Canadian producer/DJ Joel Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5, appears to have been going out of his way to stir up trouble lately, blasting Madonna for an apparent reference to MDMA during her appearance at the Ultra Music Festival, as well as claiming that the likes of David Guetta and Skrillex do little more than press play on their iPods when DJing.
Having recently stated he intends to ‘take some time out to unplug,’ his sixth studio effort, Album Title Goes Here, continues to suggest he’s now more concerned about burning his bridges with every artist on the EDM scene than focusing on his own career.
The majority of the album’s 13 tracks have been available online for the best part of two years, and while there are attempts to spruce them up with the odd tinkering, it’s difficult to shake the feeling that the mouse-head wearer has been left behind by his peers.
Opener “Superliminal” basically consists of the same bass wobble being looped over and over again for six tedious minutes, “Channel 42” is a generic four-to-the-floor collaboration with US house producer Wolfgang Gartner which hardly lives up to its superstar billing, while the initial train-track rhythms of “Fn Pig” soon give way to the kind of squelchy techno-pop you’d expect from LMFAO.
Lumbered with such autopilot backing tracks, the array of guest vocalists also struggles to make much of an impression. My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way’s usual shouty shtick soon wears thin on the acidic electro of “Professional Griefers,” Cypress Hill sound utterly bored themselves on the hip-hop-for-beginners of “Failbait,” whilst the Chris James-fronted “The Veldt” could easily be a reject from the current Owl City album.
There are a couple of more intriguing moments. “Closer” is a subtle take on the five iconic notes from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, while the woozy melodies and robotic vocals of “Sleepless” provide a much-needed comedown to the album’s otherwise hedonistic nature.
But considering the extent to which Zimmerman has been shooting his mouth off about the state of today’s dance music, he’s going to have to do a lot better than Album Title Goes Here if he’s to avoid looking like a complete and utter hypocrite.