There aren't many music producers who have the same arrogance and ostentatious behavior as Joel Zimmerman, known to most as the superstar DJ Deamau5.
His views on EDM are outlandish, though mostly comprehendible (he once called EDM Event Driven Marketing). His tweets are exact and targeted like a militant sniper. He has a foul-mouthed approach that any incompetent producer would feel the wrath of.
So when his latest studio album 'W:/2016Album' is criticised heavily by the mastermind DJ himself, is this some kind of double entendre, some hidden agenda that Deadmau5 wants us to equivocate? He can be extemporaneous, his perspective extremely direct, though this time, I think he was just being honest.
He tweeted: "I don't even like it. It was like, so f*****g rushed."
The album feels complicated. '2248' has all the resonance of a Daft Punk sound which is fantastic and makes you wonder where this track is going; only suddenly to be bombarded by a contrasting heavy beat that should never be there. If you think of 'Professional Griefers' from his 2012 album 'Album title goes here', it has that piercing heavy beat that appears out of nowhere. The 2012 track worked, extremely well. This embarrassingly doesn't. Especially by his standards.
The sound quality is exactly what you would expect. Crisp, sharp and utterly professional, Deadmau5 has always been known for his midas touch. More of an electronic pioneer than any other DJ, simply watch the man operate his studio, it looks like a NASA control centre. Though Zimmerman seems to be lacking in inspiration for this album. 'Cat Thruster' has an eerily similar beat to one of his most famous tracks 'See Ya', and one cannot help juxtapose the two. 'Cat Thruster' does work in its own right, but lacks momentum and substance.
'Let Go (the extended version)' concludes the album, though the fact that the album has two renditions of the same track doesn't bode well and only accentuates the notion that he is lacking in creativity for this production. The album ends in an 11.32 second anthem that makes the album worth it. It has all the hallmarks of a classic electronic powerhouse track with slow progressive build ups, the beautiful synthesis and rolling basslines. The voice is soothing and euphoric and will undoubtedly be used by many across the dance floors for summer 2017.
Elsewhere through the album, 'Glish' is an awful two minute mash up of seemingly random electronic noises, whereas there is some shining light with 'No Problem', though again, the core of the track, like '2248', seems more Daft Punk than Deadmau5. The penultimate creation 'Whelk then' is soothing and stunning. Imagine the score from Tarantino's Hateful 8, which was composed beautifully by award-winning Italian composer Ennio Morricone, mixed with the song from American Beauty. It's quiet, has a pulsating deep bass, delicate cymbals and sounds different to Deadmau5s' usual work. A track worthy of ending an album.
Zimmerman said the album, due to his heavy touring schedule was rushed, and there probably is some truth to that. He said: "Nothing was complete." I could not agree more.