Ian Deaton: Moon Howler

Last month Ian Deaton released his fourth cassette release, Moon Howler, through Deanwell Global Music, drawing its name from Ramones' 1984 single, Howling At The Moon, and citing inspiration from more elite punk and new wave sources such as the Spits, Missing Persons and Berlin. For the couple of the release's first introductory singles more influence from the same musical realm was stated and identified, while Deaton's expertise in the implementation of different kinds of synthesizers and his general production mastery were also made clear beyond doubt.

In a dense 23-minute total Deaton achieves to not only showcase a valid amalgamation of tasteful influences translated into an intelligible assemblage of sounds, but he also works his own character into the compositions and the imaginativeness that is Moon Howler as a whole. Deaton songs come with a cinematic flavor, as the artist's capacity as a film composer seems very well in agreement with that of his attribute as a punk adherent. 

Deaton's approach to synthpunk is pretty direct and raw, especially on the shorter pieces like Fete Hound II and Madonna Sequence which come across very energetic, with an intense punk edge, while the comparatively easier to take in, slightly longer pieces such as the singles, Palindrome and An Immoral Brain are more new wave based. These two drifts the EP has, the extremer punk one and its more accessible equivalent, come well proportioned and bring on a fine symmetry.

Moon Howler's principal characteristic is speed, and its conveyance of a feeling of inherent hastiness. When Deaton was asked by MC/producer Negashi Armad to put together a mixtape which would resemble the sound of the 1984 synthpop single Synthicide by the short-haul act SSQ, he selected the fastest songs he could find as he hunted through records from popular synthpunk and new wave acts, and ultimately those frenetic sounds became the inspiration for his new release, almost a decade later.

Next to the excessively fast pace, Moon Howler does exceptionally well concerning its cinematic character and its ability to create little movielike worlds within seconds, ones with vivid settings, complete backgrounds and potential for expansion, while on the lyrical front Deaton keeps the writing to a raised level, without needing to overcomplicate his forthright poetry.

"Dance and make art like your life depends on it," Ian Deaton says as he describes his attempt to create something that would pass "as half as good as old synth-pop mixtapes," and his words strike as frank as the music itself.


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