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The 20 Best Deadmau5 Songs

Tune Collective Staff

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He may not be one for metaphors or lofty album titles, he may not know how to refrain from weighing in on any given subject, he may not really know how to play a bunch of traditional instruments, but Joel Zimmerman, aka deadmau5, is absolutely one of electronic dance music’s greatest producers.

He’s quite prodigious with eight studio albums released in 10 years, a successful label that helped spawn Skrillex and others, and his own music production Master Class series. You get the feeling he does everything the hard way, but he somehow does it so well.

Here’s a list of the 20 best deadmau5 songs to date, in our critical opinions. Enjoy, and feel free to disagree.

20. deadmau5 – “Bot”

For Lack of a Better Name is deadmau5’s fourth studio album and one that cemented the noise artist as one of the greats. It spawned tons of hits, and while “Bot” isn’t the LP’s grandest achievement, it is one of deadmau5’s most interesting songs. It’s full of wacky textures and frog noises. It sounds like the tribal music of exotic aliens who dwell in some kind of fantastic cyber jungle.

19. deadmau5 – “Alone With You”

This glittering bit of progressive house come from Random Album Title, deadmau5’s beautiful third LP. The persistent beat keeps bodies moving through the sparkling, melodic mist. It’s the kind of emotional build one happily and aimlessly explores over and over again.

18. deadmau5 – “Closer”

That exciting five-note progression should be instantly recognizable as John Williams’ alien-speak melody in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Daft Punk also used the sample, officially titled “Wild Signals,” as the intro to its Alive 2007 set, but deadmau5 takes the motif and turns it into something even grander. He deviates after the first two minutes, though those five notes continue to make their way in and out of the melodic lines. Maybe the aliens are listening.

17. deadmau5 – “Snowcone”

The first official single from deadmau5′ latest album, W:/2016Album, earns its name. It’s light and airy atmosphere captures the feeling of a light snow, and as we move forward into the beat, we find ourselves exploring deadmau5 hidden love of hip-hop rhythm. Kanye West and Pete Rock are fans. They shared a video of themselves listening to it in the studio, upon the reception of which deadmau5 announced “Snowcone” as one of his favorite songs on the new LP.

16. deadmau5 – “Infra Turbo Pigcart Racer”

Track five from while(1has got to be one of the most unique weapons in deadmau5′ musical arsenal. At just more than nine-and-a-half-minutes, it tells the supersonic story of, well, let’s pretend it really is a piggy racecar driver. It’s called Fast and the Furriest, and it is all about one adrenaline junky porker who makes his way into the Tron world and unlocks the true supersonic potential of those light bikes. Alright, I just made all that up, but doesn’t it sound like that?

15. deadmau5 – “Hi Friend”

This song perfectly captures the vibe of going out to your favorite nightclub and running into everyone you know and love. Lots of electro, heaps of filters, and dope party raps from MC Flipside.

14. deadmau5 – “Aural Psynapse”

Though it appears on 2011’s 5 Years of mau5 double-disc compilation, “Aural Psynapse” was first recorded and released in 2001 under deadmau5′ former alias Halcyon441, another Joel Zimmerman screen name lost in the annals of time. Proving the old adage that everything old is new again, the single went on to peak at No. 7 on Billboard‘s Dance/Electronic Digital Song chart. It’s a beautiful, emotional song where synths take the lead in all shapes and forms. Definitely a classic deadmau5 atmosphere.

13. deadmau5 – “HR 8938 Cephei”

This stand-alone release never graced an official deadmau5 album. It was one of Zimmerman’s Soundcloud dumps, but it’s nothing to overlook. At nearly 11-minutes long with a distant star namesake, it’s a progressive journey that starts cold and somber, builds into a hopeful, shoulder shaking beat, and here and there blasts the listener with strong, powerful moments.

12. deadmau5 – “Brazil (2nd Edit)”

Whatever happened to the first edit of “Brazil?” Well, deadmau5 decided it wasn’t that important. He might have been right. This track has been sampled by Kylie Minogue, Alexis Jordan, and Taio Cruz. It’s got an infectious beat and an easy-going staccato synth melody. Does it make you feel like you’re in Brazil when you listen to it? It’s a lot cheaper to enjoy than a vacation, in any case.

11. deadmau5 – “Maths”

Who’s ready to get weird? We are, and deadmau5 is bringing the electronic, alien funk heavy on this cut from 2012’s > album title goes here It served as the album’s lead single, and originally, it was supposed to be the final track on 4×4=12. The anxious, rising motion of the hook is the stuff dance floor come up dreams are made of. No one can stay seated when a tune like this gets dropped. This weird little tune is a get-up-and-go machine.

10. deadmau5 – “Moar Ghosts N Stuff”

Question: Why does “Moar Ghosts N Stuff” precede “Ghosts N Stuff” on 2009’s For Lack of a Better Name? Answer: Because deadmau5 is a troll, and he does whatever the hell he wants. This creepy organ intro is bone-chillingly cool. It’s actually a sample of Frederic Chopin’s Piano Sonata, Op. 35, No. 2 in B-Flat Minor, if you care to know. The vocal sample is from a monologue in The Brain From Planet Arous, a black-and-white, 1957 sci-fi indie flick. It also is an incredible way for deadmau5 to say “yeah, I just totally changed the game, and I am one of the best ever. Part two comes before part one. -shades fall on eyes- Deal with it.” This motif is one of deadmau5’s most memorable and instantly recognizable melodies. It just had to crack the top 10.

9. deadmau5 – “Sometimes Things Get, Whatever”

Another absolute fan favorite, this one being an early cut from 2008’s Random Album Title. It’s an easy song to relate to. We’ve all been overwhelmed by life to the point that we revert to cold robot mode, right? Zimmerman probably feels this way all the time. He’s totally that perfectionist sound engineer guy who frets over everything. I can’t actually say that with certainty, but c’mon, listen to this. Ironically, it’s a pretty straightforward and simple composition. He’d probably have a big explanation for why that’s not true, of course. It probably took like a million hours of engineering to create this. It’s probably too complicated to explain, so, you know, whatever.

8. deadmau5 – “Animal Rights” with Wolfgang Gartner

Storytime! This jam dropped a couple weeks before I turned 23, and the night of my birthday, I was partying in college, and some drunk frat guy wandered into our after party and heard it was my birthday and decided he was gonna give me a lapdance. So I put on “Animal Rights” and he was like “Hey, I really like this song. Who is it?” And I was like, “Don’t worry about it and take your clothes off.” That has nothing to do with how awesome this Wolfgang Gartner collaboration is, how it’s super funky and was totally exciting and fresh at the time, how it blends Gartner’s signature “complextro” sound with deadmau5’s awesome, techy atmospheres – but then again, maybe it does. Either way, go get a lap dance from a frat boy to it. It’s a pretty fun experience, even though he’s totally feeling himself more than you are.

7. deadmau5 – “The Veldt” feat. Chris James

Grab your reading list. This tune is inspired by a Ray Bradbury short story, also titled The Veldt. That’s more to do with Chris James’ original lyrics, but it’s still totally awesome. You should know Ray Bradbury as the guy who wrote Fahrenheit 451, and if you don’t, get it together! deadmau5 created this song live during a 22-hour livestream. Dude is insane, right? The original version is just more than eight-and-a-half minutes long, and when the radio edit ends at just more than two-and-a-half, you’re like “wait, where is the rest of the song,” but the video is really cool, so we share it with you. This is a majestic bit of music, a perfect combination from deadmau5 and James.

6. deadmau5 – “Some Chords”

I nominate this track for Best Song Title of All Time. Basically every song in the history of ever could have this name, but only deadmau5 was lazy and clever enough to think of it. The chords in question are the backbone for the song, the musical template around which the beat aimlessly meanders. The chords evolve through different instrumentation, all the while the texture accents weave in and out to build the song to an aggressive fever pitch. 

5. deadmau5 – “Raise Your Weapon”

Heartbreak is never easy, but the music is inspires is some of the best ever written. “Raise Your Weapon” is a rallying cry, something to cling to in times of sadness. It’s opening piano notes, matched by singer Greta Svabo Bech’s listless vocal entry, welcomes your sorrow, but soon, the song finds strength, just as you will, given enough time. Bech is positively powerful by mid-section, and of course, so is the music, which eventually dissolves into a dubstep breakdown. It grips the listener from beginning to end, and though it’s a rather primitive bit of dubstep, it’s got some of the cooler noises we’ve heard in the garish genre. We’re happy to hear those piano chords finish it out, though. Part of your sadness never dies.

4. deadmau5 – “Faxing Berlin”

Faxing is an outdated form of communication, but it may have still been slightly relevant when deadmau5 first released this track in 2006. Email was totally relevant by then, but old people, you know? Famously supported by Pete Tong, “Faxing Berlin” is actually deadmau5’s first single ever, which is worth celebrating in itself. It’s also the first-ever release from mau5trap records. It’s also a constant favorite among fans, it’s slow build progressive vibe being absolutely quintessential to the deadmau5 sound. It’s one of his chillest, prettiest compositions. It’ll put you in a trance you’ll never want to escape.

3. deadmau5 – “I Remember” with Kaskade

“Faxing Berlin” is beautiful, but “I Remember” is one of the most luscious, gorgeous, all-encompassing electronic tunes of all time. It’s got classic written all over it, from the moment the beat and chords hit your ears, to the transcendent minute vocalist Haley Gibby sings into the mic, on through its full, spell-binding nine minutes. It’s kind of the perfect rave anthem, with soft female vocals whispering vaguely positive messages and chords in the tone of soft blues and whites. Something about it makes me reminisce about raves I went to in the mid 2000s, or maybe that’s just the song’s reminiscent vibe creeping into my head. I see what you did there, guys. Good game.

2. deadmau5 – “Ghosts n Stuff” feat. Rob Swire

Here we are again, these instantly-recognizable synth chords, this moment-defining sound. Of course, this time, we get the incredible Rob Swire, a man who was already a legend for his work with Pendulum, and who would go on to be even more famous as Knife Party. Swire is a beast on this track. This song was originally created at the request of Pete Tong, who essentially dared deadmau5 to make a new tune in time for his appearance on BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix. It’s one of deadmau5’s biggest hits ever, which is more than impressive for a last-minute production. This beat matched with these scream-along vocals makes for one of dance music’s most memorable refrains. It’s a classic. Kids 20 years from now will be like “have you heard Ghosts n Stuff,” and wish they were around to party in 2009, for sure.

1. deadmau5 – “Strobe”

I don’t think anybody would argue against “Strobe” being deadmau5’s best song. It’s iconic. It’s got all the elements that make deadmau5 the producer he is. It’s slow and pretty, it takes time to evolve, it’s got a slow and steady build, it erupts into progressive house perfection, it even carries a bit of hard electro edge. It’s just the jam. It’s such the jam, deadmau5 recently reimagined it for mau5trap’s 100th release, then he gave it away for free because he knew all you fools wanted it so bad. It’s one of those perfect electronic tunes that stays with you forever, and for that, we owe deadmau5 our eternal thanks.

Source: Billboard

Events/Festivals

Ten Tracks To Get Ready For Dirtybird Campout

Bradley Callison

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Its safe to say Dirtybird is here to stay, as is their now flagship event, Dirtybird Campout. Year three sees the relatively tiny festival moving to the location of another beloved festival, Lightning in a Bottle, in Bradley, California just north of Santa Barbara. With a venue change always comes criticism but this has not seemed to be the case with Campout. I’ve been attending Dirtybird Campout since it started and to see it grow is a beautiful thing. While its roots remain in Southern California at the birth site of Ligthning in a Bottle, Woogie Weekend and many other smaller but largely loved boutique festivals in California, the movement of Campout was done in favor of the Northern California crowd whom has been following Dirtybird the longest. If Campout continues to grow at this rate, if anything they can just where they are in Central California. For now, here’s ten tracks that should prime you p and get you in the mood for the third edition of Dirtybird Campout as these tracks have been lighting up the earlier part of the year and look to keep things warm not only at Campout but the rest of the year as well.

Sacha Robotti – The Sloth Man will be making a stop in Bradley during his Sloth Acid tour and its always a pleasure running into him either at a festival or some warehouse party in LA.

Claude Von Stroke – Papa Bird himself will of course be gracing the decks and since he was my first electronic event ever back in Hollywood at Avalon, I can honestly say he is my favorite DJ out there today. What a journey it has been and the rest of the story is still yet to be written. We can only be grateful for what him and Dirtybird has graced us with to this point and savor every moment at Campout in two weeks.

Bleep Bloop – A surprise booking to be sure, Bleep Bloop is a rising star and has killed it everytime I’ve seen him. With his signature bass/trap infused style this might be the one set not to miss at Campout thjs year.

Mikey Lion – Another legend in the making. Mr. Desert Hearts himself also graces Campout this year and has been doing so since the first Campout which I was also in attendance at. While there might be no Desert Hearts Fall Edition this year, by now Dirtybird and Desert Hearts events feel one in the same with their distinct styles and good vibes only attitude.

Shiba San – This Parisian has become a staple in the foundation of Dirtybird. When not tearing it up on tour, Shiba San has built a following and sound that has developed and only gotten better with time.

Worthy – Another Dirtybird OG, Worthy personifies the Dirtybird sound and always has a trick or five up his sleeve.

Araabmusik – Like Bleep Bloop, Araabmusik’s unique blend of bass and trap makes him stand out amongst the saturated bass scene these days. With numerous festival appearance under his belt already, I look forward to a more intimate set given the size of Campout.

Amtrac – This guy is one of the hardest working producers out there today. It seems now that all the hard work is paying off and has equated into a steady stream of tours and shows the past two years.

Chris Lorenzo – The man. The myth. The legend.

Will Clarke – Will always gets the party started and keeps it going well after it should end, but for all the right reasons.

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Lists

Daya’s 7 Best Songs

Tune Collective Staff

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It’s about time to get acquainted with Daya, the 18-year-old vocal powerhouse whose soulful, lip-glossed croons you might recognize from the Chainsmokers’ massive 2016 Grammy winner “Don’t Let Me Down.” The breakout star, born Grace Tandon, turned heads with her debut album Sit Still, Look Pretty last year, which included Hot 100 chart-climber “Hideaway” and earned her the No. 5 slot on Billboard‘s 21 Under 21 list for 2016 — all before her 18th birthday.

That said, we can only imagine what’s to come from this emerging name. For now, tune in to our seven favorite Daya songs thus far — and brush up on all there is to know about the dance-pop wunderkind — below.

7. Daya – “Words”

This sizzling dance-pop earworm covers impressive ground in its three-and-a-half minute runtime, layering thoughtful lyricism about saying those three special “Words” for the first time over atmospheric echoes, simmering percussion and Daya’s signature raspy vocal edge. All this makes the Daya song a hidden gem among her collection of radio smashes, though we wouldn’t expect it to stay under the radar for too long.

6. Daya – “Cool”

Another single from Sit Still, “Cool” has a slightly different taste than the rest of the album’s collection, leaning toward a chilled-out vibe with a bubbly, minimal melody. That mellow, laid-back feel meshes perfectly with the track’s message: that even doing absolutely nothing with the right person can mean, well, everything.

5. Daya – “Back to Me”

This raw heartbreak ballad is possibly the most emotive point in Daya’s catalogue, featuring goosebump-inducing new vocal heights and delicate piano chords. But it’s hardly a step in unfamiliar territory for the star. Listen closely to any of the tracks included on our list, and you’ll find the same tender, expressive lyricism under even the most club dancefloor-ready hook.

4. Gryffin & Illenium feat. Daya – “Feel Good”

Released in March, “Feel Good” with Gryffin and Illenium marks the newest addition to Daya’s collection of stellar collabs — and one of her best. The breezy Daya song pairs a glimmering, sunshine-y drop with blissful verses that more than live up to the track’s bright title.

3. Daya – “Sit Still, Look Pretty”

For the title track to Sit Still, Daya tackles societal expectations and female empowerment while managing to keep listeners dancing the whole way through — not to mention notching a No. 28 on the Hot 100. One listen through the bubbly, infectious chorus of this track, and “I don’t wanna sit still, look pretty” might just become your new mantra.

2. Daya – “Hide Away”

It should come as no surprise that “Hide Away” makes our list. With its smoldering, snappy soundscape and the catchiest of choruses, the track peaked at No. 23 on the Hot 100, snagging No. 20 on the Dance/Mix Show Airplay charts. Released in 2015, it served as the lead single off Daya’s debut self-titled EP, and was later included on Sit Still.

1. The Chainsmokers feat. Daya – “Don’t Let Me Down”

It’s hard to find a better track to top our list than “Don’t Let Me Down,” the sweeping 2016 heavy-hitter from the Chainsmokers that brought Daya’s expansive vocal range into the spotlight. It’s safe to say the world noticed — the track snagged a Grammy for Best Dance Recording that year, not to mention hitting a No. 3 peak on the Hot 100. We can barely believe Daya was only 17 years old when the song rose to fame, but if it’s any indication of what she’s capable of, there will be much more to come from this burgeoning star. 

This article originally appeared on Billboard.

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Events/Festivals

4 Acts You Need To See At Splash House

Charlee Grey

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Splash House

Feature Photo: SplashHouse.com

Splash House is right around the corner and the heat is building up. Back for yet another edition of the rowdy summer pool party, it’s finally time for the “must listen” to list from some of the acts playing the fest. Whose to say all of the acts aren’t “must listen to”? Not me. I will however say unless you wanna blindly listen through everybody’s catalogs, follow me through this curated musical journey I have put together for you all below. Afterall, it is a party so the more the merrier!

 

Catz ‘N Dogz
Catz ‘N Dogz
have seen the spotlight for over a decade in a world that is driven by distorted four on the floor beats and grooves only House music can dictate. Straight from Poland, The CnD guys have have released on plenty of top-tier labels, the most notorious to the US being Dirtybird Records which have been a great support for these guys. This isn’t a cat and mouse chase. This is a party with some of the best House music around.

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Bob Moses
The House duo originated in Vancouver but slowly found their way into the Big Apple after combined efforts of pushing their musical boundaries. Sultry vocals and soothing rhythms are what define Bob Moses in both a live and recorded setting. This is easily recognized through their Grammy winning tune, Tearing Me Up, which, received a flip by RAC and the rest was history.

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Desert Hearts
You’ve never been fully off of the grid unless you’ve partied with Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Marbs, and Porkchop. House, Techno and Love is the mantra and they’ve got only the best in revolving kick drums in abundance. When you’ve got the Desert Hearts guys behind the decks, expect a looping musical experience that will have you dancing through the entirety of their set. This is one you do not wanna miss.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/316586479″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

 

SNBRN
Splash House has seen SNBRN before, and once again he is bringing his summer vibes to the function. One of the most appropriate acts for a thriving pool party, SNBRN is no rookie when it comes to keeping the music going. With plenty of new tunes and old school anthems notoriously in his libraries, we can expect nothing less than a nostalgic rollercoaster of a set.

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Connect with Splash House: SplashHouse.com | Twitter | Facebook

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