Profiles in Good Music: Deadmau5

Decided to start profiling my favorite bands and artists, since this blog is centered around the aural things. Who else to start with than the local boy who made it big: Joel Thomas Zimmerman, better known as Deadmau5.

Joel Zimmerman aka Deadmau5 was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 1981 (for a while, maybe currently, I lived down the block from his mother). Deadmau5’s career began during the 1990s experimenting with his sound and DJ-ing. In 2005, he released Project 56, a compilation of fifty-six short demos. Among this EP is “Just Before 8bit”, which influenced his later albums.

His first LP, Get Scraped, was released in 2005. Two versions of this album exist: the CD version which was released first, then the download version in 2006 which as several changes to the song list. No singles were released from Get Scrapped, but The Oshawa Connection is my personal favorite.

Soon after, he began his own record label, mau5trap, which, along with Ultra Records and Ministry of Sound, released the 2008 album Random Album Title. RAT (wink) had two major singles, “Faxing Berlin”, which launched his career in clubs both Euro and North American, and “I Remember”, which were featured in several video games. His next album, For Lack of a Better Name, sent him into skyhigh popularity with the track Ghosts N’ Stuff, which even metalheads and wiggers know of.

In 2010, he released 4×4=12, and in 2011 began a world tour that recently concluded in Toronto. His performance there made Canadian music history as he is now the only Canadian act to headline a concert at the Roger Center (Skydome). A place usually reserved for acts like U2, Bon Jovi and other stadium-usual bands.

I wasn’t a fan of techno of any sort until I came across Deadmau5. The first track I truly listened to was Ghosts N Stuff and was blown away at the complexity and smoothness of his sound. I’d heard other techno tracks, usually European, and none of it ever clicked. I found myself bouncing to Ghosts N’ Stuff and knew I had to explore further. Which lead me to dubstep and my own attempts at electronic music

While I won’t say, like other kiddos, that “his music saved my life” I did learn that its cool to let go. I was usually a silent, stoic listener at concerts. Hearing and rocking out to his music and the other artists I’d come across was a beginning to releasing the years of fear and worry about looking like a fool. Now, who gives a shit? Have a good time. Enjoy, ’cause if you don’t, then what’s the point of even listening to music?

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