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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 October 2018

Album review: Deadmau5 – While (1<2)

The Canadian producer and DJ's seventh studio album tries hard to be innovative, but a gifted musician Deadmau5 ain’t.

While(1<2)

Deadmau5

(Virgin EMI)

2 stars

Deadmau5 (real name Joel Zimmerman) has become one of the rock stars of dance music. Such is the reach of the Canadian dance producer that he is able to headline all sorts of festivals from dance to rock and pop. He is now back with what he reportedly states as “the first album I’ve ever done that I’d even call an album”. By the standards of his previous releases Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff (2008) and Album Title Goes Here (2012), that isn’t saying much. Deadmau5 won extraordinary popularity by being the standard bearer of electronic dance music, in deliberate defiance of the creativity seen elsewhere in electronic music since the mid 2000s. While he tries hard to be innovative – there’s chillstep, homages to Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails and remixes of the latter’s songs – a gifted musician Mr Mau5 ain’t. The instrumentation is a bit more complex than he’s tried before, but we aren’t treated to musically clever compositions – just the faux-atmospheric minimalism of simple film scores, doubled up with Mau5ian rhythms. Zimmerman’s attempt to ape Mr Reznor just highlights how shallow Mau5 is by comparison.

abouyamourn@thenational.ae