As the stateside EDM storm continues to gather pace, Canadian Deadmau5 finds himself right at the centre of it all. The rather outspoken producer has gone from being an emerging underground talent to an internationally recognised superstar in but a few years. If you needed proof that he, or the high gloss brand of dance music he has been forging, has been accepted into the American mainstream, look no further than this year's Grammys: global rock icon Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters actually performed live on stage with the Mau5 to an adoring audience of millions. Who would have thought it of the country that ceremonially burned disco records in the late '70s? Naturally, the man born Joel Zimmerman's year wasn't without controversy once again. After a self-exposing Tumblr post in which the Mau5 claimed to be nothing but a button pusher, something of a cyber backlash - rather predictably - ensued, with the likes of acid pioneer A Guy Called Gerald getting particularly upset.
The masked one also lashed out at Madonna on more than one occasion this year, telling Rolling Stone Magazine that "if [the pop princess is] going to come into my world, at least do it with a little more dignity" having already labelled Madge "a fucking idiot" back in March. Thankfully for him, Zimmerman also managed to build himself a fully pimped new studio, the first fruits from which were gathered in the form of his latest long-player, '> album title goes here <'. It's not a new album in the strictest sense; fans will have heard many cuts before in primitive form on his Soundcloud (though plans are allegedly afoot for him to step back from touring and make a wholly new album in the coming months).
Across the course of 13 stadium-sized, well buffed-up and highly polished tracks, there are numerous collaborations with stars from well outside the usual EDM sphere, namely rap stoners Cypress Hill, emo king Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance and Imogen Heap - all of whom contribute their vocal trademarks to the sort of sleek electronic beats and grandiose melodic arcs we have come to expect from this producer. Though some of said melodies fail to fully sweep you up, there are plenty of anthemic cuts like 'The Veldt' that blur the lines between turn-of-the-millennium electro and the new brand of dance-indebted pop that currently litters the charts. Elsewhere, 'There Might Be Coffee' and many other such examples are hi-vis affairs full of neon colour, and will no doubt seem even more arresting when paired with the famed visual spectacular that is a Deadmau5 live show.
As such, the world has been Zimmerman's oyster once more in 2012, with sell-out shows in any country you care to name, often in front of tens of thousands of people at multi day festivals like Creamfields, Lollapalooza and Electric Daisy Carnival. He's also continued to connect with said fans with a new series of Ustreams direct from his studio, where you too can pick up 'tips' on how to produce like the mousey one. Close followers of the Mau5 on Facebook and/or Twitter also heard lots about his new girlfriend and famed Mexican-American tattoo artist Katy von D, about his break from Ultra Records following this record, given their demands on him, and about how he has been in the studio working with indie rocker Ryan Adams (not Bryan Adams).
His year is also sure to end on a high, given the news that Deadmau5 is to headline Contact on Boxing Day this year. It will be the first-ever electronic music event to be held at BC Place Stadium, where previously, the likes of U2, Paul McCartney and Roger Waters have all performed. Another testament to EDM's infiltration of the American mainstream, you have to wonder how much of this would have been possible without Deadmau5's continued larger-than-life persona and stadium-filling live spectaculars.