Over the past decade, Baltimore’s weirdo-in-chief, Dan Deacon, has morphed from a guy screaming into a mike run through a bunch of effects pedals into an influential producer of experimental music.
After forming the Wham City arts collective in 2004, Deacon crammed his growing reputation into a converted school bus and hit the road. His concerts became massive dance parties, driven by an app that generates light and sound in the hands of concertgoers. He branched out to work with full orchestras and even scored Francis Ford Coppola’s 2011 film “Twixt.”
A guy’s gotta have a hobby, though. With so much bombast around, it makes sense that Deacon would try simplification. Last week, he and 36 other artists laid down guerilla remixes of Miley Cyrus’ single “We Can’t Stop” on the streaming site Bandcamp. Deacon’s mix, “‘We Can’t Stop’ 50% Reduction (Straight Chop Remix),” edits out every other bar of the song, then mashes it into something less coherent but more danceable than the original.
It’s a funny, smart commentary on breaking music’s formulas, which Deacon is brainy about. And it’s over in less than two minutes.