Best Track: "Slow With Horns/Run For Your Life"

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