Joel Thomas Zimmerman a.k.a electronic powerhouse Deadmau5 hasn't bit his tongue in concern towards the electronic music scene. He spoke candidly about the state of EDM at the beginning of the year and expressed how the festival set up renders the event as a bigger deal than the artists performing — and frankly, he's had enough. He's also been vocal about his theory that the EDM boom is bound to go bust sooner or later; a shocking statement coming from one of the forerunners of the genre. It looks like the boom will go bust later rather than sooner, seeing as the Association for Electronic Music (AFEM) estimated the electronic music industry to be worth around $6.2 billion for the 2013/14 year.
A bold statement like that leads us to the question, what is he doing on his part to keep it alive? One of his answers is yesterday's release of the 25-track double LP While (1-2)
, and while this lengthy two-hour LP isn't necessarily game changing, there are tracks with more depth and slower tempos than we're used to hearing from him. His music pulls away from being so boisterous and leans towards a more progressive house/techno feel. Deadmau5 succeeds in making tracks that are less club friendly and features more that are darker, brooding and somewhat thoughtful. On the first half of the LP, "Creep" has slow, pensive keys playing under glitched warbles and wobbles: something you would imagine a robot to be playing in his room after his she-bot broke up with him. Another notable track, "Gula", also features padded drums with a foghorn blaring like a beacon commanding us to move away from the rave. After listening to a few tracks you see that he is making simpler tracks that aren't so heavily invested in his usual dramatically layered synths. While (1-2)
still has a few songs that you will likely hear on the next festival track list, like eerie but heady "Phantom Can't Hang", and super charged "Infra Super Turbo Pigcart Racer" that sounds like it was a bonus track on an early Daft Punk album. Zimmerman undoubtedly makes a strong effort to take Electronic Dance Music to the next level.
Even if Deadmau5 doesn't produce or appear at another festival another day in his life, he wouldn't need to in order to continue the empire that he has already built. He has done his job in managing his brand, and that iconic Mousehead will be remembered by our future grand-ravers years down the line. This release strives to keep electronic dance music progressive, and Deadmau5 makes a bold statement for other performers to follow.
Listen to album opener "Avaritia" below.
is now available on iTunes