The most impactful revolutions aren't
planned, plotted or premeditated.
They simply happen. There's also
typically an enigmatic figure at the forefront of those aforementioned creative
shifts. Canadian native Joel Zimmerman,
more commonly known as deadmau5
(pronounced "dead mouse"), didn't set out to become a groundbreaking
electronic artist. He just made some music and it happened to change the game
and pop culture as we know it. Isn't that the best way for it to work though?
Up to this point, his career stands
earmarked by a series of firsts and shattered records. At the 54th
annual Grammy Awards in 2012, he gave a monumental performance as part of the
prestigious ceremony's first-ever telecast celebrating electronic music. He's also
the first electronic artist in history to grace the cover of Rolling Stone. His sold out showat
Toronto's Rogers Centre, documented on the MEOWINGTONS
HAX 2k11 DVD, and London’s Earl’s Court, documented on the deadmau5 live @ earl’s court
DVD, made him the first Canadian artist as well as the first electronic artist
to headline both venues.
His storied 2011 Meowingtons Hax tour smashed Rage Against the Machine's record for
most consecutive nights at the iconic Roseland Ballroom in New York with a
staggering six-show run. Plus, the jaunt set up shop for four back-to-back
nights at Hollywood's Palladium. He's even been the house artist for the MTV Video Music Awards. His chosen
genre also may not be known for theatricality, but he revolutionized the
aesthetic of electronic music with his brilliant and bold LED "mau5head."
With headlining sets at Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, Sonar, Virgin Mobile FreeFest, Ultra Music Festival, and Electric Daisy Carnival under his belt,
he's in a live league of his own. Not to mention, the man has three JUNO Awards and an impressive four Grammy Award nominations to his credit
as well as numerous other accolades. However, he's yet to rest on his laurels
at home with his notable cat Professor
Meowingtons and hang up his "mau5head."
Why? It's simple. There's a lot more
music to put down.
The artist's sixth full-length release,
> album title goes here <,
echoes with his alchemical brood of house, electro, and progressive sounds.
However, he's challenging himself and the genre as a whole yet again. That's
just par for the course though.
First single "Professional
Griefers" sees deadmau5
team up with My Chemical Romance'sGerard Way for a rousing stadium-size
anthem fueled by propulsive production and a skittering hook. Think Queen
siphoned through an underground rave, and you're only halfway there. Then,
there's a hypnotic homage to Ray Bradbury on the shimmering eight minute-plus
dreamscape "The Veldt"
featuring Chris James. "Take Care of the Proper
Paperwork" guts a gritty guitar track into a haunting dance movement,
while "Failbait" yields
cybernetic rap with Cypress Hill
terminating their verses on sight. Everything culminates on the ethereal bliss
of "Telecommunications," a
collaboration with one of the world's most intriguing voices, Imogen Heap.
Everything began on a computer for deadmau5. That's his instrument
of choice, and he wields it with reverence. Growing up in Niagara Falls, he
possessed a deep love for all things digital. As a result, he began composing
"chip tune" music. Organically, he caught the attention of Mötley
Crüe basher Tommy Lee who along with Nine Inch Nails producer Steve Duda and
DJ/producer Aero ended up collaborating together under the pseudonym WTF?.
However, he still had a day job as a
web developer and go-to computer guy at this point in time. Joining forces with
programmer and studio engineer Steve Duda [Nine Inch Nails], the budding
producer began envisioning and constructing actual software for composing music.
He was behind Touch Mix an iPhone app for mixing tracks on mobile and he's got
FL Studios—of Fruity Loops fame—on his resume. There
aren't many artists who actually built their own instruments. Notably, he
dubbed his web-developing and technology business deadmau5, once he found a deceased mouse inside his
He formally made the jump to releasing
his own music in 2006. Working with Duda and utilizing the moniker B.S.O.D.
"blue screen of death", the duo cooked up "This Is The Hook."
It was their take on house music with tongue firmly planted in cheek and middle
finger proudly raised to the mainstream. However, the joke was on them. It hit #1
on the Beatport chart, the first of many to come.
After a short stint with B.S.O.D., deadmau5 dropped his first solo
cut "Faxing Berlin."
Embraced by BBC Radio 1 tastemaker Pete Tong, the song began turning heads
globally as it piped through clubs from Italy to Miami. Merging trance and
house, "Faxing Berlin" was
one of 2007's most massive dance hits.
However, 2008 was when the reign of
the "mau5" officially commenced.
His third full-length and first for Ultra Music and his own mau5trap
label, Random Album Title,
sent shockwaves through the scene. Boasting "I Remember," a towering
collaboration with Kaskade,
the collection quickly rose to prominence. Its 2009 follow-up, For Lack of a Better Name, saw
him infiltrate the mainstream zeitgeist even more. "FML"
featured in an episode of The CW's Gossip
Girl, while "Ghosts 'n'
Stuff" with Rob Swire of Pendulum and Knife Party appeared in Randy Jackson's America's Best Dance
Crew, Chuck, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
as well as video games including Need
For Speed: Shift, Test Drive
Unlimited 2, and DJ Hero 2.
Then 2010’s 4x4=12, solidified deadmau5
as one of the premier artists in the world. It was his first album to chart on
the Billboard Top 200, spending over 100 weeks on the chart. "Sofi Needs a Ladder"
featuring SOFI, showcased in The Hangover II, "Animal Rights" with Wolfgang Gartner, "Raise Your Weapon" featuring Greta Svabo Bech all became fan favorites. Today it still remains one of deadmau5’s best selling works
even without the support of a video or radio smash.
Not only did deadmau5 become a cultural fixture, a culture arose around
him and Professor Meowingtons. He's
got over 6.5 million Facebook fans and 1.3 million Twitter followers. His usage
of "moar" (as in "Moar
Ghosts 'n' Stuff") has entered the vernacular amongst his
following. Meanwhile, Meowingtons lent
his name to the Meowingtons Hax Tour
and his mug to the cover of >
album title goes here <.
Still, there's no plan.
deadmau5's myth and influence could very well
expand even further, but he's not exactly worried or concerned about it. He's
got more music to make.
title goes here <
In his short story, The
Veldt, Ray Bradbury exposed
the dangers of becoming too obsessed with and reliant upon technology. It's
doubtful the legendary author envisioned that particular story being translated
into a lush and lively eight-minute soundscape generated entirely by computers,
but given his love of science and fantasy, it's likely he would've dug it.
While most electronic dance music
remains trapped in the four walls of sweat-soaked night clubs, platinum-selling
Canadian producer and artist deadmau5
(pronounced "dead mouse") a.k.a. Joel
Zimmerman opens up those boundaries immensely on his sixth full-length
studio album for Ultra Music and his own mau5trap Recordings, > album title goes here <, available
September 25, 2012.
Veldt" functions as the perfect jump-off point for
the collection as a whole. In a setting Bradbury would've no doubt
appreciated, deadmau5 crafted the track during a 22-hour
live-streaming session for fans in March 2012. The audience literally sat front
row for the entire creative process online, offering a level of intimacy rarely
granted to the public. There was no fear of a leak or misrepresentation.
Instead, the artist opened the door to this inner sanctum so the world could
watch his art blossom.
As soon as the initial track reached completion, his faithful took to
Twitter, praising a vocal version that singer Chris James uploaded on
Soundcloud. An official collaboration had been born, and this expansive opus
introduced the world to > album title goes here < on a
digital four-song EP in June 2012.
However, that's only one facet of the record. "Professional
Griefers" sees My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way
spout cyber punk musings over a spunky groove and schizophrenic synth sounds.
On the hook, the singer uncompromisingly proclaims, "Gimme the sound, to
see another world outside that's full of all the broken things that I
Breathing fire, it's pensive, potent, and powerful dance music with a
rock 'n' roll edge. Also, as soon as the track hit airwaves, major stations
such as KROQ in Los Angeles immediately embraced it. Upping the ante yet again,
Dave Stewart's Weapons of Mass Entertainment produced an
official music video for the track with both of these "Professional
Griefers" front and center.
Then, there's "Channel 42" which reunites deadmau5
with his "Animal Rights" partner-in-crime Wolfgang Gartner.
It's a true treat for fans as "Animal Rights" remains a live
staple and favorite. Still, these two tap into something eerily magical again
Flipping to "Channel 42", eerie keyboards blaze
through an all-encompassing swell, making for another dance floor rollercoaster
that's as undeniable as it is unpredictable. On the other end of the spectrum, "Take
Care of the Proper Paperwork" spins on guitar inertia before spiraling
out into off-color industrial warmth.
Once again breaking down genre boundaries, Cypress Hill also
joins the ride. During "Failbait", B Real and Sen
Dog fire off their signature airtight rhymes as visceral and vibrant
production echoes. EDM and hip hop collide and then subsequently cascade
together unlike ever before.
Everything comes to a swirling conclusion on "Telemiscommunications".
Boasting divine vocals and lyrics from Imogen Heap, the track transmits
an aural bliss that's utterly sublime. It's an appropriate send-off from deadmau5
as the sound subsides into one last buzzing hum.
In some fashion, everything has led up to > album title goes
here < for deadmau5. He's dropped three critically
acclaimed albums: 4×4=12, For Lack Of A Better Name and Random Album Title and seen international chart success with
singles "Sofi Needs A Ladder,""Ghosts 'n' Stuff" and "I Remember." In addition,
he's notched multiple JUNO Awards and received three Grammy Award nominations.
He also performed at the 54th Annual
GRAMMY Awards as part of its first ever telecast performance highlighting
electronic music. His fan base speaks the loudest though. He's garnered over
6.5 million fans on his Facebook page and over 1.3 million followers on
Twitter. Plus, deadmau5
remains an impressive concert draw, headlining the biggest festivals in North America
Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, Sonar, Virgin Mobile FreeFest, Ultra Music Festival
and Electric Daisy Carnival.
He was the first Canadian and
electronic artist to sell out Rogers Centre in Toronto. If that's not enough,
he broke a record held by Rage Against
the Machine for most consecutive shows at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC with
a staggering six nights at the iconic venue. He adorned the cover of Rolling Stone's summer double
issue in 2012, another first for an EDM artist.
With his cat Meowingtons gracing the artwork for > album title goes here < the music sits firmly entrenched in
the deadmau5 universe. It's
open and otherworldly and welcoming of all genres, species, etc. Ray Bradbury would be proud.