deadmau5 – 4×4=12

up until the release of “ghosts n stuff” back in 2008, deadmau5 was often criticized for being able to come up with catchy chord progressions and not a whole lot else. although “ghosts” hinted at a change in direction for deadmau5, it never really worked on its own (even after the addition of rob swire’s vocals), failing to capture the wild, unrestrained attitude of electro house, instead sounding overly laboured and mechanical.

on his latest album, 4×4=12, deadmau5 attempts to fulfill the promise of “ghosts n stuff”. the album almost entirely abandons the progressive house sound of random album title and the techno influence of for lack of a better name in favour of a more abrasive electro/dubstep style.

frequently this results in music that tries too hard to appease mainstream audiences with flavour-of-the-month gimmicks. “sofi needs a ladder”, features a needlessly tacked-on, ke$ha-knockoff vocal that adds nothing to an already uninspired instrumental. the centerpiece of the album, the ten and a half minute “cthulhu sleeps”, is remarkably ineffective in its use of tension and release, something which is the very hallmark of deadmau5’s sound. without any real sense of direction, the gurgling bassline mostly just sits there, as though it might become danceable through sheer force of will.

we get shades of classic deadmau5 in “raise your weapon,” a track reminiscent of his signature chilled-out progressive house sound. at the halfway mark, deadmau5 turns his own formula on its head as the beat is suddenly dismantled by a datsik-esque drop into menacing dubstep. the juxtaposition is jarring, as the two contrasting ideas are barely held together by greta svabo bach’s vocals which take on a sinister quality as they float over top of the churning beat.

with 4×4=12, deadmau5 seems determined to prove that he is capable of spontaneity in his productions. by cherry picking the most basic elements of other popular styles and forcing it together with his own, he is left with music that not only fails to be spontaneous, but distracts from the things he actually is good at. perhaps he should check his math again.

Deadmau5 – Raise Your Weapon

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

2 Responses to “deadmau5 – 4×4=12”

  1. This is quite bad. The second half of the song isn’t done well at all. The weak cymbal beat over the dubstep rhythm is just hilarious. So horribly amateur.

  2. yeah. i really cant tell if he is trolling or not.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WP Hashcash