ALBUM REVIEW – “While 1<2" By deadmau5

When he isn’t participating in the Gumball Rally or taking critical dumps on the EDM scene, Joel Zimmerman makes music under the pseudonym Deadmau5.  For almost a decade now the electronic music scene has watched Zimmerman rise up to be something of a powerhouse, a household name to those who follow the genre.

There is a very good reason why Deadmau5 is something of a legend.  Anyone who follows Joel on Twitter can vouch for his flippant and cynical worldview (especially in regard to a large portion of electronic music); anyone who has seen the “making of videos” can attest to his use of literally walls of high quality analog gear; but anyone who has listened to a Deadmau5 record knows exactly what kind of creative mastermind Zimmerman really is.

     While 1<2 proudly carries on the Deadmau5 tradition of progressive house music.  The songs are catchy, danceable, at times epic, and above all, awesome.  The production on the record is top notch, avoiding countless EDM stereotypes while maintaining the Deadmau5 sound.  The samples, synths and other sounds present are dynamic, musical, balanced, and they have just a hint of aggression to keep one’s attention.  There is plenty of variety in sections to keep the songs driving along, and never once will a song drag out until its conclusion.  The album as a whole draws from a wide span of ideas and concepts that Zimmerman patches together to create his signature sound.

At the same time Zimmerman is totally unafraid to let ideas stretch out and develop into something truly special.  “Infant Turbo Pigcart Racer” is a sprawling epic tune that winds and powers its way through several sections, holding and releasing tension at perfect intervals.  The song then jumps right into “Terrors In My Head”, which is absolutely beautiful.  It is haunting, brooding, and the story Zimmerman tells comes across excellently.  There is no constant barrage of bass drops or repeating melody lines for 4 minutes.  Deadmau5 makes music, diverse, powerful, unique music that also happens to be very rhythm driven and perfectly appropriate at dance clubs.

It wouldn’t be a Deadmau5 record without a bit of humor and disregard for surroundings.  From the album title, to the song titles, to the random “FUCK” shouts in “My Pet Coelacanth”, the whole record is just a little bit immature, but it works so well.  The complete ignorance for rules has paid off with a fantastic record.  Go pick up While 1<2 now, and get pounding.


-Max Robison

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