As the “EDM” culture continues to rise in America, challenges are increasingly popping up. Unlike the general public, who can’t differentiate the sub-genres of dance music (no this is not TECHNO! Can’t believe how many times I just have to let that slide), we know all the different types of tracks there are. From tech house to dubstep, each sub-genre has their following. Some stick to it and others, like myself, dabble in each and find things to love about any song no matter what genre it is.
Clearly Joel Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5, is not a fan of the current big room vibes taking over the scene, and clearly is not one to keep his opinion quiet. Over the years we’ve seen him publicly bash festivals, have disputes with record companies and have beef with multiple DJ's, bands and other people in the music industry. As we all know, one of his most recent incidents was the big “trolling” during his UMF set. I know it's been a few weeks, but I wanted to let the dust settle a bit before getting into the incident to see what came out of it because there are so many possible angles to take.
Are we supposed to like it? Are we supposed to condemn him to hell for mocking 2 of the most popular and mainstream songs that have helped grow the industry? Mau5 would prob welcome the hell option to open arms himself as a joke. It’s a really interesting subject because even DJs were torn on the subject. Tiesto clearly was unhappy with Deadmau5 after the fact and they exchanged some words on twitter shortly after. Tiesto took it as an attack on Avicii and Martin Garrix, which most likely 95% of the people who saw it did as well.
I really think there was a deeper “le7el” of meaning that Deadmau5 was trying to say (ahem, play) here. As I stated earlier, he is not a fan of the big room vibe taking over the dance scene and clearly hates on EDM. I don’t believe that Joel was attacking a hospitalized Avicii or a teenage Garrix in anyway. I think Joel was mocking the whole “top 40 EDM” culture as a whole which I don’t have a problem with it all. He’s also openly bashed a recent “EDM Hits” compilation. Sure there are some generic tracks that I’ll like because of a catchy chorus or some chords that are played, but there are so many similarly sounding tracks out there that its dumbing things down.
The culture may be expanding out to the mainstream because of these tracks, but within the scene things aren’t growing as much. It has caused a whole “hipster” culture to pop up from the other subgenres and really takes away the happy, lose yourself in the uplifting beats atmosphere that I’ve come to love in this scene. I have no problem with what Deadmau5 does most of the time. He’s verbal about his opinions and most of the time I agree with him. What he did at Ultra, and in fact, other than playing levels and animals, played tracks that you would probably NEVER hear on the mainstage at a festival.
More recently Arcade Fire had a spat with Joel, who once again bashed the popular sound taking a strangle hold on our scene. Deadmau5 had to defend himself as an electronic composer because of the rise of the generic beats that have become so easy to create and had brought the electronic scene more mainstream. Deadmau5 may be a dick, but he also creates some of the best music we have and I can’t wait for his 25 track album coming out next month.