“Dead Mau Five? Have you heard of that guy?”
“Is that the dude in the trippy looking Mickey Mouse head?”
It sure is, friend. But the things he does in that Mau5 head go far beyond anything a Disney icon has to offer, and straight to the glitchy undercurrent that is your soul’s desire to dance.
If you’re not familiar with his music, you might know Deadmau5 (pronounced “Deadmouse”) as the guy that drives a Nyan Cat Lamborghini, the guy that feuds with celebrities (RE: Skrillex, Justin Bieber, Martin Garrix) he feels aren’t keeping it real, the guy that battled the Disney Corporation in court over whether his Mau5 was too much like their Mouse, or the guy that recently had his Soundcloud account hacked, followed by his bank account and locations of residence for antagonizing said hackers (this dude loves a good Twitter beef, it’s really pretty amazing).
But, all that noise he floats through the Twitterverse creates a fantastic tension with the music he broadcasts to the the universe, and the sounds he produces are epic on a grand scale. Think back to those days of MegaMan marathons on your Sega Genesis – this is the space cadet soundtrack you didn’t even know you needed.
Joel Zimmerman, the man behind Deadmau5, adopted the Deadmau5 moniker as an leet screen name in his early teens after finding a dead mouse in his computer. He first began playing with sound in the mid 90s, producing chiptune and demoscene-influenced music; since then, he’s released seven full-length albums, started the mau5trap label, earned six Grammy nominations, and became the only Canadian to reach the number one spot on Billboard Magazine’s Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart three separate times with tracks he produced in collaboration with Kaskade and Rob Swire.
I had the pleasure of seeing Deadmau5 perform at Bonnaroo in 2015 as the first EDM headliner ever billed to the festival. His set certainly delivered; he brought one of the largest, most intricate stage setups I’ve ever seen to the party, and I stood there in awe as the metal-framed orb in which he performed delivered an amazing lightshow before blossoming into an awe-inspiring pulse of beat-driven colors.
His music isn’t like other electronic artists that have caught fire in the mainstream; in fact, it stands in stark contrast to the popcorn radio edits you might hear from Skrillex and Diplo. Deadmau5 takes a more composed, orchestrated route to his final product, leading the listener on an up-and-down journey through slow builds and subdued-yet-intricate progressions of party. Don’t go to his show expecting to get rowdy when the bass drops, because it never does – and he intends it to be that way. Instead, spend some time with his mindful titillations that feel more like an emotional journey than a raging electronic concert, and pay attention to the nuances that make his music most fitting for a motorcycle race on your local highway or a midnight stargazing at 130 beats per minute. Either way, Deadmau5 will certainly take you places you didn’t expect, and show you a new side to electronic music production you won’t find anywhere else.
Shows like this don’t ever come to Cincinnati, so his headlining set at Bunbury on Saturday, June 4th at 10pm is a rarity worth catching. Catch a preview with this full set and recording for Ultra Music Festival this March – the only party it’s missing is you.
Enter to win Weekend Passes to Bunbury Music Festival HERE!