The path of Deadmau5, AKA 31-year-old electronic music producer Joel Thomas Zimmerman, has undoubtedly been a strange one.
- Deadmau5 Uploads Photo Gallery Dedicated to Kat Von D on Facebook: Cute or Creepy?
- Deadmau5 Drops New EP The Veldt on Ultra Music; Admits He Just Presses Play in Blog
Ever since the release of his 2008 breakthrough, Random Album Title, he's been the defining figure in the North American EDM revolution. Yet behind the rodent head, visually stunning, highly priced headlining shows, genre-defining tunes, and Grammy success, Zimmerman has consciously positioned himself as the movement's malcontent.
Of course, Madonna and her cringeworthy "has anyone seen Molly?" comment at Ultra and whole live electronic music spectacle ("I just roll up with a laptop and... hit a spacebar") are fair game, but his perspective is also refreshingly honest.
There's a sense that the release of his sixth studio record, > album title goes here <, today presents a very opportune chance to bring focus back to the music and away from the image of an angry young man ranting into a camera on the internet. More of the mouse hat, less of the baseball cap.
The record starts well enough: Opener "Superliminal" feels like the confident pronouncement of a new darker and harder-edged sound, built around a muscular bass beat and expertly crafted intense rising and descending dynamics. This edgier sound surfaces throughout the record with some variation; "Fn Pig" has flakes of dubstep, "Maths" recalls Daft Punk's eclecticism, and "Closer" combines loops from Close Encounters of the Third Kind to create a slow-burning electro-house jam. But the effortless production is eclipsed by a general feeling of listener disengagement. Some tracks, such as the lumbering "Take Care of Proper Paperwork," seem to just be fragments of Deadmau5's live set and don't sit well within the context of an album.