Essential Wax is our new series in partnership with U-Turn Audio where we talk to a different artist each week about the records that have made an impact on them and their work. We’re super psyched to be kicking off the first edition of Essential Wax with Dan Deacon, as he tells us the story behind some of his favorite record he’s bought on Discogs.
The classically-trained, electronically-inclined musician famous for his interactive live shows is not one known to shy away from experimentation. Following the success of his Spiderman Of The Rings, and subsequent orchestral epics Bromst and America, he soon longed for the simplicity of doing nearly everything himself again. For his latest album, Gliss Riffer, he managed to keep up a busy recording schedule while on tour with Arcade Fire, stealing opportunities to mix and arrange in green rooms and dismantled hotel bathrooms. A bout of laryngitis gave Deacon a new-found appreciation for his voice; “I started thinking about how the voice is an instrument that expires, and that made me want to make an album with the voice more exposed.” Among all the instrumental layering we’ve come to expect from a Dan Deacon record, the vocals get more of a leading role on Gliss Riffer. This is an album you simply gotta hear!
When he’s not playing every part on a new album or getting the audience to join in on live performances, Dan Deacon is a keen record collector. Check out which Discogs finds make his top 5 and why they’ve got a special place in his heart!
Dan Deacon’s favorite vinyl records bought on Discogs:
I first heard this record while working at the True Vine record store in Baltimore. A used copy came through the shop and we played it quite a bit over the system. Before I could grab it someone snatched it up. I really loved the arc of the album/sides. The music was so bizarrely theatrical and the instrumentation/use of voice was really unique. I couldn’t stop thinking about the record. I found it listed on Discogs by a small record shop in Italy. I’m pretty sure this was the first album I ever purchased through Discogs. It’s easily one of my favorites and since it’s not on any streaming service, I’m so glad I could so easily find a copy in great shape on Discogs.
This record got me into 20th century avant-garde. I found it in a $1 bin at my college library my freshman year. A few years later I was living in a warehouse in Baltimore and there was a fire in the unit above mine. The water from the sprinkler system destroyed many of my beloved records, including this one. 10 years or so went by before I thought about how I should replace this record, as it marked an important turning point in my life. I thought it would be hard to locate but of course it was horrifyingly easy to locate it on Discogs in much better shape than my previous copy.
This is another record that got destroyed in that fire/water damage. I had found it originally in a dumpster full of records while in college. I had never heard Monk’s music before but the title sold me 100%. I had purchased the album digitally and was blasting it all the time but really missed the vinyl being in my collection. Very happy I replaced it. Each side has such a different take on the approach to the ensemble and the vocal approach. I really think having to break between the sides enchanted the listening experience going from side A to B.
I discovered this record very recently. I came across it on Spotify and really quickly fell in love with it. It’s seems like a proto-Glassworks. It’s more raw and the performances are way more rough around the edges. I love thinking about how this came out a year before Einstein On The Beach. I was able to find an original pressing in great shape on Discogs and it tends to be sitting on my platter most of the time.