6th December sees the release date of the first ‘proper’ artist album, from possibly one of the most innovative electronic producers we have seen over the last 10 years, with the unveiling of ‘4×4=12’ from Deadmau5. We’ve been lucky enough to have listened to the album over and over during the last 24 hours and had to write about it. Initially, the thought ‘where are the radio records’ on this commercially focused album entered my head, in fact there are only a couple of tracks that feature vocals and even then I wouldn’t think they would be daytime radio fodder. What we have instead is a well crafted artist album that delivers the live performance in a studio album. If you’ve ever been to a Deadmau5 gig then you will know they are an intense experience of beats, bleeps, distorted riffs with the odd piano thrown in to make up the melody and vocals are few and far between.

Highlights on the album include ‘Cthulhu Sleeps’ which starts off reminding me of Daft Punk’s ‘Rollin and Scratchin’ with a hint of Timo Maas’ remix of Azzido Da Bass ‘Doom Nights’ before dropping into the trademark Deadmau5 brooding chords on the first breakdown. It then kicks straight back into the pumping dirty electro sound that he has made his own. Another highlight is ‘Raise Your Weapon’ which lulls you with a ‘I Remember / Faxing Berlinesque’ intro with the wonderful ethereal vocals of Greta Svabo Bech, complimenting the uplifting piano melody before hitting us with a huge surprise at the top of the breakdown. It’s best not to say too much more since it really will spoil the surprise but it’s huge and shows us another side of Deadmau5s’ talents.

Deadmau5 is a true artist in that he has a definitive sound which he himself is constantly pushing forward. The musical thread running through this whole album can be traced back to the first productions we all heard on Beatport only 4 years ago now, and his subsequent development of his sound until now. Haunting and sometimes dark melody on his more progressive side and brooding and moody electro basslines when he’s in that way of thinking. The ‘pushing things forward’ happens towards the end of the album when Mau5 shows us his new tricks and new influences. Fans of Mau5trap recordings might already know what I’m getting at here. Overall we’re very happy with the first ‘proper’ studio album from Deadmau5. Be sure to check him out when he visits your nearest arena or festival for you will see an amazing show held up against legends such as Daft Punk and Kraftwerk. It’s scary to think but within a short period of time Joel Zimmerman who has defined his generation.

You can preorder Deadmau5 – 4×4=12 here.

Thoughts on Tracklist?

1. Some Chords:
Builds nicely, Trippy Riff. Quite dark and menacing. A lot of punch. 7/10.

2. Sofi needs a ladder
Kick ass bottom end, good vocal. 7/10.

3. A City In Florida
2006 sounding electro bassline, tough pounding. Quite relentless in it’s attack. One for his club sets. 7/10.

4. Bad Selection
Stabby, minimal sounds, obvious risers. Trying to be Swedish? Dated Rasta vocal. 4/10.

5. Animal Rights
Jumpy electro, 7/10

6. I Said (Michael Woods Remix) Quite driving and Moody.
Good production from Michael Woods. 7/10.

7. Cthulhu Sleeps
Simple drums but driving, Daft punk rollin and scratching riff. Azzido Da Bass, helicopter sound, nice breakdown, Alarm clock riff. Kick ass electro after drop. 8/10

8. Right This Second
Nice Chords, nice sounds, big beats. 8/10

9. Raise Your Weapon
As close to the old Deadmau5 sound we are going to get, great song and still shows everyone else how this sound is done properly. . After the drop, WOW! A nod towards future productions? Old sound evolves into a new direction? 9/10

10. One Trick Pony
Hip hop style dubstep. Growling and biting. Nice vocal 8/10

11. Everything Before
Proggy, dirty haunting menacing. 8/10

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