Release Date: Sep 25, 2012
Record label: Ultra
Genre(s): House, Techno, Club/Dance, EDM
You can't see the mouse helmet on the latest album from EDM superstar Joel Zimmerman. But you can hear it. Deadmau5 brings a love of spectacle – and the humor of a natural ham – to his strobe-lit club anthems. When he cues up "Closer," will the kids know they're waving their glow sticks to the Close Encounters of the Third Kind theme? Maybe not, but you can be sure Zimmerman will be grinning behind his mau5head.
Techno, electronica and house music can be tricky to judge. It’s a frantic breed of music that throws aside actual instruments in favor of an electronic soundboard. Where once existed guitars, now comes synth. In this genre, a song works or it doesn’t. It’s as simple as the ear taking in a ….
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Deadmau5 is one of the biggest names in club culture and largely responsible for electronic music's recent surge in popularity. This makes him a lot of money, but also makes him a target for anyone who worries about the commercialization of underground club culture. The fact that he looks down on DJs (he doesn't mix records himself) and is happy to give grumpy quotes to the press doesn't earn him a lot of friends on the mainstream end of the business either.
Having spent the year tearing up social media and gossip sites as much as he spent tearing up the dancefloor, masked EDM superstar Deadmau5 seemed close to becoming a "celebrity DJ" in 2012, quite the evolution considering how his rise to fame was homegrown and fan-driven. Following up two albums with equally shruggy titles -- 2008's Random Album Title and 2009's For Lack of a Better Name -- >Album Title Goes Here< surprisingly comes off as the most "whatevs" of the bunch, favoring slowly developing tracks with extended intros, and cruising along the spaceways at midtempo and with only the occasional thump. My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way may give "Professional Griefers" his full goth swagger and "The Veldt," with guest vocalist Chris James, may use Ray Bradbury as the inspiration for an eight-minute EDM suite, but these tracks aren't overly garish, slick, or busy, and it's only when Cypress Hill show up on the iffy wobbler "Failbait" that the album feels clumsy or Steve Aoki-sized.
You have to give it to Joel Zimmerman, aka deadmau5: The producer never lets grammar get in the way of online rants, let alone the naming of his albums. The mau5 has been highly vocal on the transition of dance music since Rolling Stone tagged 2012 the year of the “Dance Dance Revolution” on its February cover. Alongside months of self-promotion leading up to the release of >album title goes here For lack of a better name, let’s dub these rules the “deadmau5 doctrine.” >album title goes here< fits nicely within this doctrine, and with the assistance of big-name collaborators, it also extends the reach of his signature progressive house.
Review Summary: Musical accomplishments go elsewhereAs America finally begins to accept electronic dance music (that's edm to all you dictionary avoiders) into its daily culture (welcome to the party guys, the invites only went out about twenty years ago), watching the established stars scramble for purchase in amongst the scuffle has produced interesting results. Joel Zimmerman, the mau5test with the mostest, was a producer who quickly found success by doling out a rather hypnotizing brand of chilled-out lounge-house, a sound that at times felt ill at ease when paired up with his over-sized happy meal identity. That it would find success with the type of sonic merchants now specializing in the purchase of ear-splitting four to the floor that would perhaps be better suited to an industrial steel mill, is also a novelty by which similar acts have sadly wound up left at the wayside; that perhaps his supernova-like rise could perhaps be attributed to.
The first single taken from Deadmau5's sixth album was called The Veldt. It features Chris James, a vocalist the Canadian producer discovered via the internet, beatifically cooing about a "happy life with the machines … the world the children made … look at us now, so in love with the way we are". The lyrics are based on a Ray Bradbury short story, but sound a lot like a celebration of the American electronic dance music (EDM) scene.
For all its impressive fireworks, this is a fairly hollow affair from the Canadian. Louis Pattison 2012 He’s a divisive sort, deadmau5. That’s okay, many of music’s most interesting characters are. But it’s notable that he – he being 31-year-old Toronto EDM producer Joel Zimmerman – seems to thrive off putting noses out of joint.