At the end of last month, the following teaser video appeared online (below). Dramatically and artistically shot, it started off suggesting that some monumental event was going to befall London this summer — like a UFO landing, or something equally epic.
Deadmau5 doesn’t mind flying commercial. He’s in the DJ racket for the love, not the perks. Or at least his latest Tweets would have us believe.
Following last year’s “We all hit play” run-in over EDM live sets, Deadmau5 and Afrojack had another very public difference of opinion this summer.
Deadmau5 sparked the spat by criticising Afrojack’s assertion that good music will always succeed, saying on Facebook, “What do you mean good? Good as in sounds like every fuckin’ other EDM track out there good?”
DJ style: Progressive/electro-house/techno.
Joel Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5, aka Test Pilot, aka Goat Lord (see Twitter), has had a busy year. He’s started scoring a film, started his own Mixcloud show mau5trap radio, booked a headline show at London’s epic Printworks, started building his own first-person shooter game, released a new orchestral album, created a new portable Cube 0.5 live set-up and sent a fan a jar of toilet water in the mail, all in the name of trolling.
The mau5 is never one to rest on his laurels, his ‘mau5trap: Level 1’ EP released earlier this year seeing him collaborate with Pendulum’s Rob Swire for the first time since the seminal ‘Ghosts N Stuff’, with the second installment ‘Level 2’ due imminently. Although Deadmau5’s melodic side has never been too far from even his most energetic tracks, his orchestral album titled ‘Where’s The Drop?’ more literally explores his relationship with traditional composition, including an orchestrated version of his classic track ‘Strobe’.
Based on 2018 alone, it’s hard to predict what the mau5 will do next. Usually we’d have no doubt he’d continue to meander from immaculately produced club- and festival-friendly tracks that got him attention and the intricate compositions the won him fans. However, following criticism over several unnacceptable and offensive outbursts on social media shortly before this magazine went to press, Zimmerman released a statement apologising for his actions, addressing his own struggles with mental health, and announcing he would be taking time off to work on himself.
Words: DECLAN MCGLYNN
It’s been a balanced year of old and new for Canada’s oft-outspoken mouseman Joel Zimmerman. Tapping into his roots and legacy, Joel dedicated time to celebrating a decade of Mau5trap, reminding us of just how much talent has passed through his label’s doors from Chris Lake to Noisia via Rezz and Excision. He also dug deep into his own vaults and gave away an entire album of old projects called ‘Stuff I Used To Do’ that featured a host of unreleased and rare Mau5 classics.
Never one to sit still or ever languish in the past, he’s been much more innovative than he has nostalgic. His eye-melting Cube has been thoroughly updated and invigorated with a 2.1 reboot and remains up there with the likes of Prydz as one of the most striking and technologically-advanced performance concepts in the game. Taking it around the world to a huge array of big festivals and solo on his Lots Of Shows In A Row tour, its sense of spectacle backs up the strong opinions he’s happy to share online.
Musically we’ve also seen a cool departure from the big anthemic tracks he’s known for as he develops his collaborative relationship with Manchester MC Shotty Horroh. Recent single ‘Legendary’ shows a much darker, grittier side to Deadmau5… And one that we’d like to hear a lot more of in the future.
Words: DAVE JENKINS
Deadmau5 has revealed a number of his production secrets in the latest Razer Music tutorial alongside Steve Duda. You can watch the video below.
In the 14-minute clip, Deadmau5 gives a walk-through of the production process for his latest track, ‘Imaginary Friends’, whilst also revealing a number of techniques in mastering and routing. He also shows viewers how to create the much sought-after “Deadmau5 pluck”.
Known as much for his personality both online and onstage as he is for his massively successful productions, Toronto native Joel Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5, maintains his place in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll for another year.
Deadmau5 continues to showcase his endless musical versatility, tantalizing fans with previews on his Soundcloud account, like the melodic rework of last year’s hip-hop track ‘Are You Not Afraid’ and a powerful ballad of slowly building synths in a yet-to-be-released collaboration with Grabbitz called ‘Blood For the Bloodgoat’.
Always one to speak his mind about the state of electronic dance music, the year has seen no shortage of Twitter Mau5-traps — artists and fans alike may unwittingly step into one at any moment — but 2015 also saw the artist on line-ups across the globe.
A headlining act for the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, Deadmau5 also appeared at the fabled Austin City Limits, the Reading and Leeds Festivals in England and debuted a new stage at Governor’s Ball in New York City, where he prevailed despite technical turmoil.
Of course, entertaining audiences in the digital ether and on the live stage aren’t the only places you can find him; those who follow his work are well aware that the Mau5 is no stranger to the world of video games.
Earlier this year he released a unique series of sound clips featured in Dota 2, a game developed by the Bellevue, Washington-based Valve Corporation. At the close of the Dota 2 competition — TI5, the largest ever eSports tournament to date — Deadmau5 surprised the crowd at KeyArena in Seattle with a live performance, reminding everyone yet again that his persona is synonymous with large scale entertainment... no matter the mode or method.
“All great things must first wear terrifying and monstrous masks, in order to inscribe themselves on the hearts of humanity.” FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, Beyond Good and Evil
When DJs step up onstage they're ready to give a performance. They're prepared to become someone else, put on a different face to present to the world. Not for nothing are selectors on a line-up referred to as acts. And the bigger the stage, the more important the booth, the more theatrical the act becomes.