Friday 28 September 2012

Deadmau5 - album title goes here

With '>album title goes here<', DJ/Producer Deadmau5 continues with the unimaginative album titles, following 2009's 'For Lack Of A Better Name'.  And like his past albums, it contains a couple of decent tracks with a lot of repetitive filler.

"Happy life with the machines" sings Chris James on recent single The Veldt.  It's a suitable description for the album at large.  The trouble is that this dance music is mechanical and calculated, perhaps even cold.  The production is technically excellent, but very considered and relies on specific moments common to dance music for certain effects - waiting for the beat to drop, for example, or that moment when the drones suddenly change to switch things up.

Closer relies solely on this principle.  The main riff is essentially one note, used as a drone, that only changes at the end of each phrase.  It's a nice moment, but the track overall is just too repetitive.

The best tracks are those with the strongest melodies.  The string opening of There Might Be Coffee leads to a catchy hook reminiscent of past glory Ghosts 'n' Stuff.  The Veldt provides a rare moment of singing, though there's no room for the track to manoeuvre and soar.  Fn Pig takes a while to warm up, but then disappointingly has a very generic womping chorus.  Much of the rest of  '>album title goes here<' settles for the generic, with endlessly repeated riffs, heavy beats and enough womping and whizzing to make you high - which is probably part and parcel of the genre.

Some variety is provided with the collaborations, but these ultimately fall flat.  Failbait features Cypress Hill, but the rapping merely distracts us from the dull beat and feels out of place on the album.  Likewise, Telemiscommunications features vocals from Imogen Heap, but it's essentially a Heap track with some Deadmau5 tapping and clicking thrown in for good measure.

Dance music doesn't have to be all minimalist, monotonous drones and repetitive riffs.  David Guetta may have lowered the genre to a common pop denominator, but we can look to artists like Madeon to push dance music into new, exciting territories.  '>album title goes here<' feels more like a set of well-constructed tools for other artists to utilize in their remixes.  All we need now is the deft touch of Madeon to spin his magic like he did with Raise Your Weapon.


Gizzle's Choice:
* The Veldt
* There Might Be Coffee
* Closer

Listen:  '>album title goes here<' is available now.