Thanks to his mesmerizing live shows and infectious beats, Joel Zimmerman, better known as Deadmau5, has become one of the most influential electronic musicians in the world, drawing huge festival crowds, playing packed concert halls, even DJing the MTV VMAs.
On his third production, 4×4=12, Zimmerman embarks on his most sprawling undertaking yet. Growing from a DJ slipping in through the mainstream mouse hole to a super-sized mutant rodent stomping through futuristic cityscapes, Deadmau5 is bopping his head back and forth as he tears through buildings, leaving a trail of dubstep destruction in his seismic wake. Accomplishing one of the most difficult tasks of any electronic musician, Zimmerman crafts an accessible yet strong sound. On his third production compilation, he delivers his strongest effort yet.
The opening track “Some Chords” quickly sets the tempo for the rest of the album, with beats bopping and weaving through raging alarms and humming electronics.
Many of the songs found on 4×4=12 were available either as assorted single releases, scattered across the blogosphere, or throughout live show rips and YouTube clips. For example, blistering tracks like “Cthulu Sleeps” & “Raise Your Weapon” will be well known to concert-going Mau5heads, as they’ve become a staple at live sets. Now, Deadmau5 presents these tracks in a cohesive fashion that plays much like his show, woven together into a large piece.
Vocal accompaniments on tracks “Sofi Needs a Ladder” and “One Trick Pony” feature Sofia Toufa, (girlfriend of Tommy Lee of Motley Crue fame) and offers sizzling pulsations alongside defiant vocals.
In December, Deadmau5 embarks on his largest European tour that includes stops alongside other dubstep heavy-weights Magnetic Man, Skream, Benga, Artwork Calvin, and BBC’s Zane Lowe. Highlights include his December 17 stop in Glasgow, a show that will be streamed on BBC radio, and will likely be captured for internet consumption.
Saturday December 18, Deadmau5 headlines London’s Earls Court. The legendary concert hall that’s played host to the likes of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, U2, Radiohead, Metalicca, Coldplay and even Justin Timberlake — but until Joel Zimmerman, never an electronic act.
Between this strong release and string of shows, Deadmau5 is sure to move up the world DJ rankings. Yeah, that exists. There is a by-country ranked list, heralded by house music efficianados as the undeniable law. Currently Deadmau5 sits in the 5 spot, but he has eyes set on the top position, currently held by Amsterdam’s Tiesto.
Since hitting the mainstream, the question has been, “How long can Joel Zimmerman’s house mouse gimmick last?” The answer is, there is no gimmick, Deadmau5 is here to stay.