Release Date: December 2, 2016
It's no surprise that Deadmau5's newest record, W:/2016ALBUM/, clocks in at almost an hour and fifteen minutes. His music is not quick, manufactured, pop music capitalizing on the latest trends. It's intricate and deep and its core. He is one of dance music's most well-known names, known both for his captivating electronic music and his up-to-date opinions on the current state of the world via Twitter. Regardless of what you think of him, his music speaks for itself and proves why he is an artist.
I recently saw a video promoting the MasterClass website, where those proverbially dubbed the "masters of their craft" give video lessons to those wanting to learn a new skill. Deadmau5 (real name Joel Zimmerman) hosts a class you can purchase surrounding the production of electronic music. In it, he states that his music-making process is really just him "goofing around" until he finds something that he likes. Hearing that actually made me listen to the record in a different light, and in a good way. There were moments that W:/2016ALBUM/ felt akin to the way a rock band would release an album of jam sessions, exploring upon different sounds and chord progressions until they came across something that worked for them.
There are a few songs that include dance music's "drop" (a sequence in which a number of elements increase in frequency and pitch until it hypothetically "explodes" into a synth-and-bass-laden-type chorus), but they're few and far between ("Imaginary Friends"). Don't expect that with Deadmau5. Expect lush soundscapes and songs that really explore the various sounds that he works with. Songs can last anywhere between five and nine minutes. This is not an album that is merely digestible after one listen, and it's clear that that's the intent. W:/2016ALBUM/ is for the long-term music listener.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.