Matthew Pflugfelder, Contributor Ω
Deadmau5’s new album reflects a major change in electronic dance music.
Fans were left in the dark with new release Album Title Goes Here. For starters, the album was leaked on the Internet before its official release date (Sept. 25), which significantly impacted the anticipation of the new album.
Sonically, most songs seem to lack the climactic buildups and goosebump-inducing melodies he’s known for. Songs like “Fn Pig” have the listener waiting for minutes, which seem like hours, for some kind action. This leaves listeners wanting to change the song rather than wait for the money-shot.
Album Title Goes Here is a more experimental approach to electronic dance music as it is nothing like previous work from deadmau5.
Joel Zimmerman, better known as deadmau5, expressed his genuine hatred in Rolling Stone for the mainstream turn in which electronic dance music was headed. The genre has become a multi-million dollar industry with the hit single “Levels” by Avicii being played in every clothing store, bar and club around the world.
Electronic dance music was once the true definition of “underground.” The late-1980s gave rise to a trend known as acid house, which was performed illegally in abandoned, government-owned warehouses with 808 systems and Roland synthesizers. Now electronic dance music has become a mainstream genre with the likes of Madonna hopping on the bandwagon.
Album Title Goes Here reflects Zimmerman’s frustration towards this recent direction within the electronic dance music scene. He has even taken his misgivings to Twitter, telling Madonna off for her recent album MDNA, as it seems to make a stark reference to the drug MDMA.
He has also begun collaborating with artists outside of electronic dance music including Imogene Heap, Cypress Hill and the Foo Fighters. Zimmerman is also one of the first electronic dance music artists to cover a Radiohead song.
Despite all of the controversy, it’s quite clear that deadmau5 is not a fan of the mainstream, even though a lot of his tracks have appeared on top-40 charts. Although he’s a blatant hipster, the end result of his previous work has been mainstream success. There’s no label for Zimmerman, which may work to his benefit or be the beginning of his demise.