Since today happens to be a day that ends in \’Y\’, electronic music blogs across the world are once again reporting \’news\’ that relates to Deadmau5, or more specifically, something that Deadmau5 said via Twitter. Whether a comment made against a fellow artist or some sort of satirical attack against the world of mainstream \’EDM,\’ it seems music fans can\’t get enough of the Deadmau5 gossip. While I tend to roll my eyes every time I read another prolific report of what type of condiments Joel prefers on his cheeseburger, I personally am happy to report the results of his latest message to the world: Deadmau5 is leaving Twitter and \’EDM.\’ So long, and good riddance.
Before every Deadmau5 fanatic types out a dissertation-worthy response about how Deadmau5 is amazing and the author of this article is out of his mind, I ask that you to read on. I don\’t hate Deadmau5. I don\’t even \’dislike\’ Deadmau5. If someone were to ask me if I was a fan of his, I would without a doubt respond positively. As a fan of electronic music, it would be hard to deny the incredible talent that is behind that giant mouse helmet. Deadmau5 is, after all, an artist, and when someone questions my appreciation of an artist, I respond to the question in terms of the art produced. From his tracks to his live sets, there is no doubt that he has earned his position as one of the most successful electronic acts of our generation.
With that said, I can\’t say I am a fan of the \’social media\’ developed persona he has become known for. Whether it comes in the form of a backhanded comment about the \’EDM\’ world, or his criticism of other artists, it seems Joel is the perfect example of what he stands against. Culturally, electronic music has reached a clashing point between the rise of the \’EDM\’ fueled world chanting about getting \’turned up\’ and the cultures behind traditional electronic music such as house and techno. As a result, artists seem to defend their position between these polarized cultures. Joel is no exclusion, as he has been fairly outspoken against the current state of \’EDM\’. Without a doubt, I can\’t disagree with most of what he says. Paris Hilton IS a talentless and her performances behind a mixer are comparable to her performances on night vision camera, uninteresting and lacking effort. Mainstage EDM artists that spend more time tossing cake than touching a crossfader ARE an embarrassment to the industry that shouldn\’t be performing for a crowd of 20, let alone headlining a festival. My opposition to Joel in this situation is not an opposition to the message he is trying to convey, but rather, how he is doing it.
Just as much as the music being played on the mainstage has become watered down and repetitive, so has the news sources reporting on it. The world of electronic music news seems to have degraded to the level of TMZ-style articles and exaggerated interpretations of comments made on social media. In fact, most recently this criticism peaked in response to an article written by Thump, where fans threatened to unsubscribe in response to what they believed to be poor reporting tactics. Even Skrillex joined the criticism as he claimed their influence should be put to better use. As the music reaching the masses is being \’dumbed\’ down, so is the news they are presented with. The result of this degradation is a public perception of electronic music that is less than positive. I present this information not to give a negative impression of the music\’s direction, but to point out that, in my opinion, Joel is one of the largest contributors to this unfortunate result, whether he chooses to be or not. Each and every one of the attention seeking tweets that he types out becomes a distraction from the music, and in return, is not too different than the cake found at an Aoki performance.
As I mentioned earlier, Joel has more than earned his place as an artist on the front-line of electronic music. As a result, he has an incredibly influential position that can be utilized to keep electronic music moving in a positive direction. While he seems to believe that he has been utilizing this position for this purpose, it doesn\’t seem to be the case. Instead he has become an artist increasingly known for his antics and public rants that cloud the reputation he should be known for: a talented producer that releases incredible music. While Deadmau5 is certainly not the only artist falling into this trap, he is the easiest example to provide, especially as the Kanye West comparisons are becoming increasingly common.
So let\’s hope that Joel\’s comments on Twitter were serious and that he will really be taking a break from the social media role he has taken on in order devote his time to the studios he has to build and the music he has to release (per his note). As a fan, I look forward to the direction this could take him, especially if it means more work under his testpilot alias, that has released music on Richie Hawtin\’s Minus label. Let\’s hope Deadmau5 returns to allowing his music to do the talking and defining of himself as more than another \’EDM\’ artist, because in the words of Danish Author Hans Christian Andersen, \”Where words fail, music speaks.\”
so long! and thanks for alll the fish!
— deadmau5 (@deadmau5) October 29, 2014