The third studio installment from producer Joel Zimmerman is set to be released early December, and all of us here at EO are excited to say the least. From simply glancing at the track list, your average Deadmau5 enthusiast might be disappointed due to the fact that roughly 50% of the songs have already been released as singles or have frequently appeared around the blogosphere as set rips. Songs like ‘Some Chords‘, ‘Animal Rights‘ and ‘I Said‘ have already been played out by DJâ€™s. But donâ€™t fret! That would be a newb move. Why? Your friends here at Electronica Oasis will address that question, along with providing an in depth look into Deadmau5â€™ next masterpiece of an album â€˜4 X 4= 12â€™. We will also explain why his sound has evolved, and how this computer geek has managed to bring electronic dance music to the mainstream market. To continue reading this review and/or preview, click read more. :)
Random Album Title
Letâ€™s go back to his debut album ‘Random Album Title‘, which received critical acclaim and is one of the best dance music albums of our generation(yeah, I said it). Hell, it even won ‘Best Dance Recording of the Year‘ at the Juno music awards. When it was released in September of 2008, most electro-heads had already heard the following: ‘Brazil‘, ‘I Remember‘, ‘Faxing Berlin‘ and ‘Arguru’ (from Tiestoâ€™s In Search of Sunrise 6â€¦YES, Tiesto knew about Deadmau5 before any of you guys reading this). It didnâ€™t matter much to cultured dance music fans because the mau5 possesses an uncanny ability to mold his albums into what sounds like seamless sets of music, with each track perfectly segueing to the next. Producers and DJâ€™s alike have mixed albums and compilations that resemble live sets, BUT it is a true electro-rarity for an individual to construct his original songs in such a fashion that it almost sounds like one continuous symphony of dance music. I can say with certainty that every track on here is phenomenal, and this album exhibited an individual making music that any rock, pop, or rap fan could bob their head to.
[audio:http://www.electronicaoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Faxing Berlin (Original Mix).mp3|titles=Faxing Berlin (Original Mix).mp3]
[audio:http://www.electronicaoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Not Exactly (Original Mix).mp3|titles=Not Exactly (Original Mix).mp3]
[audio:http://www.electronicaoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Arguru (Original Mix).mp3|titles=Arguru (Original Mix).mp3]
1. Sometimes Things Get, Whatever
4. Some Kind of Blue
6. Alone With You
7. I Remember feat. Kaskade
8. Faxing Berlin (Piano Acoustic Version)
9. Faxing Berlin
10. Not Exactly
12. So There I Was
For Lack of a Better Name
His next album ‘For Lack of a Better Name‘ was an awesome sophomore effort and really solidified himself as a staple in the genre. What genre? Well the cool thing about Joel is that he has seemed to readily transcend multiple dance music genres. I would probably classify his first two albums as a perfect mixture of tech-house, electro-house and progressive house, but there are many who would disagree. Regardless, a similar trend is clear: ‘Ghosts N Stuff‘, ‘Moar Ghosts N Stuff‘, ‘Hi Friend!‘ and ‘FML‘ were available long before the release of the album. Once again though, it didnâ€™t matter. The album was perfectly constructed, and his unique electro touch was evident on every track. The entire album is extremely fluid, and appropriately ends with his opus ‘Strobe‘. If you haven’t heard this banger, you probably live on Saturn. In this track, Deadmau5 shows his new and true colors, straying far from his norms and foreshadowing a new style that is clearly different from anything on his last album. Countless remixes, mashups, and bootlegs were made all attempting to exploit Deadmau5â€™s sound. On this album, he certainly ventured out of his comfort zone and began experimenting, and we are all happy he did (Track listing at end of article). The amazing thing about Joel Zimmerman is that he is able to adjust and adapt to current conditions in the electronic dance music scene, while fully using those conditions to create an amazingly new and outrageously catchy sound.
[audio:http://www.electronicaoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/FML (Original Mix).mp3|titles=FML (Original Mix).mp3]
Moar Ghosts N’ Stuff
[audio:http://www.electronicaoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Moar Ghosts N’ Whatever (Original Mix).mp3|titles=Moar Ghosts N’ Whatever (Original Mix).mp3]
Ghosts N’ Stuff
[audio:http://www.electronicaoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Ghosts N’ Stuff (Original Mix).mp3|titles=Ghosts N’ Stuff (Original Mix).mp3]
[audio:http://www.electronicaoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Strobe (Original Mix).mp3|titles=Strobe (Original Mix).mp3]
2. Moar Ghosts N’ Stuff
3. Ghosts N’ Stuff
4. Hi Friend! feat. MC Flipside
6. Word Problems
8. Lack of a Better Name
9. The 16th Hour
4 X 4=12
Joel seems to have developed an amazing skill which allows him to switch back and forth between his own style of minimal and maximal house music. He has perfected the ability to use understated “four on the floor” drum beats and structured build ups, with loud synth melodies and massive launches. He brings this rare skill set, along with abstract new found skills to ‘4 X 4=12‘.
The anticipation for the new album was extremely high due to his new style, however he has slowly released tracks over the past months and has also leaked the track list. This has caused that anticipation to somewhat decrease, and wrongly so. The electro house star awaits for the release of â€˜4×4=12â€™ which will inevitably prove his ungodly progression as a music producer. Anyone that has attended a mau5 show this past summer has heard the electrifying live segments of his new material. Itâ€™s the new devastating electro progressions he continues to find, the uplifting progressive synths he always seems to craft, and lastly the new filthy dubstep he has finally incorporated into this music that has made his 3rd album release the widest range of songs yet. He is electronic dance music’s most talked about artist and producer and it will only continue in 2011.
The album opens up with â€˜Some Chordsâ€™, released June 1st, 2010. It is one of the three single releases on the album. The other two being â€˜Animal Rightsâ€™ and â€˜Sofi Needs A Ladderâ€™. The track â€˜Some Chordsâ€™ has been one of his go-to openers during his live shows this past summer. With the start of a slow electro synth, it just keeps building and once you hear that first kick, wellâ€¦you have entered the mau5 ride. And you better hold on, because it only getâ€™s bigger, better, and louder. The 2nd track, â€˜Sofi Needs A Ladderâ€™ was the latest single release November 1st, 2010. It features the vocals of Sofia â€˜Sofiâ€™ Toufa, who is rocker Tommy Leeâ€™s girlfriend. The collaboration between the two was so good that they produced another track together called â€˜One Trick Ponyâ€™, the 10th song on the album. The relationship between the two developed due to all of the time Joel spends with Tommy and his girl. The overwhelming bassline in â€˜Sofi Needs A Ladderâ€™ is beyond powerful and just gets you in the groove. Deadmau5 takes Sofiaâ€™s vocals from this electro track and passes them on to â€˜One Trick Ponyâ€™, a dubstep destructive monster. His different variety of sound is clearly evident, and yet his producing is still very effective in all areas. His gripping tracks with the same vocalists truly demonstrates how Deadmau5 has progressed over the years.
[audio:http://www.electronicaoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Some Chords (Original Mix).mp3|titles=Some Chords (Original Mix).mp3]
Sofi Needs A Ladder
[audio:http://www.electronicaoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Sofi Needs A Ladder (Original Mix).mp3|titles=Sofi Needs A Ladder (Original Mix).mp3]
[audio:http://www.electronicaoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Animal Rights (Original Mix).mp3|titles=Animal Rights (Original Mix).mp3]
The album continues with the 3rd track, â€˜A City In Floridaâ€™, with just a ridiculously damaging electro beat that literally doesnâ€™t stop. It starts off hard and only gets harder. The 4th song, â€˜Bad Selectionâ€™, wellâ€¦
Finally the third single release, â€˜Animal Rightsâ€™, released September 19th, and the 5th song of the album was collaborated with other electro legend, Wolfgang Gartner. Beatport went on to say this about the track, â€œâ€¦a huge club record that combines the styles of both producers and has been heavily compared to Daft Punk. We here at Beatport welcome the new direction and give it our thumbs up.â€ I think we will just leave you with what Beatport had to say about that one.
Michael Woods makes an introduction into the album along with Chris Lake on the 6th track, â€˜I Said (Michael Woods Remix)â€™. And boy, does this song have the Michael Wood’s flavor. In addition to this, he samples the original â€˜Arguruâ€™ track dating all the way back from Deadmau5â€™ first album. The Michael Wood’s bleeps and deep driving basslines are absolutely incredible and start to take the album to a new level.
â€˜Cthulu Sleepsâ€™ is another unreleased track that everyone will have to patiently wait for. Only until the release of this album will you be able to hear the full track from beginning to end and not in rip form, FINALLY. Deadmau5 has played this track in most of his shows this year and people are salivating trying to get their hands on this one. The track has an epic melodious breakdown that literally puts the crowd in a daze, only to be woken up by the WOMPS of Cthulu himself.
Pete Tong debuted Deadmau5′ latest leak from the album called â€˜Right This Secondâ€™ on his radio show and damn. Just damn. Many people doubted deadmau5 after his first couple of hits and questioned whether he could continue dominating. I think he has answered all those questions. The piano, synth melody, ridiculous buildup, and filthy drop (reminiscent of FML) make this piece one of his best. The leak was only a small preview, but just another solid mau5 song and again we will all have to wait.
To most peoples surprise, Deadmau5 started to flirt with dubstep since his last album. It just truly shows you that if this guy wanted to take over the dubstep scene he easily can. He started as an electro house producer, and then just decides he wants to play around with dubstep and he literally just kills it. â€˜Raise Your Weaponâ€™ is the 9th track on the album featuring feat. Greta Svabo Bech and I think that it might be the most beautiful song I have heard from him other than â€˜Strobeâ€™ of course. It starts off with a gorgeous progressive synth and beat and finally the drop comes and you are just standing there like what the hell just happened. You know what happened? Deadmau5 happened.
Lastly, the album comes to a close with the 11th and final track â€˜Everything Beforeâ€™. I donâ€™t have much to say about this, as I havenâ€™t even come close to hearing a rip of this. Looks like we are waiting again. My god this will be a tremendous album. Who else is stoked??
1. Some Chords
2. Sofi Needs A Ladder
3. A City In Florida
4. Bad Selection
5. Animal Rights feat. Wolgang Gartner
6. I Said feat. Chris Lake (Michael Woods Remix)
7. Cthulu Sleeps
8. Right This Second
9. Raise Your Weapon
10. One Trick Pony
11. Everything Before