2. Channel 42 – deadmau5 & Wolfgang Gartner
3. The Veldt (featuring Chris James)
4. Fn Pig
5. Professional Griefers (featuring Gerard Way)
7. There might be coffee
8. Take care of the proper paperwork
12. Failbait (featuring Cypress Hill)
13. Telemiscommunications (featuring Imogen Heap)
Following his performance with Foo Fighters at this year’s Grammy Awards where they showcased his stellar remix of ‘Rope’, deadmau5 continues his collaborations in the rock world by enlisting the vocal talents of Gerard Way, lead singer of My Chemical Romance for his latest single ‘Professional Griefers’. Out now, the single sits on the tougher end of deadmau5’s productions and has already been added to the Radio 1 playlist.
Fans first got to experience ‘Professional Griefers’ as an unreleased instrumental during deadmau5’s Meowingtons Hax tour last year, premiering the track at his critically acclaimed headlining performance at Lollapalooza. The vocal version of ‘Professional Griefers’ kicks off with stomping beats and heavily distorted guitar stabs, then builds the tension with discordant synth strikes leading into the chorus and features one of the most distinctive voices in rock. The accompanying video, featuring both deadmau5 and Gerard Way was created by Dave Stewart’s Weapons of Mass Entertainment production company and you can watch it here.
Deadmau5 ‘album title goes here’ Review: Big On Reach, Small On Impact
Deadmau5, ” album title goes here ” (Ultra)
Deadmau5′s new anti-titled electronic dance music album, ” album title goes here ,” is a lot of things. It’s a thumping dance tapestry. It’s pockmarked with features from the likes of Cypress Hill and Imogen Heap. And it also underscores Deadmau5′ global reach and feel.
It just isn’t very good.
The album from the Mickey Mouse mask-wearing electronic dance music vet pushes no boundaries that weren’t already pushed 10 years ago. From Joel Zimmerman, better known to his considerable fan base as Deadmau5, the lack of creativity is a sin.
There are scores of EDM specialists crafting new approaches these days, from Grammy-winning Skrillex to live beat-maker AraabMuzik to up-and-comers like HeRobust. Amid their inventive progressions, Deadmau5′ latest album feels a tad old and dusty.
“Superliminal” is all buildup and very little payoff. You’ll be left waiting minutes for the drop, and perhaps scanning forward to the next track in hopes of getting the pulse racing. Good luck.
“Fn Pig” is one of the few tracks on board with some sizzle. It’s an eight-minute track that teases you for the first two before any semblance of a proper beat emerges. But once it gets going the bass line grabs you by the shoulders and refuses to let go. It’s an addictive, repeat-worthy track.
But mostly, we find Deadmau5 longing for some sort of house music yesteryear. On “Maths,” the corny digital samples feel extremely dated and required a much smarter approach than this.
CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: “Closer” cleverly borrows the five-note sequence used by scientists to talk to alien visitors in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” It blends well into this breezy track as synth stabs bounce around in the background.
Courtesy: Ron Harris
Dance music has finally conquered the US, and Deadmau5 is its biggest star – but does he really hate the whole scene?
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. It’s hard to think of a more unexpected turn of musical events than EDM’s commercial triumph. For decades, the US remained impervious to the charms of the house music and techno that had been invented under their noses in the 80s. Then suddenly, nearly a quarter of a century after the rest of the world cottoned on, dance music has become very big business indeed.
From the outside, it’s inexplicable. Perhaps examining the work of Joel Zimmerman can shed some light. As Deadmau5, he is not only arguably EDM’s biggest star – as evidenced bya recent Rolling Stone cover – but also the scene’s self-appointed spokesman. He took Madonna to task for the scarcely imaginable crime of mentioning drugs at a rave, suggesting it was akin to “mentioning slavery at a blues concert”. It was redolent, he said, of the days when “a dark veil” hung over dance music, before he and others had “taken EDM so goddamn far”. By this “dark veil” period, he presumably meant the 35 years when dance music had to content itself with merely providing a glorious, euphoric voice for disenfranchised minorities, being a genuine countercultural phenomenon, repeatedly revolutionising music and changing the face of popular culture. This, of course, was before it found its true, noble calling: soundtracking Las Vegas pool parties and providing music for gurning frat boys to mosh to.
Deadmau5′s pronouncements do tend towards the odd. In a certain light, they can give the impression that EDM’s top dog loathes dance music. DJs are “fucking cunts … I don’t see the technical merit in playing two songs at the same speed together … it bores me to fucking tears”. Live dance music, including his own, is essentially a con: “It’s not about talent … I just roll up with a laptop and … hit a spacebar.” Dance music itself is “just 120bpm with a fucking kick drum on every quarter note”. “Fuck dance music, you know?” he told Rolling Stone.
Perhaps this is the righteous iconoclasm of a nonpareil artist, so far ahead of his peers that he can splatter his scorn with impunity. Or perhaps not. Anyone who remembers the glut of electronic albums released in the late 90s might find something familiar about Album Title Goes Here. It keeps doing the things lesser talents signed in the wake ofthe Chemical Brothers and Leftfield’s success seemed contractually obliged to do. There is an awful hip-hop track, featuring rappers some way past their peak: Failbait, with Cypress Hill. There is a bit of waffy ambience with vocals by a female singer-songwriter (Imogen Heap on Telemiscommunications). There is an attempt to meld electronics and hard rock, Professional Griefers, featuring Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance. If it featured a track described as “the soundtrack for a film that hasn’t been made yet”, he’d have the full house. It doesn’t, but it does feature Closer, a track based on the five-note pattern scientists use to communicate with aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which is the kind of idea The Two Ronnies would have come up with had they been called upon to parody rave culture in 1989.
Perhaps Deadmau5 appeals to a middle-American audience traditionally resistant to dance music because he seems to have taken a genre born out of a largely black, largely gay club scene and ruthlessly expunged any lasting sonic evidence of its birthplace. You can hear his style’s roots in the big stars of 90s electronica, their respective sounds adjusted to cut them adrift from the music that inspired them. It’s the Chemical Brothers without their love for hip-hop and Detroit techno; Daft Punk without their deep understanding of Chicago house; the Prodigy without their roots in breakbeat hardcore. What’s left is bizarrely unfunky, unambiguous, unsexy and unreconstructedly macho: Maths or Fn Pig offer a noisy euphoria that makes you think not of the communal transcendence of the dancefloor, but a bloke from sales with his tie wrapped round his head, waving a can of Relentless in the air and roaring. It’s house music that Frankie Knuckles wouldn’t understand, butFinchy from The Office would get straight away.
For all his dismissal of pop’s co-opting of EDM, Deadmau5 deals in an amalgam of sounds indistinguishable from those you’d find on a pop R&B single – the distorted bass wobble of dubstep, Auto-Tuned vocals, 80s synths (including, on Channel 42, the kind of piercing electronic wail that preceded Ray Parker Jr’s insistence that he wasn’t ‘fraid of no ghost), epic breakdowns. All this is set to beats that steadfastly decline to swing, a lock-stepped quick march across the dancefloor. It’s The Triumph of the Will.i.am.
Deadmau5′s album titles – Album Title Goes Here follows Random Album Title and For Lack of a Better Name – suggest a man whose motto is “This’ll do”, casually knocking out any old cobblers because he holds his audience in contempt. The really weird thing about Album Title Goes Here is that nothing could be further from the truth. It’s derivative, cliched and gives the impression of having been made by someone who’s never danced in their life, but in a purely technical sense, it’s extremely well produced, punchy, powerful, with a strong grasp of dynamics and occasional flashes of a deft melodic touch. Nothing feels careless: a lot of time and effort has clearly been expended on making it as generic and unfunky as possible. It’s the sound of a man who knows his market.